Sunday, February 27, 2011

Giveaway: Three Handmade Greeting Cards


Win any 3 (three) Handmade Greeting Cards of your choice, sponsored by Linda Butterfly.

Get to know Linda, the artist behind Linda Butterfly. You'll learn a few things from the interview on yesterday's post.

There are many ways to enter. Please make sure you leave a separate comment for every entry.

How to enter to win:

Mandatory entry:


Extra entries (only qualify once mandatory entry is fulfilled):
  • Earn 2 entries - Go to yesterday's post to know her more. Leave a comment there (yesterday's post) on at least one the following: what you learn from the interview, what you want to see more on her shop and why, or any constructive feedbacks are always appreciated.

    Come back here and leave 2 comments that you did, to ensure your entries are counted.
  • Heart Linda Butterfly. (1 entry). Simply let us know your Etsy username.
  • Follow my adorebynat blog (1 entry). If you're already a follower, you still get an entry, just says you're following already.
  • Like my Adorebynat Facebook Page. Don't forget to say 'hi' to me there and come back here to leave comment (1 entry). If you liked my FB page already, you still can say hi and earn 1 entry. I'd love to hear from you!
  • Follow lindabutterfly and or adorebynat on twitter (each earn 1 entry).
  • Tweet about this giveaway, add "@lindabutterfly and @adorebynat" in your tweet. (1 entry).
  • Blog about this giveaway to earn 2 entries. Leave two separate comments here please providing me with the link to your post.
  • Be creative and share the love! Refer your friends and family to enter this giveaway. Use your social media (other than twitter and blog) to shout out this giveaway. As long as you provide me a link or a way to confirm it, you'll earn 2 entries (two separate comments).
  • Purchase an item from Linda Butterfly and earn 10 entries for each purchase. Don't forget letting us know by leaving comments :-)

Contest starts now and ends on March 12, 2011. Contest opens worldwide.

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 Sunday, March 13 by a random number generator, by the artist herself. Winner must respond within 48 hours after being contacted otherwise another winner will be randomly selected.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Saturday Artisan: Lindabutterfly

Meet Linda of Linda Butterfly. She is one of my long time friends met through Etsy network, maybe we go back to 2008 when I started blogging and we chatted once a while through FB or Twitter through our busy life, sharing information and opinions on how to improve our shops. A talented artist who is passionate about what she is doing, that's Linda. Find out how she started her painting through interview below.

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

I love painting especially using acrylic and watercolor. In 1997 I became desperately ill with severe depression. I had to leave my job and retire early because of my ill health. For two years I could barely speak or move; I could not read, write, watch TV or in fact do more than sit or lie down. I tried to kill myself/ And failed. Over the years I have had fantastic support from the mental health team in the National Health Service and although I still am unwell and regularly see my GP and a therapist, I am much improved. I slowly began to draw and in 2000 went to an art class. The teacher gave me a whole year of classes free as she could see I had talent, and needed to be quiet and simply draw and paint. From there, creating art became important to me.

Which part of creation process that you like to do the most?
I love seeing the art I have in my mind appear so that others can see it. It's there in my imagination, all I do is transfer it to the paper.

Could you share on how your organize your products, we all can use a little tips here and there in this department?
I work in small room, surrounded with everything. To me it is organised, to others it is a mess.

What is your best seller?
I don't have one specific best seller. Many have bought my professionally printed cards to frame, because they are a cheaper alternative to buying an original painting. I have had several commissions. I do various styles of art. One I did of Einstein led to 5 commissions for work of that type of collage.
How does your day go in general?
Mornings are tough; but I try to be disciplined. My Personal Trainer at the gym insists I eat breakfast at 7.30, so I do. Mornings are spent either at the gym or painting and promoting my art. I used to lead an Etsy team and spent far too long promoting other people. My painting suffered.
Afternoons are a mixture of going out with hubby (now retired) and painting.

Do you have a favourite Etsy seller?
Valerie, of www.valwerieessentials.etsy.com Her candles are fun and she is a fantastic person.

What inspires you?
In many ways I don't think I get inspired. I have multiple images all the time in my mind and paint only a fraction of what is in there.

What is your goal for 2011? And what is your plan to keep it on the right track?
I am shutting www.lindacaterpillar.etsy.com and bringing all my art to www.lindabutterfly.etsy.com I will be giving up the greetings cards and concentrating on original art and prints as a cheaper alternative. I'm listing 5 items a day at present to get this plan in place.

What is your favourite tool that you cannot live without?
Generally, a screwdriver. I love taking things apart! Photo of "Philip, the young shaver" I made him from a shaver I dismantled. My camera could be regarded as a tool - to me it is like my 3rd hand.

How do you promote your shop?
I hate promoting. I did it so much for two years for a team that it wore me out. I withdrew from about 15 sites where I used to promote. I got terribly bored by it. Nowadays I only use Facebook and Twitter.

Any advice for others running their on-line shop?
Loads. I used to write tutorials for my team but before the team disbanded I put several of these tutorials on my blog.

Saving money is important; tell us one thing that you do to save money?
I've been married almost 40 years. Most of those years were not well paid. So my whole married life has been one of saving money; planning carefully, being frugal, buying good food cheaply, home cooking, buying clothes from a Charity shop, making the money work for us.


Stay-tuned for a new giveaway starting tomorrow, but in the meantime, enter these 2 fantastic giveaways. They're all handmade!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Giveaway Contest Winner


Congratulations Amber Porter (aka Skipthelaundry)!!

You won Merciful Print from Megan Cutler's giveaway.

Thank you so much Megan for sponsoring the giveaway and to everyone who entered.

Enter these Current giveaways:

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Giveaway $25 Gift Certificate from FotogirlCreations


Win $25.00 Gift Certificate from FotogirlCreations.

Get to know Shauna our Saturday Artisan this week. She is the artist behind Emariecreations. More information is on yesterday's post.

There are many ways to enter. Please make sure you leave a separate comment for every entry.

How to enter to win:

Mandatory entry:

Extra entries (only qualify once mandatory entry is fulfilled):
  • Earn 2 entries - Go to yesterday's post to know her more. Leave a comment there (yesterday's post) on at least one the following: what you learn from the interview, what you want to see more on her shop and why, or any constructive feedbacks are always appreciated.

    Come back here and leave 2 comments that you did, to ensure your entries are counted.
  • Heart FotogirlCreations (1 entry). Simply let us know your Etsy username.
  • Follow FotogirlCreations blog (1 entry).
  • Follow my adorebynat blog (1 entry). If you're already a follower, you still get an entry, just says you're following already.
  • Like my Adorebynat Facebook Page. I`d love you to say 'hi' there (don`t be a stranger!) and come back here to leave comment (1 entry). If you liked my FB page already, you still can say hi and earn 1 entry.
  • Like FotogirlCreations Facebook Page and tell Shauna that adorebynat sent you there (1 entry).
  • Follow adorebynat on twitter (1 entry).
  • Tweet about this giveaway, add "@adorebynat " in your tweet. (1 entry).
  • Blog about this giveaway to earn 2 entries. Leave two separate comments here please providing me with the link to your post.
  • Be creative and share the love! Refer your friends and family to enter this giveaway. Use your social media (other than twitter and blog) to shout out this giveaway. As long as you provide me a link or a way to confirm it, you'll earn 2 entries (two separate comments).
  • Purchase an item from FotogirlCreations and earn 10 entries for each purchase. Don't forget letting us know by leaving comments :-)

Contest starts now and ends on March 5, 2011. Contest opens worldwide.

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 Sunday, March 6 by a random number generator, by the artist herself. Winner must respond within 48 hours after being contacted otherwise another winner will be randomly selected.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Saturday Artisan: FotogirlCreations


Beautiful Sunshine here at the West Coast this morning. What a great day!

I'm pleased to introduce you to Shauna of FotogirlCreations. I'm glad to know this Canadian gal from Alberta. I love how her photography captures the beautiful prairie where she lives.


Tell us a bit about yourself and what arts/ crafts that you make?
My name is Shauna and I live in a small town outside of Medicine Hat, Alberta. I got into photography all because of my children! When they were born I started scrapbooking their every moment but I found that I didn't like most of the photos that I took. I decided to join the Medicine Hat Photography Club in the hopes that I would learn how to use my camera and learn about composition. From there things just kind of progressed. I loved photography! Since joining the club, I have entered competitions and won a few medals and ribbons. Last summer, I found out about textures and layering and started making my photos look more like art. Not that photography isn't art already :) After that, I had a bunch of friends and family tell me they that they love my photos and that I should try to sell them. My sister is a huge home online shopper so she knew all about Etsy and told me to join. So I did! I still have a lot to learn though. I think it is a never ending process! At the moment I just sell prints and any of them can be made into cards. Here are a few examples:



Which part of creation process that you like to do the most?
I love it all! From the taking the photos to the adding textures and processing. I can sit for hours and do both!

What inspires you?
Life inspires me at me every turn. There isn't anything that doesn't amaze me! My greatest love is taking outdoor photos. This world is unbelievable!

What is your goal for 2011? And what is your plan to keep it on the right track?
I actually have a bunch of goals right now! One is to just get noticed!!!! I joined Etsy in October and have been trying very hard to make some sales. Thanks to Nat for helping me! I plan on expanding to make journals with my photos. I have a friend that wants me to start selling at our local farmer's market as well. I plan on also taking some photography classes. I think they would be so much fun! I normally work part-time at our college taking notes for students with disabilities but thanks to government cuts I am pretty sure I won't be going back. That will leave me with all my time to be devoted to photography and Etsy! Yahoo!


What is your favourite tool that you cannot live without?
I could not live without my Nikon! Or my computer!! I am always taking pictures. Whether it is on holidays, watching my kids or just out and about travelling.


How do you promote your shop?
I promote on Facebook, Canoe and my blog . I also make treasuries and get on the forums when I can. I have tried the chat rooms but I am not a huge fan of them so I usually stay away. I have also been trying out Zazzle. Not sure about that site though. I was also given some great advice about groups on Facebook for promoting like Etsy Promo Love, On Fire for Handmade, Etsy Treasure Lover and Top Etsy Shops from another lady. Her shop is Through the Woods. That is the greatest part about Etsy! Everyone is so friendly and willing to help each other.

Fall in love with her photos yet? Check out more of these beautiful shots at her shop. Don't forget to come back here tomorrow to check out the new giveaway.

Enter these Current giveaways:

Friday, February 18, 2011

Vintage Style Thank You Tags


Oh boy, this week gone by really quick. I returned to my day job on Tuesday and on Thursday had to take a day off to sign paperwork with notary. Our new home has been our focus and hopefully we can move in by mid-March.
In between craziness, I managed to make these thank you tags. I just LOVE the vintage feeling to it.
I'll see you tomorrow as we're going to have another Saturday Artisan to know about.
Don't forget to enter these Current giveaways:



Monday, February 14, 2011

Giveaway Winners


Happy Valentine's Day!

Hope you're all having a fabulous one!

Last week was a hectic week for me and I hope I can breath a bit better this week.

Here are the list of giveaway winners:

Pikithins' giveaway winner: skipthelaundry (no. 66)

SundrySupply's giveaway winner: Asuka

Emariecreations' giveaway winner: Barb O' Mara (no. 22)

Thanks Amaya (SundrySupply), Carolina (Pikithins) and Samatha (Emariecreations) for your generosity and sponsoring these giveaways.

Thanks everyone who entered!

Current giveaways:
5x7 Photo Art Print
Personalized Stationery Cards

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Giveaway: Personalized Stationery Cards Tiffany Blue


Win this beautiful set of Personalized Stationery Cards Tiffany Blue, sponsored by Delightfully Noted.

Set includes:
*10 folded 4.25 x 5.5 note cards printed on white, 80# linen card stock
*Matching euro flapped tiffany blue envelopes

Get to know Jennifer, the artist behind Delightfully Noted. You'll learn a few things from the interview on yesterday's post.

There are many ways to enter. Please make sure you leave a separate comment for every entry.

How to enter to win:

Mandatory entry:

Extra entries (only qualify once mandatory entry is fulfilled):
  • Earn 2 entries - Go to yesterday's post to know her more. Leave a comment there (yesterday's post) on at least one the following: what you learn from the interview, what you want to see more on her shop and why, or any constructive feedbacks are always appreciated.

    Come back here and leave 2 comments that you did, to ensure your entries are counted.
  • Heart Delightfully Noted (1 entry). Simply let us know your Etsy username.
  • Follow my adorebynat blog (1 entry). If you're already a follower, you still get an entry, just says you're following already.
  • Like Delightfully Noted FB page and kindly tell Jennifer that Adorebynat sent you there. (1 entry).
  • Like my Adorebynat Facebook Page. Don't forget to say 'hi' to me there and come back here to leave comment (1 entry). If you liked my FB page already, you still can say hi and earn 1 entry. I'd love to hear from you!
  • Follow adorebynat on twitter (1 entry).
  • Tweet about this giveaway, add "@adorebynat " in your tweet. (1 entry).
  • Blog about this giveaway to earn 2 entries. Leave two separate comments here please providing me with the link to your post.
  • Be creative and share the love! Refer your friends and family to enter this giveaway. Use your social media (other than twitter and blog) to shout out this giveaway. As long as you provide me a link or a way to confirm it, you'll earn 2 entries (two separate comments).
  • Purchase an item from Delightfully Noted and earn 10 entries for each purchase. Don't forget letting us know by leaving comments :-)

Contest starts now and ends on February 26, 2011. Contest opens worldwide.

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 Sunday, February 27 by a random number generator, by the artist herself. Winner must respond within 48 hours after being contacted otherwise another winner will be randomly selected.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Saturday Artisan: Delightfully Noted


Meet Jennifer of Delightfully Noted, our Saturday Artisan this week. You know I am a paper lover so, loving her shop is not hard at all. Pretty designs with a clean look. Let's get to know her a bit more, shall we?

Tell us a bit about yourself and what arts/ crafts that you make?
I am a Midwestern girl with a love for all things paper! I wish I could claim that I was a professional graphic designer but in reality I am a self-taught wannabe. The thought of opening a stationery/invitation shop came to me while planning my own wedding a few years ago. It took a curve ball thrown at my family for me to realize life is too short not to chase our dreams, thus Delightfully Noted was born! I now spend LOTS of time creating custom birthday invitations, stationery, and other paper goodies. When I am not playing with paper you can find me either at my day job at a local university or hanging out with my hubby and our 2 mischievous miniature daschunds in our Chicago suburban home. I am a book and sushi lover who despises mornings yet I love a good laugh (just not first thing in the morning!) A matter fact when I meet a new person the first thing I think is; can I imagine having a full out, belly aching, practically peeing our pants moment with you? If so, then you and I are going to get be friends for a long time!

Which part of creation process that you like to do the most?
My favorite part is designing the graphic images for my paper goods. There is no better feeling then seeing my random ideas come together in a final design (well okay perhaps wining the lottery would be a better feeling but still….) I also love the packaging process before I mail an order out.


Could you share on how your organize your products, we all can use a little tips here and there in this department?
It is a never ending battle in keeping my crafts and supplies organized! When I first opened Delightfully Noted I scoured the local dollar store for cute baskets and storage organizers to store my envelopes, craft punches, ribbon, etc... I set those up on a folding table in our basement. Above the table I strung some twine and clipped my cards and designs on there. In my mind I have an image of one day creating those perfectly cute craft closets you see in Better Home and Gardens!


What is your best seller?

My best sellers tend to be holiday oriented; like my pumpkin/little wagon Halloween invitation. Other then that it is by far the custom birthday packages.


How do you balance your personal and work life?
I am still working on finding the right balance between working a full time job (that requires traveling at times) versus running a shop while trying to maintain all the chores and errands that your home and life require on a daily basis. At the same time you don’t want your husband to forget your name either!

What inspires you?
Everything! Wrapping paper, kid’s clothing, rugs…My Floral Bridal Shower Invitation was inspired by a bed comforter I saw in a catalog.

What is your goal for 2011? And what is your plan to keep it on the right track?
My goals are to focus a lot more on marketing and promoting Delightfully Noted, whether that is through blogs or social networking sites geared towards women entrepreneurs. I would like to introduce new paper products other then cards in my line as well. I am still working on what those items may be. Also, if you are in this biz all you ever hear is you need a blog so perhaps I may establish a venue where I can babble some more. Most importantly, I want to continue providing great quality products to my customers. If I ever feel like I am creating something for a price that I would never pay for it well then it is time to re-evaluate my business!

Stay-tuned for tomorrow's giveaway. I can't wait!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Here We are Staying

You probably notice that I've been quite for the past few days.

My son has been sick and inevitably I caught the cold. *sigh* For the past few nights, I went to bed early, trying to rest and hopefully getting better soon. In the meantime, I'm completing orders to ensure they are out on time.

So many changes happen at the same time. I dropped a few hints in the beginning of the year posts, saying that I have news, didn't I?

Well... I think it's time to share the good news. We have decided to stay in Canada and we bought a townhome. We feel so much better after making a decision eventhough the process was quite stressful. Being undecided for the past 3 years was not fun at all. *relief* Now after choosing a path, we can simply follow that path and see what the future holds for us. This is one of the biggest decisions we made so far and we surely didn't make it lightly (think about how many years we've floating around).

I hope that this is the last time we move, at least for the next 5 years. If you're curious on how many times we had moved for the past 3 years, take a peek on the posts when I just started blogging and you'll be sure you don't want to be in my shoes. Lol.

Talking about the house now, well...we're not taking possession until the 22nd and there will be a lot of renovation projects before we move in. Then the packing and unpacking, my favorite things to do...NOT. I'll keep you posted on the progress.

Oh, and I'll need to return to my day job starting next week. That means wheather I like it or not, I have to slow down in taking care of my Etsy shops. If you have suggestions on how I can manage my time better doing all of these, I'd love to hear them.

Now, let me get back completing my orders, including a wholesale order that just came in.

Thanks for dropping by.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Giveaway: 5x7 print from Megan Cutler


Win this beautiful Merciful 5 x 7 inch Print, sponsored by Megan of Megan Cutler.

Get to know Megan our Saturday Artisan this week. She is the artist behind Emariecreations. More information is on yesterday's post.

There are many ways to enter. Please make sure you leave a separate comment for every entry.

How to enter to win:

Mandatory entry:

Extra entries (only qualify once mandatory entry is fulfilled):
  • Earn 2 entries - Go to yesterday's post to know her more. Leave a comment there (yesterday's post) on at least one the following: what you learn from the interview, what you want to see more on her shop and why, or any constructive feedbacks are always appreciated.

    Come back here and leave 2 comments that you did, to ensure your entries are counted.
  • Heart Megan Cutler (1 entry). Simply let us know your Etsy username.
  • Follow my adorebynat blog (1 entry). If you're already a follower, you still get an entry, just says you're following already.
  • Like my Adorebynat Facebook Page. I`d love you to say 'hi' there (don`t be a stranger!) and come back here to leave comment (1 entry). If you liked my FB page already, you still can say hi and earn 1 entry.
  • Follow adorebynat on twitter (1 entry).
  • Tweet about this giveaway, add "@adorebynat " in your tweet. (1 entry).
  • Blog about this giveaway to earn 2 entries. Leave two separate comments here please providing me with the link to your post.
  • Be creative and share the love! Refer your friends and family to enter this giveaway. Use your social media (other than twitter and blog) to shout out this giveaway. As long as you provide me a link or a way to confirm it, you'll earn 2 entries (two separate comments).
  • Purchase an item from Megan Cutler and earn 10 entries for each purchase. Don't forget letting us know by leaving comments :-)

Contest starts now and ends on February 19, 2011. Contest opens worldwide.

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 Sunday, February 20 by a random number generator, by the artist herself. Winner must respond within 48 hours after being contacted otherwise another winner will be randomly selected.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Saturday Artisan: Megan Cutler

Meet Megan Cutler, our Saturday Artisan.

Emotion is such an important part of our life. In fact, I personally learned about that recently ... but let's steer away from what happened with me and focus on Megan instead. *smile*

Read on to find out how emotion is used on Megan's beautiful pieces.

Tell us a bit about yourself and what arts/ crafts that you make?
I’m Megan Cutler, an abstract painter out of San Francisco. I’m a quiet little hermit, with messy black hair, over-done mac eyes, an albino bulldog is always at my side. My paintings are acrylic, often with collaged items [normally in the form of paper], incorporating drips, text and bold colors. I graduated from the San Francisco Art Institute, with a major in fine art, and a concentration in painting.

If you can hang on to one of your paintings, which one is it going to be?
hmm, hang onto one painting? That’s tough, most of my paintings are very personal, and emotional, so they all feel like a part of me. I think it would be ‘tire tracks’, it was one of my first pieces that really ‘clicked’ in this raw abstract style. It came after a break-up that left me devastated, and I used the painting as therapy. I think that’s when I realized that the more I invested myself in the painting, the stronger, and more successful it was. I also love how hostile the painting is – most viewers assume the artist is going to be male, and I enjoying throwing out the typical female artist stereotypes.. we can do more than paint pretty flowers. ‘everything is a self portrait, everything is a diary’ chuck Palahniuk.

How do you balance your personal and work life?
Balancing work life and personal life is hard, really hard, and I’m still trying to get the knack of it. I work full time at a specialty veterinary hospital, and while I love my job, it’s stressful and draining. I have my own dog at home as well, so on my days off we hangout at my art studio. He lays on his bed and chews bones while I jump around the studio, trying to get to each canvas at just the right time to get my layers and drips perfected. [I normally have around 5 paintings going at a time] I consume a lot of caffeine, and always have multiple to-do lists going to try to stay on target.


What inspires you?

Everyone always asks where I get the inspiration for my paintings, and I guess its’ because they’re so emotional. But I pull from daily life. There is so much emotion in life, I think a lot of people over-look it, especially if it’s sad. Its like the photographer who can see a photo everywhere, I find beautiful words everywhere. I read a lot, and write down quotes that jump out at me in a journal. I also do a lot of my own writing, and tend to pull the main idea and emotion for paintings straight from this journal.

Tell us a bit more about your charity work: "15% of my pet-related art items are donated to badrap rescue (badrap.org)"
I donate a portion of my pet-related items to badrap which is a bay area pitbull rescue group. They also teach do low cost spay/neuter and vaccines and educate the community about pitbulls. I donate to them because as a dog mom [of a rescued deaf American bulldog/pitbull] and someone working in the veterinary field, animals are my passion. And I have such a huge love for the bully-breeds, because they get such a badrap, and are so loving and loyal. I’ve learned a lot from my dog over the 7 years I’ve had him, and consider him my hero [as well as my best friend].


Any tutorial that you’d like to share, pretty please?
I will share one of my secret tips, although you may not all realize how invaluable this tip is until you try it [or see my work in person]. I paint in acrylics because they’re cheaper, less toxic, and to be honest, I don’t have the patience for oils, however, I do miss that ‘glow’ oil paints have. So, my tip is: Acrylic Medium.

I pile it on! I use it to mix with my acrylics and thin them out for my sheer layers, I apply the medium in between layers to add depth, and then I do at least 2 layers of gloss medium/top coat to the finished painting. The sheen is amazing! It makes the paintings look like oil painting. [however, this does make photographing your work more difficult, as they want to glare].

Stay-tuned for tomorrow's giveaway.

Don't forget to enter these giveaways in the meantime:
There are three giveaways contests going on now:

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Treasuries of the Day

This morning I woke up not feeling great. My little one had a cold and I finally got it.

But knowing that I've been included in a few treasuries today, I felt loved :-)

Enjoy! Clicks and comments are always appreciated.