Featured Etsy shop – Amy Cooper Ceramics

Every Monday I’m featuring other great Etsy sellers and blogs that I love. This week it’s Amy and her Etsy shop AmyCooperCeramics!

I’m a sucker for beautiful lamps, and Amy has a wonderful selection of distinctive designs. Here she is to tell you more about her shop…

Describe your shop in one or two sentences.
Handmade, nature inspired, unique porcelain lighting.

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What has been your most popular product to date? What is your favourite?
My Monarchs Butterfly Ball lamp is top for peoples favourite item but it is my little Wish Dish for tea lights that has been treasured most often!

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Where do you get your inspiration?
The natural world never ceases to inspire me.

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What made you decide to open an Etsy shop?
I wanted to reach people online and Etsy seemed like the perfect way to do this.

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What is your favourite part of the creative process?
When an idea comes to fruition.

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What has been the highlight of your business so far?
Having the opportunity to meet so many lovely people.

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What do you like to do when not working on your business?
Swim in the sea and swing from a trapeze.

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What are you currently working on? Anything new coming up?
My work is constantly evolving but I do have some exciting plans for Spring, I am working on a new sandblasted range for trade and retail.

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Thanks Amy! Please check out AmyCooperCeramics for more of Amy’s beautiful work.

Thanks for reading!

Rachel

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Featured blog – My Poppet

Every Monday I’m featuring other great Etsy sellers and blogs that I love. This week it’s Cintia and her blog My Poppet!

I think my favourite blog posts on My Poppet are some of upcycling ones, such as creating a tote bag from an 80s leather jacket, and a doll’s house from a suitcase. Here’s Cintia to tell you a little about her bright, colourful, crafty blog…

Describe your blog in one or two sentences.

Your weekly dose of crafty inspiration, one DIY craft, sewing or upcycle tutorial a week.
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What made you decide to start a blog?

My blog started a long time ago to promote my handmade business, it has evolved to become a craft DIY blog as my interests have changed. Now I prefer to share how to make things rather than sell things I make.
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Where do you get your inspiration?

I get inspired by the materials around me, I collect and thrift vintage textiles, and also by necessity. The projects I enjoy making most are the ones I have a need for. Making with a purpose is very important to me.
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What has been the highlight of working on your blog so far?

There hasn’t been one thing but I love how my blog has challenged me to try new things and learn new skills. I’ve made so many friends through blogging, some of the funnest people I know are bloggers. Also it’s been great to be able to work from home and earn a part time income from blogging.
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What do you like to do when not working on your blog?

I only write one blog post a week, the rest of the time I’m wrangling a 4yo and just doing mum stuff. I also love to travel, but can only get away once or twice a year.
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What is coming up in future posts?

You tell me! I’m never organised enough to plan more than one project in advance.

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Thanks Cintia! Please check out My Poppet for a wealth of crafty inspiration!

Thanks for reading!

Rachel

Featured Etsy shop – Blue Dot Jewelry

Every Monday I’m featuring other great Etsy sellers and blogs that I love. This week it’s Caitlin and her Etsy shop Blue Dot Jewelry!

Here’s Caitlin to tell you a little about her shop which is full of beautiful handmade silver jewellery…

Describe your shop in one or two sentences.

I make fine jewelry by hand using precious metal clay. Many of my designs are inspired by nature, and I love to collect pieces such as leaves, shells and fossils to use in my work.

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

My most popular item to date is my octopus necklace.

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One of my favorites is the maple helicopter necklace because many people have emotional reactions to that piece, and remember sticking them on their noses as children. (I’ve learned they are also called polynoses, maple keys or whirligigs, depending where you grew up. Any other names?)

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Where do you get your inspiration?

I look to the outdoors for inspiration, whether that means in Brooklyn’s beautiful Prospect Park, in my leafy green hometown of Portland, OR, or on our travels. I like to make unusual pieces that I would enjoy wearing, but am always interested in new ideas, including suggestions from past and future clients.

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What made you decide to open an Etsy shop?

When I discovered precious metal clay in 2011, I had been seeking a way to channel my creativity into making little things that other people might like to give and receive as gifts. Because I didn’t have access to the equipment necessary to cast precious metals, silver clay gave me the ability to create pieces of the same caliber, but through a method practical for my city apartment. The first pieces I made were gifts for family and friends, and I soon realized that this is something I really loved to do.

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What is your favourite part of the creative process?

I  love the moment of reveal for every new design, when it first emerges from the kiln. I often wear new designs the very next day out of excitement! Also, learning which techniques elicit the highest quality final products has been my favorite challenge of this process. Before firing, silver clay is as fragile as thin, unfired pottery clay, so it’s been both imperative and interesting to learn the temperament of the material at various stages.

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What has been the highlight of your business so far?

It’s an honor and a joy to see that people want to wear and gift my jewelry. It has also been exciting to meet wonderful people along the way, including fellow creators, creative clients and the lovely, diverse shop owners I’ve partnered with.

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

I enjoy reading, cooking and traveling with my husband, exploring outdoors, reading, cooking, travel

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What are your three favourite Etsy shops?

It’s difficult to choose just three, but these are certainly favorites:

http://www.etsy.com/shop/PigAndPearl
http://www.etsy.com/shop/feltingdreams
http://www.etsy.com/shop/Splodgepodge

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Thanks Caitlin! I think those starfish earrings are my favourites :)

Please head on over to Blue Dot Jewelry to take a look at the full range!

Thanks for reading!

Rachel

Featured Etsy shop – CraftUnikat

Every Monday I’m featuring other great Etsy sellers and blogs that I love. This week it’s Sanja and her Etsy shop CraftUnikat!

Here’s Sanja to tell you a little about her shop which is full of beautiful hand painted ceramics…

Describe your shop in one or two sentences.

I always loved pottery. Tea pots, cups, cute mugs…I’m such an addict in collecting them. The day when I discovered that I could paint on them was the most fulfilling day of my life. Then the magic began. So my shop is little art shop of paintings on ceramic.

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

It’s this little happy floral teapot: www.etsy.com/listing/98860263/teapot-floral-tea-party-in-spring-garden. It was inspired by garden tea parties. Looking at this teapot I can see ladies in spring garden, all dressed up in their lovely floral dresses, with cute little hats on their heads.

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My favorite is..hmmm…this plate has been made by deep emotions of motherhood.
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I’m a mum and have 3 kids. Before I had them I wasn’t “mother” type. But now I’m knowing this deep emotion which I thought I could never had in me. My kids, all kids are the little stars that bright up our hearts and remind us of true values. You know that sparkle in child’s eye, which we have lost on the way of growing up?
This plate is about that :)

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Where do you get your inspiration?

In my kids, every day life, nature, season changes

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What made you decide to open an Etsy shop?

I was always painting. But that activity was sometimes intense, but sometimes faded in everyday errands. When I discovered Etsy, I knew I had to open shop there. I didn’t have plans, just knew that I had to do it. Now I know it was such amazing impulse and I’m so glad that I go for it. My Etsy shop has brought my creative part to the surface. Painting has become powerful part of me and now everyday errands are fading in front of it.

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What is your favourite part of the creative process?

Painting :) My creative process lasts for 24 hours, every day. I dream of ideas, think of what I could paint while I walk, talk..always. But when I sit and paint. Everything disappears. There is just a piece of ceramic with something magical unfolding in front of my eyes.

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What has been the highlight of your business so far?

When I realized that creative process had become such important part of my life.

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

I love to be as much as I can in nature. Just being in the forest surrounded by trees, gives me such energy burst. Kids love it too. They love the game of exploring the nature.

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

I am working on little salt and pepper shakers with some simple Japanese motives. They are very small..little zen beauties :) Also I’m working very hard on my other shop with raw crystal jewelry:
www.etsy.com/shop/CraftsGardenOfZen

What are your top three favourite Etsy shops?

www.etsy.com/shop/MoJosFreeSpirit
www.etsy.com/shop/WishesontheWind
www.etsy.com/shop/SuddenlyYou
www.etsy.com/shop/DeepSilence

List is too long. Etsy is such amazing community of creative people..I could talk of shops that inspire me for days :)

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Thanks Sanja! Aren’t those intricate paintings great! Please head on over to CraftUnikat and take a look for yourself.

Thanks for reading!

Rachel

Featured blog: Land of No Cheese

This week’s featured blog is Land of No Cheese by Emilie. It’s the first Hong Kong blog that I came across that I added to my (then) Google Reader feed – it’s such an interesting insight into Hong Kong! Emilie takes such great photos. And I love the blog name too!

Here is Emilie to tell you all about it…

Describe your blog in one or two sentences.

I would call it an excercise in making visual connections about Hong Kong by putting two (or more) photos side by side in every post. It’s not really meant to be about photography, it’s more of a repository for my eclectic visual ideas. For pure photography, I use flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/landofnocheese/

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What made you decide to start a blog?

Land of no cheese began when I moved to Hong Kong some four years ago as a way of sharing my Hong Kong impressions with friends and family overseas, but after a few months it began to transform into the semi-art project that it is now.

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Where do you get your inspiration?

Everywhere I go in Hong Kong – the city, the countryside, and for the past year, underwater too as I attempt to improve my underwater photography skills gradually. My interest in photography grew exponentially after I settled here in Hong Kong. This place is unendingly fascinating to me.

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

What is wonderful are opportunities this blog has given me; as a result of it, I was contacted by Time Out HK magazine and I am now a regular contributor (my photos appear in the ‘Hidden Hong Kong’ section). I have also sporadically participated in fun art and photo projects which would not have been possible without the online presence of a blog.

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

Over the past year I have become fairly obsessed with scuba diving and the underwater world. Although I try to go overseas to dive whenever I can, having limited time available I find myself underwater locally very regularly to satisfy my waterlust! I also love singing and am a member of the HK Bach Choir: making music makes me happy.

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What is coming up in future posts?

Impossible to say for sure: the posts appear very organically based on photos I take during the week. You can expect more underwater themes though alongside street photography, pictures of people and assorted randomness.

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What are your top three favourite blogs?

I don’t spend a lot of time browsing other blogs (!), but for content related to Hong Kong I would note the currently hibernating but otherwise excellent ‘Hong Kong and Macau Stuff’ by Philip Kenny which is bursting with info and trivia about HK heritage sites and places of interest, and which has been a very useful source of reference and ideas for me. http://orientalsweetlips.wordpress.com/

For nature photography I would recommend Sai Kung resident’s Andrew Hardacre’s stunning photoblog. I particularly admire his bird photos. http://ajh57.wordpress.com/

Finally, although not exactly a blog I would mention Hong Kong creative spirit Sasha O’s online artworks and projects: http://www.osasha.com/#!projects/cm8a

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Thanks Emilie! Check out the Land of No Cheese blog and the Land of No Cheese facebook page for more great photos and observations.

Thanks for reading!

Rachel

Featured Etsy shop: DecoyLab

This week’s featured Etsy shop is Decoylab by Maiko. Maiko makes and sells mainly bamboo clocks, some of which are very cute indeed! I love her aesthetic. Her products would look great in any nursery or child’s room, or indeed anywhere in the home.

Here is Maiko to tell you about herself and her shop…

Describe your shop in one or two sentences.

Decoylab offers playful room decor for children of all ages. We are mostly known for our animal shaped bamboo clocks.

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What made you decide to open an Etsy shop?

I opened Etsy account since 2007. First several months I did nothing with it. Then I made 2008 calendars and listed on Etsy. One of the month I made an image of cuckoo clock and I thought why not put a clock motor behind it? So I made about 5 clocks and listed on Etsy and I sold all of it in a matter of week. That was the beginning of my clock business. I had no intention of making a living by selling clocks.

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What is your favourite part of the creative process?

I don’t think much about my creative process to be honest. It’s very subjective and it happened in the subconscious realm.

What I know is that creative process is so much better when I let go and just dive into it. It’s more about action and being in that moment.

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What has been the highlight of your business so far?

The highlight is always the fact that I am making a living by having my own business selling clocks. It’s not something I thought I could do in the beginning. I never thought it was possible to be honest.

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

Every day when I am not working, I am parenting. If you haven’t had a child yet, I must tell you it’s definitely a job.. Sure there’s plenty of snuggles and sweet moments with my 5 year old but there’s also not so fun part of disciplining like setting up rules, boundaries and following through. Ideally, I would like to nap or go hiking somewhere. They still remain as my dreams though.

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

I am working on several different clock designs right now along with new products such as key chains and mobiles.

Some of them will be available this holiday season coming up and some will be available next year.

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What are your top three favourite Etsy shops?

I have lots of vintage and antique shops under my favorites but here are some shops that I like that are hand made…

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Thanks Maiko! Not only can you find Maiko’s beautiful products on the Decoylab Etsy shop but also through her website. Please do hop over and take a look!

Thanks for reading!

Rachel

Featured Etsy shop: PrinceDesignUK

This weeks’ featured Etsy shop is PrinceDesignUK, run by Elizabeth Prince. I’ve been an admirer of this shop for a long time, I really like her bird bowls and the lacey decoration that she uses!

Here is Elizabeth to tell you about her shop…

Describe your shop in one or two sentences.

Modern designed homeware and art made in England, usually from ceramic, although I have a new range coming up that might bring some changes!

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Where do you get your inspiration?

Anywhere and everywhere – nature, life, giving gifts, friends, holidays, trips, things I see – I can literally get an idea whilst I am pondering something I see at the side of the road whilst I’m waiting in a traffic jam.

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What has been the highlight of your business so far?

The feedback I get from my customers is one of the best things about my job – it makes me very happy and proud of what I do. Also I have been lucky that my work has been featured in the press, including blogs, home magazines and even the Guardian.

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

My lacy bird bowls would be the most popular overall.

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

I am currently working on some clocks that are due to be finished in a few weeks, and some laser cut perspex items too that have expanded the way I design and make work.

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Thanks Elizabeth! Aren’t her creations lovely? I want that leaf shaped bowl for my bathroom! And I can’t wait to see what new things she has up her sleeve :)

Please visit PrinceDesignUK to see all of Elizabeth’s creations, there are so many lovely designs to choose from!

Thanks for reading!

Rachel