Featured blog: Minted Strawberry

Today’s post is part of a series of features on blogs and Etsy shops that I love. This time it’s the turn of Aki from the blog Minted Strawberry!

Minted Strawberry is a beautiful blog featuring great craft and jewellery DIYs. Aki is so talented, I don’t know how she comes up with all these ideas! I’ve bookmarked so many of her ideas to have a go at myself!

Here is Aki to tell you all about it…


 

Describe your blog in one or two sentences.

   Minted Strawberry is a craft/DIY blog that focuses on creating and sharing handmade jewelry, accessory, printables and (sometimes) home decor. 

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What made you decide to start a blog?

   I wanted to share my ideas and printables with more than just my family and friends. I decided to start a blog as a way to log all my crafting adventures and to help me improve in many outlets – crafting itself, writing, photography and patience!

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How did you choose the name of your blog?

It’s actually pretty simple – I loved the color mint (still do!) and I love strawberries. It’s color + sweetness, which represents what I love and what I blog about (most of the time anyway). :)

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Where do you get your inspiration?

   I get inspiration from current trends in the market as well as my own surroundings.

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What has been the highlight of working on your blog so far?

   It’s having the opportunity meet people I wouldn’t have met if I never blogged as well as trying out new craft products!

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What do you like to do when not working on your blog?

   When I’m not working on my blog, I would be sketching or playing MMORPGs (because I am a nerd at heart). I also have a small shop wherein I make and sell custom cake toppers (https://www.etsy.com/shop/MintedStrawberry) and freelance graphic design page (https://www.facebook.com/graphicblend) and I’m working on opening an Etsy shop for it, too. 

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What is coming up in future posts?

   I don’t know – I’m a very when-inspiration-hits-me kind of person, but definitely Fall and Halloween themed stuff! I love skulls so I’m most likely going to be working on a project with that. 

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What are your top three favourite blogs?

  It’s so hard to choose! I have a ton – but probably the ones I visit the most are A Pair and A Spare (http://apairandasparediy.com/ – she has gorgeous everything), Noveau Cheap (http://nouveaucheap.blogspot.com/ – for my daily dose of make-up stuff) and Birds Cards (http://www.birdscards.com/ – she has the most amazing cut files for the Silhouette). I know, my reads are very diverse, but they’re all craft/fashion related.


Thanks Aki! If you like what you see, head on over to Minted Strawberry to see even more!

Thanks for reading!

Rachel

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Featured Etsy shop: LilyandVal

Today’s post is part of a series of features on blogs and Etsy shops that I love. This time it’s the turn of Valerie from the Etsy shop LilyandVal!

I’m not sure how I first came across Valerie’s work, I think it was in a treasury or an Etsy email or something. Anyway, I favourited one of her pieces, and then when I was googling chalkboard art (for an idea that never came to fruition), all the best designs I clicked on were hers! She’s very talented, as you’ll see for yourself.

Here’s Valerie to tell you all about it…

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Describe your shop in one or two sentences.

Lily & Val offers hand-drawn and illustrated chalk art by Valerie McKeehan. The whimsical designs are produced on an array of products including note cards, prints, wrapping paper and real chalkboard signs.

Hot air balloon chalkboard card - Lily and Val

What has been your most popular product to date? What is your favourite?

The “Love You To The Moon & Back” design has been my most popular item. I think the moon really lends itself beautifully to chalk. My favorite item is the “Hot Cocoa Recipe” design. It really brings a sense of comfort and nostalgia when displayed or sent as a card.

Love you to the moon and back print - Lily and Val

Where do you get your inspiration?

I gather a lot of inspiration from everyday objects as well as vintage/antique styles. I recently drew a design that was inspired by an antique mirror and decorative wallpaper. I love depicting simple subjects like coffee and cooking.

Coffee lover chalkboard print - Lily and Val

What is your favourite part of the creative process?

I love that moment when everything seems to “click”. The inspiration is flowing and in an instant I know exactly what I want to create. It’s exciting! You don’t know how the piece will turn out at that point, but it is an exhilarating feeling. It is a need to create and express what’s in my mind.

Welcome sweet pea baby card - Lily and Val

What has been the highlight of your business so far?

It was truly an honor to be the Etsy Featured Shop in July.

Hot cocoa recipe print - Lily and Val

What do you like to do when not working on your business?

When I’m not working on my business I love visiting new places with my husband. We recently moved to the city of Pittsburgh and we are having a great time exploring.

Hand lettered nautical print - Lily and Val

What are you currently working on? Anything new coming up?

I am working on new and exciting products featuring my artwork. I hope to have mugs released in time for the holiday season.

Kitchen chalkboard art - Lily and Val

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I’m a sucker for beautiful lettering and I think Valerie’s artwork is amazing! I hope you think so too. Head on over to LilyandVal to check out the full range of products.

Thanks for reading!

Rachel

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Featured Etsy shop: Live Your Dream Designs

Every fortnight Occasionally, I’m featuring Etsy shops and blogs which I love. This week it’s the turn of Joyce from the Etsy shop LiveYourDreamDesigns!

Joyce makes the most beautiful 3D cards which she sells on Etsy and through her website. Here she is to tell you a little about her craft…


Origami Architecture is the combination of two ancient Japanese art forms. Origami – the art of folding paper & Kirigami – the art of cutting paper. The result is a single sheet of cut and folded paper that when opened displays a three dimensional image. My goal is to amaze and delight you with the magic of Origami Architecture.

Conservatory of Flowers pop-up card - Live Your Dreams Designs

I made a living designing and building theatrical props and costumes for 25 years. In the early 90’s I discovered Origami Architecture. I made a few designs and offered them to my friends in “the industry”. The cards were so well received that I left my costume design career in 1993 and began making cards full time.

Christmas Carousel pop up card - Live Your Dream Designs

I design and make all my cards in my studio here in Los Angeles. I have 2 lasers in my studio to cut my cards. I draw my own designs. The usual revision rate is 18 before I am happy. I choose the exterior paper carefully and write the text for the back of my cards. Then the paper goes to an off set press for printing. When it comes back I laser cut and fold each piece individually. Then I apply the exterior paper. It is still a one card at a time process. I am usually supervised my my two cats, Tigar and Trouble. I love spending my days making these cards. There is nothing more satisfying to me than to look at a table full of finished work and think “I did that today”.

Box of 3 Alcatraz pop up cards - Live Your Dream Designs

I enjoy the process of designing these cards. It suits me. The drawing work is fairly technical. More like drafting than like drawing. It requires a highly developed sense of form, space and design. I think intuitively in 3 dimensions. Most of my images are architectural. I enjoy architecture and it works well with my art form.

A Smithsonian Christmas - Live Your Dream Designs

I make handmade greeting cards because I believe that in today’s world of e-mail and cell phones, people are hungry for more personal, human contact. Sending or receiving a handmade card is a wonderful way to express our care and love for one another.

Box of 3 Griffith Observatory cards - Live Your Dream Designs

I enjoy the process of making and selling these cards, and especially the gleam of light in your eye when you open these very plain looking cards.

Joy Tree pop up card - Live Your Dream Designs


Thanks Joyce! Aren’t her cards amazing?! Check out LiveYourDreamDesigns on Etsy to see the full range!

Thanks for reading!

Rachel

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Featured Etsy shop: Dariami

Every fortnight Occasionally, I’m featuring Etsy shops and blogs which I love. This week it’s the turn of Daria from the Etsy shop Dariami!

I first came across Dariami when I spied these sweet mint heart stud earrings on Etsy. So pretty! I didn’t realise they were made from polymer clay. This talented lady can make all sorts of beautiful jewellery from wire and polymer clay! Here’s Daria to tell you all about it…

Mint heart stud earrings

Describe your shop in one or two sentences.

I create jewelry inspired by nature and things that I love. My favorite material is polymer clay.

Pink bird necklace - Dariami

What has been your most popular product to date? What is your favourite?

I can’t say what is my favorite item, maybe animal brooches, like the chameleon brooch. Unfortunately, in most cases buyers like something more casual and simple.

Gold and green chameleon brooch - Dariami

What made you decide to open an Etsy shop?

I opened an Etsy shop because it’s convenient to sell through internet. I had maternity leave on that moment and couldn’t visit handmade fairs.

Crown hair accessory - Dariami

What is your favourite part of the creative process?

My favorite part of creative process is making sketches. Sometimes it takes long time from a sketch to the final item.

Sashiko dangle earrings - Dariami

What do you like to do when not working on your business?

Actually, I have a day job. I’m a molecular biologist and work in the research institute in the National Academy of Science of Ukraine. So my Etsy shop is my second job, I can’t say it’s a hobby now, but it started from a hobby.

Three deer brooches - Dariami

What are you currently working on? Anything new coming up?

Currently I work on new wrap bracelets. I’ve made lots of colors, now I combine charms and cords to find interesting color combinations.

Wrap bracelet with initial - Dariami

What are your top three favourite Etsy shops?

Three shops I like:
my brother’s ceramics: www.etsy.com/shop/CeramicSoul
my friend makes interesting decoupage items: www.etsy.com/shop/Grimme
and I don’t know the author personally but I like this wonderful jewelry: www.etsy.com/shop/EPUU

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Thanks Daria! Isn’t her jewellery great? I had such a fun time picking which pictures to use in this post! Check out her shop, Dariami, to see lots of other great designs.

Thanks for reading!

Rachel

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One Pretty Thing

I don’t have a featured Etsy shop or blog for you this week, but I thought I’d share one of my favourite websites which I’ve been following for a couple of years now. It’s called One Pretty Thing and at least once a day (if not more) you get a fresh set of 16 different free craft tutorials from around the web!

One Pretty Thing Daily DIY

The tutorials are split into different categories: general crafts (called Daily DIY – as you may be able to guess, this is uploaded daily), kids crafts, food, crochet, jewellery making, revamps and many many more!

One Pretty Thing Jewelry Making Roundup

Apart from anything else, One Pretty Thing has introduced me to many great craft blogs which I follow to this day. Plus of course, I have now bookmarked a million craft projects that I would love to do, if I ever find the time…

One Pretty Thing Crafty Food Roundup

Anyway, I just thought I’d share it with you so you too can visit One Pretty Thing and get lots of craft inspiration!

Thanks for reading!

Rachel

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Featured Etsy shop: OldEnglishCo

Every fortnight I’m featuring Etsy shops and blogs which I love. This week it’s the turn of Ben from Old English Company!

I first came across Ben’s ice cream print (see below) in an Etsy treasury and clicked through to his shop and found all sorts of great prints and other items. I really like his aesthetic! It’s quirky and modern, with a very personal feel.

Here is Ben to tell you more about it…

Describe your shop in one or two sentences.

Old English Company is a small London based studio that aims to deliver prints, home ware and gifts that will brighten up your wall. I mix a hand lettered style with simple colours to create something that really stands out.

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What has been your most popular product to date? What is your favourite?

The most popular print of the shop to date through Etsy has been the ice cream print, which initially was a surprise and not expected at all! It’s great to know that its hanging up in peoples home around the world.

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Where do you get your inspiration?

A lot of my inspiration comes from food and simple hand lettering. I love anything with hand lettering, to me, it has a more personal touch. My favourite part of the creative process is actually sitting down for a few hours and doing nothing but sketching ideas, many don’t make it in to prints, but that’s how you find the odd gem!

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What has been the highlight of your business so far?

The highlight so far had to be going full time with Old English Company. Currently I’m working on expanding the range of products – more tea towel designs, aprons, mugs. It’s all very exciting!

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Thanks Ben! Head on over to the Old English Company to check out their fab products!

Thanks for reading!

Rachel

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Featured blog: The Beading Gem’s Journal

After a bit of a break I’ve decided it’s time to re-start my regular posts featuring other Etsy shops and blogs that I love. I’ll be doing this once a fortnight. Today it’s the turn of Pearl from The Beading Gem’s Journal!

I first came across The Beading Gem’s Journal when I was researching various jewellery making techniques and other aspects of jewellery making. It just kept popping up in my searches with great articles so I added it to my Feedly and now I get a daily dose of jewellery goodness, from new techniques and online tutorials to features on other great jewellery makers. If jewellery making (or indeed jewellery in general) is your thing then I’d recommend you take a look!

Here is Pearl to tell you more about it…

Describe your blog in one or two sentences

I write an inspirational jewelry blog where readers learn all about jewelry and the art of the craft in an entertaining manner. Hence “Jewelry Expressions in Bloom” (Editor’s note: this is the tagline of The Beading Gem’s Journal)

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What made you decide to start a blog?

I started the blog simply because I did not have a website.  I needed something online to publicize my workshops back in Nova Scotia where I used to live. Initially I featured many of my students’ final creations.  The blog grew from there.

Blue Cord and Ribbon Necklace 1

Where do you get your inspiration?

Pretty well everything!  Nature, museum trips, historical jewelry,- even wallpaper patterns!  I have an open and imaginative mind and am prepared to try anything.

s Wire wrapped All My Love Inside Necklace modeled

What has been the highlight of working on your blog so far?

The most pleasurable part of writing the blog is the wonderful community that resulted. I have “met” so many inspirational designers and really warm and friendly people who share this craft.  When I started the blog, I wasn’t really keen on writing but after more than 7 years, I have grown to enjoy writing as another creative outlet.

Tagua Twist

What do you like to do when not working on your blog?

Making jewelry naturally!  But I also enjoy other crafts like crochet, sewing.  When the weather is better, I also like gardening. I enjoy photography and gawking at great designs – architecture, furniture etc.  I am also a bit of a bookworm.

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What is coming up in future posts?

I never know what I might discover and share in future posts.  My blog is very fluid –  I try and share trends and great ideas as they happen.

What are your top three favourite blogs?

I have many favorite blogs covering a wide variety of topics reflecting my interests – so it is hard to choose.   PetaPixel is a photography blog I love.  I also enjoy the quirky Book of Joe. I used to write a lot for Trendhunter and I still enjoy reading their giant blog.

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Thanks Pearl! Please check out The Beading Gem’s Journal to dive into the beautiful world of jewellery crafting!

Thanks for reading!

Rachel

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