Saturday, April 19, 2014

Saturday Artisan: Unique Creations by Tracy

Meet Tracy, our Saturday Artisan! She is the proud owner and artist of Unique Creations by Tracy Storenvy shop. 

Stopping by at her shop will definitely make you smile. You will see adorable crocheted animals, each made with love.

Tracy creations are great for your kids, grandchildren, nieces and nephews, and even yourself who is young at heart. 

Tell us a bit about yourself and what arts/ crafts that you make?

My name is Tracy and I am a SAHM of two kids. Before staying home I was a pre-k teacher and love to teach and do fun activities with my kids at home. I have always loved to craft things for my house or kids. A couple years ago I decided I wanted to learn to crochet so taught myself using you tube videos. Two months later I was sharing what I made and my friends and family started asking me to make them items. Then it was suggested I should open my own shop to sell what I was making and now I am getting ready to celebrate my stores second anniversary.


What is the story behind your shop name?  

My store is named Unique Creations by Tracy. When I originally opened my shop I was not sure if I would only sell my crochet pieces, so I wanted a name that would cover any handmade items I would make and sell. 


Who is your target market?

My target market is for moms with children. I make a lot of stuffed animals that are great for baby rooms or as gifts for kids. Also, the new baskets I am making that are child themed to keep things organized. 


For us who love to travel, could you share a bit about your beautiful town/ city?

I live outside of St. Louis, Missouri. The home of the Arch, St. Louis Cardinals and Forest Park the home of the 1904 World's Fair. It is a very family oriented area with lots of attractions for families like the St. Louis Zoo, Science Center, Magic House, Missouri Botanical Gardens, Butterfly House, and much more.


What is your best seller?

My best seller would be my owls, which are also my favorite to make. Originally, I only sold them in one size but since then have added additional sizes.


How does your day go in general?

My day starts off getting my kids and myself ready for the day, and off to school if it is a school day. Then I usually hop online and check my email, facebook, twitter, and other sites to see if there is anything I need to respond to and then do a bit of marketing for my shop and other handmade artists. Once that is all completed I grab my crochet hooks and yarn and start working on orders or new products for the shop. In the afternoon, I take a bit of break for myself rather it be working out or something else just for me. Then it is time for the kids to come home and I focus on them until they go to bed. After the kids are in bed then I will pull out my work again and crochet or work online if needed.


How do you balance your personal and work life?

Balancing personal and work life has been one of my biggest struggles. I can easily get in the groove with crocheting and lose track of time. Setting alarms to go off to remind me that it is time to take care of things in my personal life has seemed to help me.


What inspires you?

My 5 year old son and 6 year old daughter are my inspiration. They are always asking me to make them animals, princesses, toys, and more. Many of the items I now offer were originally made for my kids.


What is your goal for 2014?  

My goal for 2014 was to work on organizing my house, and I am doing that by working on a line of organization baskets that can help me around the house.


Any advice for others running their on-line shop?

My first piece of advice is it takes time so don't give up. It takes a lot of work to get your shop up and going, and then you will need to do lots of marketing. Also, make sure you love to make what you make. If you don't love it you will burn out quickly. 


What is your favorite quote, song, or movie?

 Make Life Beautiful


Where could we find Unique Creations by Tracy?



Would you like to be featured as a Saturday Artisan and sponsor a giveaway?

Here is how to apply.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Tutorial by VioletsBuds: Ruched Zinnia Flower

I'm amazed by how pretty VioletsBuds' creations are. She makes beautiful handmade accessories and home decors. Her flowers are simply adorable! They are beautifully made and her design is fabulous.

Want to learn how to make a runched Zinnia flower? Well, Melanie from VioletsBuds generously shares a tutorial on how to make one.

The Zinnia Ribbon flower is one of my favorites, but I don't make it very often. It can be quite time consuming, but it makes a fun, unique flower. I find it easiest to use a 7/8" or 1" wide ribbon, but other sizes can be used as well.

Starting at the bottom corner, make a running stitch at a 45*   angle. Count the number of stitches it takes to make the first pass. (I like to use an even number). You will want to use the same number of stitches for each pass so that your petals all look even.

Once you get to the edge, make a 90* turn and stitch to the   next edge. (If  you like, you can draw lines at 90* angles down the strip (zig zag). I   skipped this step and just eyeballed the angle while I stitched.) After making a few passes you can start pulling the thread taut and make the ruched petals.

When your ruched ribbon is as long as you want it, knot & cut the thread. Next, start curling the ribbon in a circle to form a flower. You can secure it with thread, sewing it in place. Or, you can use a hot glue gun to glue the flower down to a piece of felt.

The finished flower should look like this. It can be attached to a headband or clip to wear as a hair accessory, or put on a lapel pin, or to adorn a handbag. I used a blue zinnia in this hair fascinator and love the added texture it brings.

April Showers fascinator

If you make a ruched ribbon zinnia, we would love to see your work! Let us know what you think of the tutorial too.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Giveaway from Lucky Sea Glass Jewelry: Sea Glass Ring

Who wants to win this gorgeous and rare Sea Glass Ring?

One lucky winner will win this beautiful ring sponsored by Lucky Sea Glass Jewelry.

This ring is adjustable, wrapped with sterling silver wire, and on a silver plated ring. Retail value is $60.00.

Learn more about Jean, the artist behind this great shop, here on yesterday's Saturday Artisan post.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Contest starts now and ends on April 28th, 2014. Contest opens to US and Canada (Free shipping to US Only, Canadian winner will pay for shipping, mailed via USPS). Open to Legal Residents (18years of age or older). Don't forget to leave me a way to contact you. Entries without contact information will be disqualified. Entries that do not follow the rules will be disqualified. Contest winner will be drawn on April 29th. Winner will be selected by and be notified by e-mail. Adorebynat is not responsible for sponsors that do not fulfill their prizes. I have represented each sponsor with the expectation they will fulfill their prizes and in a timely manner. Winner must respond within 48 hours after being contacted otherwise another winner will be randomly selected. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED.

Would you like to be featured as a Saturday Artisan and sponsor a giveaway? Here is how to apply.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Saturday Artisan: Lucky Sea Glass Jewelry

Meet Jean our Saturday Artisan this week. She is the amazing artist of Lucky Sea Glass Jewelry. It is such a pleasure to feature an artist who specializes in Sea Glasses, and made them into beautiful jewelries. Jean can be found on FB and Blogger.

Tell us a bit about yourself and what arts/ crafts that you make?

After retiring as a licensed school psychologist for many years, I am now able to pursue my passions of beachcombing for sea glass, traveling, and creating beautiful sea glass jewelry designs. In the past, I have knitted and crocheted, painted, and did various crafts, but for almost ten years I have been totally focused on designing and creating sea glass jewelry. 


What is the story behind your shop name?  

Sea glass is becoming a rare find. While there are many man-made, faux look-alikes, genuine sea glass is only found on beaches where it has been tossed by the waves. Therefore, it is a lucky find!

Also, some of my customers feel that wearing a piece of Lucky Sea Glass has brought them good luck I put some of their stories on my website.

Sea glass has brought me good luck also, in that I have discovered a passion that brings me and others pleasure, have learned new skills, and have met others through our common love of sea glass.

So, Lucky Sea Glass Jewelry has brought a lot of good luck!


Who is your target market?

Men and women who enjoy jewelry, ecological materials, and unique designs.


Which part of creation process that you enjoy the most?

I love the challenge of working with a piece of gem quality sea glass to bring out its beauty. I often experiment with new wire working techniques and I enjoy learning new ones frequently. When I was in Greece a number of years ago, I saw wire crocheted designs, and I have used wire crochet techniques with some of my sea glass jewelry.


Could you share on how your organize your products, we all can use a little tips here and there in this department?

I keep a spreadsheet on the computer, so I can keep track of the designs, where they are and when they sold, etc. Before that, I had a notebook, but it became too complicated to keep track of it all, as I started selling in shops as well as online.


What is your best seller?

My necklaces are probably the best sellers. Each one is one of a kind. The earrings also are popular, but I don't make as many, since it is hard to find two pieces of sea glass that are well matched.


What inspires you?

Nature, art, the sea glass itself, traveling and seeing other cultures.


What is your goal for 2014?  

My goal is to be able to increase my skills as a jewelry designer/creator and to expand my audience. I am looking forward to traveling, too.


Saving money is important; tell us one thing that you do to save money?

Buy supplies online with discounts.


Would you like to be featured as a Saturday Artisan and sponsor a giveaway? Here is how to apply.