Thursday, September 4

Handmade Review #3

Timothy's Handmade Review #3 (9.4.08)

Ok it is time for the Handmade Review #3. I am waiting on my cool robot notebook i bought last week....In the meantime you can check out the first review...I bought some great hair clips From the ClippyHut. HERE is the full included

I love everything about the indie world of handmade. Etsy has changed my life.... and i would love to give back to the Etsy community.
Near the end of every week I will be purchasing one item from one Etsy shop. Once I receive the item i will feature that shop and their item on my blog.
If you are an Etsy shop owner I would love to consider your shop for the Handmade Review.
This week i will be looking again at items less than $20.


One..... Leave a comment on this blog post telling me how you got
started in the world of handmade

Two..... Show me what you GOT on the forum thread HERE

I will be making my purchase on Saturday night...9.6.08


prettycheapjewelry said...

TAD is the master of marketing once more! I enjoy participating in your events, and reading your Etsy forum posts.

How did I get started? Making something out of nothing probably. Necessity is the mother of invention, right?

Here's an example-
Drawing big 'cities' complete with streets, buildings, parks, schools, fire stations, traffic signals and more on the longest piece of paper I could find (sometimes taping pieces together) on the floor to play with my truck crazed 4 year old boy (some years ago).

Or-reusing the big cardboard box for a puppet theater by affixing with stone printed contact paper, cutting a window, sewing a little curtain, and making a dozen mitten puppets for my daughter's 2 year old bday (thence donating to her preschool class).

My long term memory is failing me for anything BC (before children)!

Lilly Queen said...

Im not sure what made me start, but I know I started back in 4th grade. I would make those thread friendship bracelets and began selling them for 5 cents up to 25 cents per ring, anklet, bracelet or necklace.

I used to make my own price guides, little signs, and carry about a little cabootles case that held all my inventory.

My mother would laugh when she'd pick me up asking how much I made that day and couldnt believe that kids were going nuts for it.

Thread turned into beads and id make all sorts of seed bead items. Those sold just ask fast.

Ive been doing it since then... and cant seem to shake the addiction!

idarose said...

Terrific Blog!

I started handcrafting as a child. I have my Mom to thank for that. She taught me the basics of sewing, knitting, crocheting and painting. Now we both like to work with papercrafts and scrapbooking together too.

My love of crafting has never dwindled and I love to experiment with different mediums. My children also love arts and crafts so we have three generations of crafters in the family. Some of my best projects have been made with my children; like the car wash costume my son and I made with a recycled box, duct tape, cotton balls, felt, and sponges. It was a huge hit!!

vsilcoxdesigns said...

Back in 2001, and right after September 11th, I made a life changing decision. On that day, I was sitting in a high rise building in downtown Los Angeles when the news came. Of course we evacuated, and on the long drive home I had plenty of time to think, specifically about how valuable my family was to me, how sad I was for those who were lost, and what choices I had made for my life.

I gave up my 20 plus year career in construction, to persue my passion for art. All my life I had toyed with pen and ink...and I suppose charcoal as well, but I had always envisioned painting glass, wine glasses specifically, so I figured....why not go with the fantasy. And here I am.

Anonymous said...

My grandma got me into crocheting when I was 8: it was hot, i was annoying, and it got me quiet.

it also got me a blue ribbon. I'd never known 9or seen) anyone craft for fun: my mom and grandma both were either seamstresses or made my school clothes. i thought creating was a matter of practicality.

I never stopped making anything, and until a few years ago, rarely kept what i made: it all became gifts, until a friend said "you ought to sell these instead of giving them away!"

So I did! I still give samples to friends, sometimes "just because" and sometimes to test, and usually because I had so much fun making the item!

Now after I am done making my Etsy items for the day, i give myself 30 minutes or more to create just for me. That's vital now that I have four kids, and I love it! i learn more, unwind and get all giddy thinking "Bwahahahaa! THIS one's not leaving the house!"

Creating for the sake of creating is an amazing thing.

sHandke said...

Hey there! I like your blog and all of these inventive ideas.

About me: I've been an artist every since I can remember. When I was a kid, I would sit and flip through magazines for countless hours, studying the pictures. (I usually didn't care much about the stuff... I just liked the pictures.)

I went to college for four years for Graphic Design and took a year off before finishing school. I eventually finished my degree with a BA in Painting, but I slipped right into the dreadful cracks of retail. I felt stuck! I didn't realize I could actually make some money (and even a living) from selling my work. Now, this is what I'm doing full-time... at least it's the beginning of that.

So here I am. And these are my shops.

missindie said...

hello again :]

Hmm, how I got started.....well, ever since I was little I've loved to create things. Even the simplest little projects made me so happy. Now that I'm older I've taught myself how to create even better items. I can't go a day without creating something. Its my addiction :]

Aside from answering the question for the Review, I've been reading what everyone else has written and its so interesting to see how different people started their craft.

debs1967 said...

I started crocheting by watching my moms friend. I was amazed by how she was able to create a beautiful afghan from using a strand of yarn and a hook. She taught me the basics, then I graduated to the granny square. I was so proud of my first afghan, a lop-sided giant granny square.From there I bought books and taught myself many different stitches, and now, 30 yrs later I can crochet almost anything.

Donnalda Does Art said...

I got started when I was about 8 years old. My family had gone to the beach for the summer and I collected several bags of sea shells. When I got home I started gluing them together and painting them to look like animals and people. I made a Doctor and gave it to my Doctor as a gift. My Mom said people wanted to buy them, so I started making them for sale. I also had collections of cottonwood tree cotton balls, pretty rocks, sticks and twigs, bird eggs and anything I found on the ground that interested me. I am still like that. I cannot pass someones yard clippings pile without thinking about basket making supplies. I am facsinated by old pieces of rusty metal, flattened bottle caps and the like. I love using these things to make my artwork, collage is my medium right now.

shannon said...

I was always really into art even as a little kid. I used to draw ALL the time. As I got older I started hand-sewing my own clothes, accessories, bags etc.

I went to school for art but jumped around from major to major - everything from silver-smithing to photography to sculpture. But what really held my interest was sewing. I taught myself how to use a roommate's sewing machine when I was about 19 years old. And I haven't stopped sewing since - literally I sew almost everyday!

When I graduated college and became a costume designer. Then I worked for a fashion designer as her assistant making Tango clothing. That was all very fun and exciting but my entrepreneurial spirit kicked in and I started my own line of handbags in 2000. By this point I had been sewing for almost 10 years so I decided to start teaching sewing in my home. It was right in the beginning of the big craft/sewing boom in San Francisco so I quickly opened up a sewing studio of my own. I taught sewing and small business workshops for almost 5 years.

When I was getting married in 2006 I decided to let the studio go to focus on planning my wedding. Soon after I was pregnant with my son. I knew I had to find something to sustain myself - something I could do at home so I could stay home with him - and that's where the Etsy shop came in. Now I produce a line of fun, easy sewing patterns as well as a new line of handmade kid's toys known as the "Stitch-A-Wish" collection.

I also plan on selling DIY patterns and kits for the toys eventually.

Whew...that's long - sorry!
Hope you pick me! : )

RedMarionette said...

I was literally born into it. My mother started us in 4-H very young and we grew up learning how to make things ourselves, doll clothes, paper mache creations, masks, sculpy magnets a ton of things. I progressed into fine arts (Watercolor, pastels) in many classes growing up. I never lost that "craftiness" though. It was worked into my head since I was little to be creative, brainstorm, plan and be resourceful. I hope my children someday will have the same love and satisfaction that we get from making something ourselves.

Red Marionette

Jen said...

Hi Tim!

Great blog and I love the idea of the reviews :D I found Etsy through another company that was looking to put my products in their sample boxes and it just took off from there. I love meeting new Etsians and having good times and crazy conversations in the forums - the first thing I do every morning is turn on my computer to see what's going on in the forums, lol.

Thanks for doing this!


Jane Grafton said...

It's my mother's fault! She was a very creative person who continued to learn new skills all of her life, even taking art lessons shortly before her death. I have two sisters and Mom encouraged us to create. She gave us old catalogs to cut up and use as paper dolls; she saved scraps of fabric and let us use her old Singer sewing machine to make doll clothes; and most of all, she praised us and told us how creative we were when we did these things. My husband and I both work for a non-profit organization and are on a limited budget. We wanted to be able to do more for other people and were looking for something we could do. My sisters began encouraging me to make jewelry. Once I made my first few pieces I was hooked! I've been making jewelry ever since.

Michele said...

I'm back again, Timothy and am a fan of your etsy thread and this blog. My start in crafting began years ago in the Floral Design field. I earned a living creating floral arrangements, wreaths, wedding bouquets for a variety of clients. I left it for a few years and went to work in an office........and, wala! I'm back again, this time crafting items that I decorated my home with and trying to creating originals!
Thanks for doing this & congrats on your success! Michele (in Italian - love life!)

Anonymous said...

I think drawing and creating is in my blood, my great aunt is a wonderful oil painter, my aunt and Mom loved drawing as children and my Dad uses his drawing skills as an engineer. My little sister is going to college to be an architect.

I've been drawing and painting since I was a child, while I was in high school I started to focus on collage and photography. I've also recently learned to sew (by hand and machine) and love to try and "recycle" my old clothes into yoga mat bags or something else useful.

I found Etsy through another craft site and would like to try selling my collages and photography. I use photography as an escape when I need a break from my studies at school, it's relaxing and a different way to look at something familiar.

honeybee88 said...

I got into the world of etsy because i was itching to do something with my summer. id wanted to sell my things for a while and this was the best time to do it!!

timothy said...

Hey everyone!

thanks for all these awesome stories....

here is mine:
I am not sure were i got my talent from..I was horrible in art class in high school.....About 4 years ago my sister in-law, who is a furniture designer asked me to help her with some projects. They were all metal, so i took a welding class and i loved every second of it. After i was done helping her i just kept making furniture and trying to sell it and get into galleries. I was rejected by many galleries and the first gallery to take my stuff was in Grand Rapids Michigan. In feb of 07 i found Etsy and it has changed my life and my art. I started making jewelry because of etsy. With my sale to Barneys and many sales all over the world I feel blessed!

evillilgirl said...

I first started making art in this world when I was just a small lil girl. I was 2 years old and I loved my mums so much! I had to be with her every second of the day. I was the youngest and clingy. My mums never got even five minutes without me on her hip to cook dinner. My mums being artistically inclined and where I think I inherited my abilities from put me in the bar stool at the kitchen counter and gave me paper and watercolors so she had a good 30 minutes to cook in peace and I loved it and have painted ever since. That was the first day of my addiction of art and painting and I will do it till my last breath.

Auntie Dis said...

Why have I never seen your blog before? Well you can be sure I'm going to follow it from now on!

How did I get started? About 9 years ago I was a candle addict (still am!) purchasing high dollar, low quality candles from big named mass manufacturers. (Wow, that's quite a mouthful, say that 10 times fast!) I digress..anyway, I finally said to myself "Self? You can do this better and probably cheaper...." and so began the research, the testing, the successes, the failures....I still love it, only now I've added jewelry and paper products to my addictions.

Half an Acre said...

hi there! in answer to your question about how I got started in the world of handmade ........ well, I've always made stuff and growing up, having kids and being visually fussy I started to get tired of all the samey old stuff in shops and decided to make my own things for my house - I teamed up with my best friend who thought the same - we tried selling at craft fairs - got a website and it went from there! i'm still in debt but loving every day because I get to have the perfect excuse to hide in my workspace and paint! i get such a kick when someone buys something too!

Made By Moms said...

How did I get started in the world of handmade? Well, I guess you'd have to split it into pre-commercial and post-commercial :).

Way back in the 5th grade my parents had a rocking neighbor who was mom to two little kids (I ended up babysitting for them when I got a bit older). She was a Crafty Kathy and taught me how to do applique, use fabric paint and sew on my grandmother's old machine. Ever since then I puttered around on my old sewing machine making the old Halloween costume, chopping together clothing and giving neat crafts as gifts (usually as a poor college student).

After I graduated from college and a real job took over, I strayed away from sewing and crafting until I had my son. That's when I met one of my best friends, Heidi, and we started getting together for playdates. She rekindled my love of crafting and soon we spent out playdates like we were in the 1940s -- making banners out of felt, embroidering designs by hand and sewing quilts for our toddlers.

We have been told for a long time that we should sell our creations, so we partnered with my mother-in-law (who's been crocheting for 30 freaking years) and Made By Moms was born.

Thinking back on it, I'm not exactly sure what the specific spark was that lit the crafty fire under me... It was probably a combination of things -- my grandmother was a professional seamstress, I looked up to my neighbor and I found I had a natural talent for creating funky things. It was a fun and creative way to spend my time and a child and it remains a fun and creative way to spend my free time as a mom.


Take care,


blest said...

Hello again TimothyAdam! Well let's see...

I have always been a crafter - my mom had to find a way to keep little Miss ADHD busy, don'tcha know. But I had ZERO visual arts talent. Tons of performance art skills (acting, music etc) - but all my visual stuff looked like an extremely untalented child had made it.

Years passed. I took up scrapbooking...learned some design and color theory through that, segued to jewelry, took some classes and...

Well here I am!!

Ang said...

Glad to have found this opportunity in the etsy forums.

I cannot ever remember NOT making things by hand. I started as a kid and just keep making things as I go.

My father and grandfather never bought something if they could make it themselves. If a tool broke, they repaired it themselves, often using whatever was handy to do so. Those tools lasted many years. In fact most of them outlived those two!

Have fun with your research!


ThreadBeaur said...

I posted last week, so I am back again! I have been crafting since I was very young. My mom taught me to quilt back when I was 10 or so. Since then I have made quilts for myself and for friends. One day I made a bag and used it for my groceries. Then I made one for a friend. I made another, and another, and then found ETSY. My husband suggested I try to sell one. So up it went on to the ETSY page labeled Threadbeaur, and within a day it sold. As you can imagine I was ecstatic! I called everyone I knew to tell them of my success! Since then I have listed more and more and that is the beginning of Threadbeaur!

Liv'nGood Jewelry said...

Hi Tim - I'm not sure what made me take the first bead class last November, but the minute I got home I looked at my jewelry box and thought - I can do that, or better.

So I started reading more about jewelry making & beading, then I stumbled across chainmaille. The first piece I did I had a stupid grin on my face the whole time (my husband confirms this) because I could hardly believe ~I~ was making something that looked that cool.

Then my co-workers wanted bracelets, so I made theirs. Then they wanted one for daughters so I made some more (got paid this time though). Then someone said you should go on Etsy, and I've been here since July.

Lynn said...

I sewed a little in highschool but didn't enjoy it. I guess I was just too much of a teenager and very easily distracted. :) Anyway, I actually failed home-ec in highschool because I wouldn't complete a particular sewing project. I think the only inspiration I really needed was for one little brown-haired, blue-eyed girl to come into my life..... now its all my husband can do to separate me from the sewing machine! :) I actually started sewing again before my daughter was born, about 4 years ago, but I started sewing 'full throttle', so to speak, when she came along, a little over 2 years ago.

I started out with quilts and then aprons.... and now I've moved on to sewing garments and other things. I love it... can't get enough! :)

stilettoheights said...

I always loved collage and dabbled in it, but it was not until an ex of mine decided to read all my journals that I started to take it more seriously as a new way to express myself.


grannystable said...

I grew up creative...Mother and Grandmother were always crafty either in their gardens or at their sewing machines...and so I guess it just rubbed off on me!

PurrPrints said...

Wow--that's wonderful that you want to give back like this--I would be incredibly honored to be on your handmade review--I've admired your work for quite some time, and I'd be equally happy to do a trade as to have you buy something (though I'll never turn down a sale, of course!)

I've been drawing for as long as I can remember--my grandmother was a talented painter, and she and I would have art "play-dates" when I was a little kid. I loved it too much to ever stop, but it wouldn't have occurred ot me to try selling anything until a friend saw me doddling in class one day and suggested that I sell my cat art online. I started on cafepress, but that never really went anywhere--and then I found etsy.

Like you, etsy has changed my life. Sometimes it's what gets me out of bed in the morning--it has literally been a life-saver (much of my family, myself included, suffers form severe clinical depression that doesn't respond well to conventional treatment). not only having the opportunity to put my work out there, but being able to do so within such a wonderful, caring, helpful, and interesting community has been, to put it simply, amazing.

I'm going to leave something in the thread you linked to now, but just in case: everything in my shop (except for one original stippled drawing) is 20 dollars or less. You can find my stuff at

Thanks again!

isewcute said...

How does one get started you ask? For me, as a child it rubbed off from my mother and well as not having much as a kid. I would find scraps of material or yarn in my mother's sewing room, or use found objects in the woods for making things to pass the time. I would decorate pine cones with glitter, or paint on rocks or carve animals out of a bar of soap. I remember my mom showed me how to make a toy for our cat one day by simply crumpling up a wad of tin foil. While she was napping I think I made about 200 'cat toys' with all of the tin foil I could find in the kitchen!

beautiful.bridget said...

My hubby and I have been selling online across many venues for over 9 years now. Now that things have slowed down in our lives a bit and the kids are almost grown, I decided to open my Etsy business to market what I love to do most. As you may have guessed, I absolutely LOVE to create! My hands are always busy...if I don't have something to occupy my hands, I will fall asleep in 15 I make things ;) My creative genius (am I allowed to call it that?) usually comes out late in the evenings while my oldest daughter (missindie on Etsy) and I get together to watch our favorite reality TV shows...our "mother and daughter" time which I cherish more than anything else in life. My primary craft is crocheting, I've enjoyed doing it since my Mom taught it to me when I was a young girl and now as an adult I get ideas that pop into my head for new creations or I see things that I like and make my own crochet versions of them. There is nothing that feels better than hearing how someone else is enjoying something you created!

Brenda said...

Hi - I found out about Etsy at a Marketing Class I took at a metalsmithing studio in Seattle. Opened my Etsy store later that week. Before that, I have been beading for a few years, then started learning to work with metal. I Love it!

Taylorseclectic said...

I got started in art in general by mistake. I'd always created things, but never really thought much of it. I went to university as a history major and started taking art classes. I fell in love with it and luckily had people who encouraged me to continue. Otherwise, there were be yet another history major flooding the employment offices. So I ventured out into the 'real' world as a sculptor and photographer. I started designing my jewelry line by mistake. It took a lot of trial and error to perfect it and I am still adapting as I go along. So yes, pretty much everything I do starts as a mistake and I try to work it around into something interesting! As someone once told me, if you're going to make a mistake, do it on purpose and make it work!

PurrPrints said...

Thank you so much for picking Moody Max--I can't wait to see the review--he'll go into the mail on Weds. (since I didn't have any red ones on hand I've made a new one and it takes 24 hours for the protective coating to fully set). In the meantime, the blog post I was just writing about Moody Max is being updated to show you some link-y love. Thanks again!

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