Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Aspiring Artisan: corrnucopia

Ilena of corrnucopia

Tell us a bit about yourself.
My birthday is next week and Yikes! I'm going to be 43 and I’m not quite sure when that happened! I have 2 young children ages 5 and 3. I think having them later in life has kept me on my toes and feeling young. At the very least they keep me very busy so that I do sleep well at night! I've done many things since I left college with a degree in psychology including getting my Masters as an elementary teacher and working lots of jobs, including my fair share of waitressing, and even a stint as a cowgirl at a dude ranch. I've spent most of my life living near the ocean but have traded this in for mountains and lakes. I do miss the roar of the sea and a good beach walk after a storm, but I do love the woods and the secrets hidden within.

Vintage pair of old metal pulleys

What do you do when you are not working on your shop?
Um... I am thinking about my shop! Seriously though ever since starting this "whole Etsy thing" I am completely obsessed. I even have my children involved in the treasure hunting! With both kids in school though I do try to designate time away from the shop when they are home, then we are playing and spending time together. I do fill in as a substitute at the schools my kids attend as well. It's been a loooong winter here in the Adirondacks (I do have some snow still left in my yard) and I am looking forward to getting the garden going, hiking with my children and working on conquering the high peaks as a family!

Vintage Handsome Fellow cake topper
What is the inspiration behind your shop?
After my son was born I found myself without a job. I am a quilter and my mom had told me about Etsy. I really liked what I saw and opened up a shop, corrcreations. I am a self taught quilter and loved sewing and creating things with fabric. I was able to put my creative energies into sewing and it was exciting to see myself growing as a quilter... then my son learned how to climb out of his walker! I really felt I needed to be home with my little guy which turned out was important as he wound up having some special needs. Not being able to sew, I decided to give a go at vintage. I had noticed how well some shops were doing and thought "I can do that". With an eye for old things that were waiting to be loved again, I began packing up my kids early on the weekends and hitting local estate and yard sales. This has been a really perfect opportunity to be with my children and take them to work so to speak.

Please describe your process.
Vintage Red Duck Bobby Pin
When I come home from a morning of buying (which can be several times a week) I've got to unload and prioritize. I like to pick a few items that can be cleaned up and photo'd rather quickly (before I lose the good lighting) so I can list them that afternoon and evening. Some linens and clothing may need to be washed, but checked over for spots that need to be treated first. Dishes and other items need a good soaking (which requires washing the breakfast dishes first). Other things need to be cleaned with a bit more care and are set aside for later. Some items I prep but require a bit more than the usual amount of research before I can list them. I sort all of this on my back porch near my table that is always ready for photo shoots. I also need to make lunch and feed the kids as well as find a way to entertain them while I work. There is a bit of excitement and perhaps some chicken without a head type running around but there is definitely a high that comes from a shopping spree and thrill of my new stock that I love.

Ilena in Vintage Bonnet

How do you decide what kind of items to put into your shop?
Personally I have a fondness for kitschy and retro things. I am a sucker for a vintage kitchen apron and swoon over old Pyrex patterns. My love of sewing gives me a fine appreciation for old buttons and sewing notions. As a little (and maybe not so little) girl I imagined myself to be Laura Ingalls living the prairie life. I really do feel an attachment for certain things from the rustic, country, farmhouse genre. These are the things I seek out, items that speak to me. Books, toys, and other "artifacts" from my childhood also hold a special place in my heart, it’s a great feeling to be able to touch them and just remember. Now I can't possibly keep them all, but being the proprietor of a vintage shop, I can have them and hold them dear ~ until I find someone who hears their promise.

What specific steps are you taking to grow your business?
Vintage Linen and Lace Bread Basket Liner
At the moment I am trying to figure out ways to market myself and become more visible. This June will be my 2nd anniversary and I do believe I have done well. My goal is to take what I am doing and make it better. I believe I need to refine my listings by going over my tags and descriptions to make them more search friendly. There are also many product shots that need new photos. With over 500 listings and new items waiting to be added this is bit daunting and requires some serious time management ~ definitely something I need help with to grow!

Another way I feel I can grow my business is to stay on top of the monthly merchandising report. While I do seek out items I love and believe in, I do try to keep the monthly report in the back of my head, as well as bring in things that fit the current trends. This really has helped me to keep some focus and provide me with added exposure as these items are often chosen by treasury curators.

Vintage Potato Ricer
What advice do you have for new Etsy sellers?
Pictures Pictures Pictures! Great pictures are essential to selling something on a venue where the buyer cannot touch or really examine the item. Get close up, really close up. My favorite product shots show are my close ups. These along with some fun angles really help to make my products stand out and be noticed. My advice to improve your photos would be to seriously study the front page as well as look around at other great photos both on Etsy, style sites and magazines. What makes the photos stand out? What grabs your attention? You will have a much easier time of getting that sale if the buyer feels they can connect with your product by its images.

I would also stress the importance of connecting with other sellers. Join a team, become active with other members in the forums. Find like-minded individuals whether they share your location, beliefs, art, or goals. It's a great way to be able to share and learn, bounce ideas off of other minds, and develop friendships. I love Etsy but most of the people I know have never even heard of this place. Without teamies I wouldn't be able to share the excitement of an awesome sale or join in on the Front Page dance!

Vintage Mid-Century Metal Ice Cube Tray

How do you promote your shop?
I am constantly adding new items or at the very least renewing. This keeps me "fresh" and on top of searches. I use twitter to promote my listings, I do have a blog that I have been less than faithful with, definitely something to work on though.

In 10 years...
I'd love to be successful enough to continue working on my own and seriously (aka profitably) be full time. I really love the thrill of the hunt and would love to continue on this vintage road. As my kids grow and are more independent I hope to have the time and energy to devote to creating new things from my ever growing stash of vintage books, fabrics, buttons, and other notions.

It's hard to believe that in 10 years the late 90s will be considered vintage! I hope to stand by my creed that if it has a barcode it doesn't belong in my shop!

You can win Ilena's Vintage Lotus Bowl Collection

To enter:

1. Visit Ilena's shop and leave a comment below letting us know which piece is your favorite.
2. Blog/Facebook/Tweet about this giveaway
3. Purchase something from Ilena's shop.
You can enter in as many different ways as you want!
Leave a separate comment below for each entry.

I will select a winner at random on May 3rd using

And the Winner is....



Visit Ilena's Etsy Shop!
Follow Ilena on Twitter!
Visit Ilena's Blog!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Manly Man: a Team Contest

As I was searching through our team's items this morning trying to make a manly man treasury a thought ran across my mind for the hundredth time since making aag treasuries, "We are such a girly team!" Don't get me wrong, our shops rock and everyone has fantastic items. I think [almost] everyone has at least one item in their shop that can be used for a "for him" treasury, but not much for a manly man treasury.

Let me explain what I mean by manly man...

There are guys and then there are men, as anyone who has read Dave Barry's Complete Guide To Guys is aware. Guys are those male humans who invented the "easy chair", the remote control and Sunday night football--

Sitting around for no reason under the guise of being engaged in productive work was the first real guy contribution to human civilization, forming the underlying basis for many modern institutions and activities such as fishing, sales conferences, highway repair, the federal government, and “Customer Service. --Dave Barry

Manly men are males who do things like scale Everest in their spare time, explore the earth and marvel in its majesty, and grow up to become Earnest Hemingway.

It's time for a contest.

Pick any man from history, living or dead, who was a manly man and create an item inspired by them. The person doesn't have to have be famous. Is your dad super manly or your husband? Use them!

Examples of manly men: Earnest Hemingway, Henry VIII, Robert Redford, Stirling Mortlock, Lewis (nevermind his girly first name) and Clark, Edward Teach (Blackbeard), Jean Lafitte, Hiram Bingham, Ernest Shackleton, Les Stroud (survivorman), Steve Irwin....there's a whole slew of other manly men I didn't mention.

  1. Your item must be designed for a man and tagged as such (unisex is acceptable).
  2. You must tag your item manlyaag so that it can be found.
  3. You may create as many items for this challenge as you want!
  4. Your item must be inspired by a real person. Characters are largely under copyright and since we want these items to be up for sale they need to continue to abide by the same laws all other items do.
  5. Vintage items are more than welcome! Please arrange them or pose with them (or make the man in your life pose with them) in such a way that exudes manliness (or at least attempts to)
  6. The item description should either explain the inspiration and how he was manly or link to a blog post you've written about it.
  7. Only Aspiring Artisan's Guild members may enter.
  8. Have fun! Be as serious or as silly as you would like!

All entries will be judged on May 13th and the top 12 items selected and put into a treasury. This treasury will be open for anyone to vote on their favorite item in the comments. Team member votes will each count for 3. Each person can only vote one time (any votes after the first will not be counted). Winners will be announced on the 18th at 6:00p EST.

A prize package will be assembled for the winner and a smaller one for the 2nd place winner(if you are an AAG member and are interested in donating to the prize packages, please contact tuckooandmoocow. Donations can be coupons, crafty supplies, items or whatever you'd like). The first place winner's item will be featured on the blog as well as an interview with them about their craft. The first, second and third place winners will each have Etsy minis from their shops featured in the side bar of the blog for 2 weeks.

Go forth and conquer!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Aspiring Artisan: Flowerleaf

"Where does a sea otter buy things
handmade and vintage? Wetsy." -Jocelyn of Flowerleaf
Jocelyn sitting on pool steps
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I am 33 years old and sometimes I actually act like my age. Most days I am a little kid in an adult's body, but even that is debatable since people tend to think I am about 7 years or so younger than I actually am. So I am a kid at heart who is serious when the time calls for it, and very serious about art and anything creative really. I have been singing since I can remember and all the visual art stuff gradually took precedence over the music majoring part of my life, but I will never give up singing. When it comes to making jewelry, I just love putting everything together and when someone purchases one of my pieces, that's just icing on the cake. - Oh and YAMS on roller skates! --> I am random.

"What happens when a buyer finally goes to retrieve their Etsy package from the mailbox? It's time to go getsy."

Jocelyn's "Studio" for photos.

Apart from creating things, what do you do?
I am basically like a cat when I am not working. Eat. Sleep. Eat. Sleep. Not really. I hang around my little sister a lot. She and I are pretty weird folks and love poking fun at the oddities of life. She and I take a floral design class together and we love it. The ladies in that class are amazing and so much fun. I love being around people, so if I am not creating then I am around other people somewheres.

World Traveler - Unisex Necklace.
World Traveler Unisex Necklace
What made you first want to become an artist?
I would draw the most detailed things when I was little. I drew this factory where all Easter things are made (very fitting for this time of year, actually) down to the conveyer belt with boxes packing up chocolate Easter bunnies. I still have it in my possession. I didn't start getting serious about art until college though. I was needing an outlet from all the stress of being a music major and my love for painting, drawing, ceramics, and anything else I could get my hands on just grew from that point on.

"What would be the coolest way for Etsy admin to travel?
By a private jetsy."

Golden Sunrise Earrings.
Golden Sunrise Earrings
Please describe your creative process.
Are you sure you want to go there? It's a scary process is so unprocess-like, so I guess it means I am just wired more organically. I will either be drawn to a color combination or a bead and a found item that I know need to be with one another in a piece of jewelry. Sometimes I sketch, but that hardly ever happens. Mostly I just sit and look at my drawers full of beads and things and get inspired to put some of them into one or two pieces. Music is always in the background. Got to have music.

Please tell us something about your subject matter, a little background into why you make art about what you do.
I love nature and color and shadows and light. Things that play off one another grab my attention and then I want to create something inspired by that feeling I had when I was looking at it for the first time. I also love to bring in old things and making them new...or juxtapositions of old and new coming together to make something different. I love glass...I use it a lot in my pieces and I would love to see Czech glass beads being made.

Antique Rose Necklace.
Antique Rose Necklace
What specific steps you are taking to grow your Etsy shop.
I still have some photos that I want to eliminate completely and just make my entire shop flow as best as it can. I am also in the process of bringing back some oldies, but making sure I am also keeping my shop fresh and not worry too much about that, but just keep creating. I am always open to new ideas, too... ;-)

"Would you adopt a pet off of Etsy?
If you did, I think they would call that section "Petsy."

What advice would you give to artists who are new to Etsy?
There are a few very important words that help me and I know they will help new Etsians:
Patience - Your shop may take a month or two or even three before it sees its first sale, so don't lose heart.
Persistence - Don't give up and work hard on your shop. It's one else's and you have to think of it like a real piece of storefront property. Make it pretty, make it appealing to customers and keep true to who you are as an artist.
Honesty - Be honest with your customers in every way and it will pay off. Be honest with yourself as well. Don't take on more than you can handle and don't second guess yourself.
I also can't stress how important community is. Finding a group of people who are at different levels of success and creativity can do so much to help you out. I have met some amazing artists and have confided in them when things are crazy. They have helped me more than they will ever know. Also...Get involved. Join a team. Make treasuries. Get to know your fellow Etsy sellers and you will at the very least make some awesome friends.
Rings in a Row.
Handpainted Rings by Flowerleaf
How do you promote your work?
This is where I still need much work. I network a lot and I have Twitter, Facebook, and a very neglected blog. Also, word of mouth. I make sure to keep some business cards to show people when I am getting to know them. That's about it.

In ten years, where would you like to be?
In Australia. Hehe. Seriously though. I would love to be living somewhere else and have at least two Etsy shops that are doing well. I have another Etsy shop, but I have had it on the back burner ever since it opened. Hopefully my man has showed up and he can help me with all my orders and make me muffins... I really don't know. I just hope I am happy as I am now and with people I love and that I am still doing what I love.

"-- I don't sell jokes for a living, thank goodness."

You can win one of Jocelyn's gorgeous "Majestic" rings!

The Majestic - Giveaway Piece.
The Majestic

To enter:

1. Visit Jocelyn's shop and leave a comment below letting us know which piece is your favorite.
2. Blog/Facebook/Tweet about this giveaway
3. Purchase something from Jocelyn's shop.
You can enter in as many different ways as you want!
Leave a separate comment below for each entry.
I will select a winner at random on April 26 using

And the winner is....


Thanks so much to everyone who entered

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Budgeting Time for Success

As you begin the adventure of selling full-time, one of the biggest pieces of advice I can give is this: budget your time wisely and set goals for yourself.

print from LetterHappy

Running a home arts/craft business can be an enormous challenge with great pay-off if you make sure to pace yourself wisely. Don't take on more than you can handle, but don't limit yourself either. Make sure you challenge yourself without over-doing it. This is different for every person, but it is vital to the growth of your business and yourself as an artist to know what you are capable of and what you are not.

moleskin journal from BubbyandBean

One of the most important things you can do for your fledgling business is to set some long term goals and write them down. Putting things in writing is so important; it's like signing a contract with yourself. Here you have documented evidence that on April 17th of 2011 you decided that you would double your monthly sales-intake over the next 6 months.

Full-time hit me like a runaway freight train. One minute I was happily packaging my 100th hand painted jewelry sale after 5 months of work and the next I was handling almost 10 orders a day. In less than a month I had not only met my goal, but surpassed it by quadrupling my monthly sales after making a large number of tweaks, changing how I managed my time and doubling my inventory. Where was the problem in this you ask? Each of my pieces is hand painted, so each week consisted of an enormous amount of painting. Not only did it add to my workload as far as painting went, but it increased the amount of time I had to spend packaging and changed how I had to handle my finances. Making this sustainable has been more work than getting to this point was.

From the middle of November to the middle of March I only took about 6 days off--one of which was to move to another state.

This didn't feel like the ease and work-in-your-pajamas-awesome that a home-based arts business was supposed to be. It was beginning to feel all consuming. After some close examination, I sat down to rework how I could better use my time. Where was the fat I could cut? What could I do differently in order to streamline production without cutting quality?

'The Traveler' from TuckooandMooCow

Setting a budget for time is like setting one for finances: you have to examine everything, decide what's most important and make cuts where you need to and can afford to. To keep your budding business as stress-free as possible (which it will never be 100% of the time) budget your time as wisely as you can. Every so often, go back and re-examine your time-budget the same way you would finances.

Time is the ultimate cost for any business. Everyone is allotted the same amount and no one can over-draw. How you divide it up and make use of it needs to be based on your individual business plan (how many hours does it take a day to make your business work), the goals you've set for yourself (how many more hours will you need to get to where you want to be), and the time table of you life (how much time do you need to devote to family, social obligations, taking hot bubble baths).

'The Relic' bracelet from Flowerleaf

Author: Sarah-Lambert Cook of TuckooandMooCow

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Aspiring Artisan: Sewingseed

Tell us a bit about yourself.
My name is Tina and I live in Jacksonville with my husband and our two children. I’m a stay at home mom, so I have time to devote toward my craft and my Etsy shop. Although I did work outside the home for years as an office manager, I am fortunate that I don’t have to anymore. I love music and one of these days, I will actually learn how to play a song on a real instrument. Until then Rock Band and Guitar Hero will have to do. I’m a classic introvert, but am quite silly once you get to know me. I love to laugh and try to add humor in my designs when I can.

Chubby Gnome Pattern pdf or Kit

Apart from creating things, what do you do?
I have to admit, I spend a lot of my free time creating and stitching. It’s what I love to do. Other than that, I spend a lot of time listening to my daughter talk about her life at school, and trying to get my son to talk about his. He’s a teenager now and tends to be quiet anyway, so that can be challenging. I also love to watch comedies, cook and do all sorts of crafts.

What first made you want to become an artist?
I decided to start creating my own patterns years ago when I just couldn’t find what I was looking for. Many things were just really too involved or just too old fashioned. Don’t get me wrong, there are some great patterns out there, but I don’t want to take 2 years of my life to finish one. I’ve found that many stitchers get overwhelmed because there are too many colors and the stitches are just too spread out. I mean, who really has time to complete a project like that? So I wanted to create simple but awesome things that people would really be able to finish somewhat quickly.

Please describe your creative process.
Many times, I will get a vision in my mind for something and I will sketch it out. I work with a program that allows me to scan in my drawings. They are a big ole mess once they are imported, so it takes time to clean it all up. Sometimes, I find it’s easier to just draw it out on the screen from scratch. I’m uber picky, so I am definitely my biggest critic. A stitch that nobody else notices will bother me to no end. I always stitch my patterns myself to make sure they look good in real life and are actually fun to stitch. I’ve found that sometimes what looks good on a computer screen, doesn’t necessarily translate to looking good on fabric. Even still, I enjoy the process of creating. It’s cool when you start with nothing and then end up with this really cute design that stitches up fabulously.

Little Sleeping Owl
Little Sleeping Owl Pattern pdf or Kit

Please tell us something about your subject matter, a little background into why you make art about what you do.
My subject matter is mostly animals because I love nature so much. I also am inspired by music and my faith, so you will see song lyrics and bible verses thrown into the mix.

handsome buck
Handsome Buck Pattern pdf or Kit

What specific steps you are taking to grow your Etsy shop?
I’m committed to creating new patterns to keep my shop fresh. I think it’s important to offer new things on a regular basis, no matter what you are selling. My goal is to add a new pattern at least every two weeks. It does take time to stitch each pattern, so that plays a big role in how quickly new patterns are added. I’ve also joined this amazing team, with the hopes of learning new ways to promote and grow. Facebook and twitter have never interested me, so I’d like to find other avenues.

Shoehuahua Pattern pdf

What advice would you give to artists who are new to Etsy?
The first thing I would say to a newbie is don’t list all your items at once, but spread them out over a period of time so that your items don’t get buried. Secondly, join a team. It’s a great way to meet other great artists, learn new things, and promote your shop. Lastly, sell internationally. I have a wonderful base of international customers and it is great to see how far your product is reaching around the globe.

How do you promote your work?
I am terrible about promoting. I don’t really promote, but I am hoping to learn effective ways.

In ten years, where would you like to be?
Hopefully, in ten years, my husband will be retired and we will be living in the Florida Keys, which is our favorite place EVER! I would love to continue creating and who knows, maybe by then I will have achieved global cross stitch domination :)
You can win one of Tina's awesome "You are my Sunshine" hoops!

You are my sunshine

To Enter:

1. Visit Tina's shop and leave a comment below letting us know which piece is your favorite.
2. Blog/Facebook/Tweet about this giveaway
3. Purchase something from Tina's shop

You can enter in as many different ways as you want!
Leave a separate comment below for each entry.
I will select a winner at random on April 19 using

One comment per entry and don't forget to include your email address so we can let you know if you've won!

And the winner is.....


Congratulations and thanks to everyone who entered

Friday, April 8, 2011

Tutorial : How to add a Favicon in Blogger

What is a Favicon?
A Favicon is a small square icon (most commonly 16x16 pixels) associated with a website. For example, Blogger’s Favicon is a white B on an orange background. If you don’t add your own Favicon, your blog’s Favicon will be the default Blogger Favicon.

In most browsers that provide Favicon support (like Firefox, Internet Explorer or Safari), the Favicons will show in the browser’s address bar, next to the page’s name if you have several tabs open, and next to the website’s name in a list of bookmarks.

Note : If you use Internet Explorer 6 or older, your favicon will not appear unless you have bookmarked your blog.
Why use a Favicon?
A Favicon is a small detail, but it plays a role in building your brand and it brings uniqueness to your blog. We often notice the images before the text, and Favicons thus make the process of identifying a website easier. If your visitors have many open tabs or are looking for your blog in their list of bookmarks, it will be far more easier for them to find your blog at its Favicon. Favicons provide a visual identification to the website they represent, and thus improve the recognition and recall – exactly what branding is about.
I bet you can recognize these websites at their Favicons – if you can, then you understand how a tiny icon can portray a brand.
{ from left to right : Wikipedia, Google, Youtube, Apple, Twitter and Amazon }

Plus it's super easy and quick to make a Favicon and upload it !
How do I create a Favicon?
As the purpose of your Favicon is to make your blog easily recognizable, the image needs to be something that represents your blog. Use colors that match your blog template, or use the first letter of your blog’s name, or use your logo if you have one. Whatever you decide to use, remember the Favicon is super small, so make sure it’s clear and simple.
There are several ways to create a favicon, but I think the easiest is to use a Favicons generator, like

You can either create a new icon, or upload an image, or use a premade icon.

To create an icon, click on “Create New Favicon”, pick a color (on the right) and create your icon by filling the yellow square area with your choice of colors and design

While you are working on your icon, you can preview what it will look like. For example, I “created” a white square on a blue background.

When you're done, download your icon.

You can also upload your own image, and will change it into an icon.
For example, I uploaded an image of a flower.

You can also edit the Favicon created from the image you uploaded, and preview the result in the address bar.

When you're happy with the result, download your icon and save it on your computer.

You can also use a premade Favicon. You can find some here or here or on many other websites - a Google search will give you plenty results of free Favicons to choose from.

Adding your Favicon in Blogger

1. You now have a .ico file, but you need it to be .jpg or .png
Go to a free online image converter (like, upload your icon, convert it into a .png or .jpg file, and download the converted file.

2. Upload your icon to Photobucket. It should work with Flickr as well, but it tends to work better with Photobucket. Copy the direct link and save it for later. 

3. In your blogger account, go to Design / Edit Html

Don't be afraid - it's super easy!  

4. Using you browser’s search function, find the closing </head> tag in your template. 

Right before the </head>, paste the following section of code, substituting “YourFaviconURL” by the URL where your favicon is hosted (we found this URL in step 2).

<link href='YOUR-FAVICON-URL' rel='shortcut icon'/> <link href='YOUR-FAVICON-URL' rel='icon'/>  

Remember to add this code immediately before the </head> and not earlier in the template. 

5. Now save your template. You're done! Try to view your blog – you should see your favicon appear in the address bar!  

Note : Unfortunately, in the Blogger’s feed and the Blogger’s “Blog List” gadget, the default Blogger favicon will appear, and not your custom favicon.  

I hope this was clear, and I hope you’ll try it to see how easy it is! If you have any technical problem, leave a comment and I’ll try my best to help you. 

Author : Clemence Herbillon - galejade

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Aspiring Artisan: erindollar

Erin is goofy

Tell us a bit about yourself.
My name is Erin Dollar (yeah, that's my real name.) I am primarily a printmaker, although for the past few years I was also making fake beards for a living. I'm 24, I just moved to Los Angeles this year, and I'm enjoying all the sun and warm weather.

Apart from creating things, what do you do?
I try to spend as much time as possible making new work, but I also have a part time job at the library. Luckily I shelve books in the art section, so I am surrounded by inspiration five mornings a week.

tea towel made by Erin Dollar
Tea towel

What first made you want to become an artist?
I am happiest while printing, so it seemed like a no-brainer to me that I should just continue doing that after I finished school. I have held lots of other jobs, but never been as pleased with my work as when I can concentrate on printmaking. For me, it's all about pursuing what keeps me happy.

Please describe your creative process.
Afternoons and evenings seem to be the most conducive to making new work. I like to spend the morning doing administrative stuff (answering emails, shipping orders, etc.) and then use the afternoon to make stuff. I usually listen to music to keep me focused on the work, and I try to keep the computer in a separate room while working on art endeavors, it's just too easy to get distracted! Also, there is nothing like having a huge, clean desk to spread out your materials on... so nice!

triangle pillow made by Erin Dollar
Triangle pillow

Tell us something about your subject matter, a little background into why you make art about what you do.
I get inspiration from all over the place. My recent work has been inspired a lot by bold, graphic patterns and repetition. My prints and drawings are often inspired by vintage ephemera or photos I find in thrift stores, it's nice to bring a little of the past into the present.

What specific steps you are taking to grow your Etsy shop?
Right now I am working hard to develop a more cohesive "brand" for my shop. I am trying to get my packaging to look more professional and reflect my aesthetic style, as well as working to develop new products that would complement what I already have available. In the next few weeks I will be working to stock up on things like business cards and thank you freebies, so I can be prepared for the upcoming craft fairs in the summer.

mound drawing made by Erin Dollar
Mound drawing

How do you promote your work?
I promote my work by blogging, mostly. I have a facebook fan page, but I am afraid I haven't been very diligent about using it. I like to think of treasuries as a promotional tool in a way... it can introduce new people to your work and build connections with other Etsy sellers.

What advice would you give to artists who are new to Etsy?
Join a team! I have learned so much from my teammates, and made a few friends along the way. Teams are a great way to create connections with successful Etsy sellers, and to promote your own work.

victorian house print made by Erin Dollar
Victorian house print

coasters made by Erin Dollar

In ten years, where would you like to be?
Printing in my enormous, fully stocked studio, and having great meals on the porch with my boyfriend and my cat.
thanks card made by Erin Dollar
Thanks card

Visit Erin's Etsy Shop!