Sunday, April 27, 2014

Buy Handmade vol 105 PLUS GIVEAWAY!!!!!

This week we are in Indonesia

Name: Amalia K
Age: 38
Occupation: Artist and illustrator

Tell us a little about yourself.

I’m an Indonesian born artist, focusing mainly on fine art and illustration. I live in the highlands of West Java with my husband and three children. Art is a huge passion of mine and I’m lucky to be able to spend many hours in a day doing what I truly love.
When did you start creating and how long have you been on Etsy?

I’ve been creating all my life, ever since I learned how to draw as a little girl. I started working in the creative field after I graduated from the university, mainly as an illustrator. A few years ago, I started my personal blog and joined Etsy to make my work available to the rest of the world in 2011.

How did you come up with your business name, is there any special meaning behind it?

When I was little, I used to imagine a special place where I could be whatever I wanted and go into all sorts of adventures with my creature friends. That place was a forest that could grant me any wish, so I decided to name my shop “The Wish Forest”.
Has your Etsy shop become your full time job? If not, would you like it to be?

I work independently as an illustrator, doing many types of projects that involve various fields. Recently, I have been creating more and more personal work and I sell them in my Etsy shop. I think the shop also acts as a gallery and I’m happy with the response I’ve been getting so far.
How would you describe your creative process?

I must admit that I’m one of those artists who can’t keep a sketchbook. I start most of my work when trigerred by a significant emotional feeling that inspires me. I don’t do sketches first, but  plunge myself right in, stopping only for little breaks or when I’m totally satisfied with the piece.

Where do you get your inspiration from?

Human emotions fascinate me. I find it impossible not to wonder about them, and I like to show this in my work. Many times I get inspirations from my own childhood memories and past experiences. Sometimes a simple conversation does the trick, sometimes it's the tragedies I see in the world every day.
Do you also sell your work at craft shows?

I don’t sell my work at craft shows. Mostly working with clients on particular projects, custom orders and on Etsy. I’m at the moment working towards exhibiting my work in a solo show.

Apart from creating things, what do you like to do?

I love my coffee time, having my nose stuck in a book, spending time with my family, cooking and sampling good food with good company.

Was there ever any other job you dreamed of having growing up?

No. I’m very, very fortunate to have a job that I’ve always wanted for as long as I can remember.

Five years from now you will be…

Hopefully still doing what I love best, creating art and sharing it with the world.

Describe yourself in five words:

Passionate, creative, sensitive, intuitive and hard working.

Carrying on with the five theme, if I were to turn on your iPod, what five artists/songs would I see on your recently played list?

The Civil Wars, Priscilla Ahn, Katy Perry, Coldplay, Sigur Rós.

Lastly, do you have any advice for anyone thinking about opening their own shop or participating in craft shows?

Be brave and embrace your passions fully. Always remember that the more you give, the more you’ll receive in return. There's no doubt that in order to move forward, you'll need a strong support system from family, friends, and the wonderful people you've met online.

You can find me here:

Amalia has also graciously offered a 20$ gift voucher for one of you lucky readers! I am really jelous on this one, it means you can get a free print of your choice, or put the 20$ toward one of her pillows, curtains or originals. Amazing work and lots to choose from! Good luck!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, April 25, 2014

fff vol 113

Favorite finds from the past week:

Etsy find of the week:


Please can I move in?

I love this little house, it looks like someone cut it in half.

Get in my belly!

Oh my goodness, yes please! Ice cream sandwiches have always been one of my favorites!

Tee shirt of the week:

Never go wrong with Patagonia organic shirts..

Sorry for my little mini absence (if anyone even noticed? hah) We had gone to Massachusetts for the weekend and then lets just say I've had a not nice pleasant work week. I've been working a lot of over time, and have been quite burnt out. This week should be the last for a while (I hope). 

This weekend will be spent with last minute getting ready for market next weekend! How on earth is it possible that the market will be starting next weekend?! I'm super excited, I'm not sure if the "layout" will be ready though. Kevin is building a new table and working on items for displays, so it may be a few weeks of using old layout style..then grand unveiling in June? We shall see. I'm excited none the less. We also have a new spot which is exciting. We will have a "curb space" which means we can park right next to our spot and be right there! No more walking all over lugging heavy boxes, moving vehicles etc. just park, unload at the curb and done. Ahhhhhh soooo much better. Plus we will be two spaces down from our good friends Kelly and Adam and well, we think it will just be so much better!

So what has everyone been up to? Can't wait for this weekend to relax a little bit. Traveling weekends are always exhausting, and then ot this week - I just haven't gotten much sleep lately...ahhhh sleeping in! That is my plan for tomorrow morning. Though knowing me, I will be up by 7. 

Have a great weekend all! 

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Buy Handmade vol 104

This week we are in Slovenia..

Name: Boris Nemet
Age: 26
Occupation: Avid Orange Peeler
Etsy Shop: Orange Sessions

Tell us a bit about yourself.

Finally it has happened. I opened a shop called Orange Sessions. Lately, it was on pause, since I have been waiting for my new and better camera to arrive so I could make proper photos of these new orange lights. What else to say about myself...
I like to do too many things at once and sometimes when I start speaking I cannot be stopped.
I believe kindness is the best religion there is and I revere Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan.
And that’s the hole truth and nothing butt. Ok, there is a lot of butt now, since I got a little bit fat this winter.

When did you start creating and how long have you been on Etsy?

I’ve made my first steps into field of visual expression when I was 15, I started painting, drawing and making some installations under caring eye of painter Mira Narobe. Making different things out of orange and other peels started around 6 years ago. First thing I ever did with peels was a wooden box for a girl I liked, followed by a big orange sculpture.

How did you come up with your business name, is there any special meaning behind it?

I'm not sure, but I believe it has to do with me being a big musicophil and listening to all those BBC Peel Sessions, french radio Black Sessions, Pixies Purple Tape. I googled my name now and it comes up with an album of the same name by some band called Cash Audio.

Name Orange Sessions is tied to symbolism of orange color that combines the energy of red and the happiness of yellow. It is associated with joy, sunshine, creativity, optimism, enthusiasm and warmth.

Has your Etsy shop become your full time job? If not, would you like it to be?

Not yet, but I’m working towards it. I imagine it not being an easy job, but it is what I would really love to do for a living. Currently, I'm unemployed and attending a school for biotherapist. I plan to mix it with Ayurveda which is, beside creative work one of my biggest passions.

How would you describe your creative process?

It’s pretty basic, I turn on some music that I like and start painting or drawing and that's it. If I’m peeling peels (removing the white stuff that’s called albedo) it can get pretty tedious so I prefer to smoke one before and I do if I have some. Then I love listen to some good audio book. Other part’s of orange work are fun.

Where do you get your inspiration from?

My mind is like a fishnet and when I catch something interesting I contemplate on it for a while and then try to bring it to life in the most original and interesting way. It's quite obvious that my peel work is inspired by nature. Not just my art but my whole being seeks wisdom from unmistakable laws of nature and from works of Lao Tzu and Buddha. Sometimes I get something from a book or the way the clouds are shaped or how Sun spreads its brightness and warmth. I like being around people and sometimes their kindness fills me with such positivity that it’s transformed into full blown inspiration and then my most creative mode turns on.

What is your most cherished handmade item?

From recent ones it’s the big Sun and from the older, it’s the painting called “Letište v srdci” (The airport in the heart in Czech) but I preffer to call them art instead of handmade. Smaller items, like small suns, boxes and lights can fit into crafts category but my paintings and bigger conceptual work is so called “fine art”. It may be that I’m so sensitive to categorization because lack of formal art education, I’m not sure. Maybe I have to bring those snobish walls in my head down, now that I will start to do jewelry.

Apart from creating things, what do you like to do?

I love to do many things, almost everything but watching sports. I think that these days, sport is just business of buying and selling. That being said, I love to run and cycle, but do it rarely.
I am part of Theatre of the Oppressed group and have just started educating in modern storytelling variete. I like reading books on diverse subjects, listening to music and going to concerts. I write. I love foraging in the wild. I do Vipassana, Sungazing and Entheogens and like to
mix the last two with music if I can.

Was there ever any other job you dreamed of having growing up?

When I was little, I’ve been dreaming about being a radio dj, explorer of undiscovered species and lifeforms or inventor. Now I dream about taking my peels craft to the world and making a living out of it, biotherapy and natural medicine. And getting a decent job in the process, but that seems unlikely.

Five years from now you will be…

Creating, doing therapies, writing and probably be still involved with theater or storytellng in one way or another.

Describe yourself in five words:

Sociable, eloquent, inward-turning, creative, tall

Carrying on with the five theme, if I were to turn on your music player, what five artists/songs would I see on your recently played list?

I’m glad that you asked this one.

Cocteau Twins – Those eyes, that mouth
Billie Holiday – All of Me
Fela Kuti – Look and Laugh
I’m Not a Gun – Every Moment Is Ours
Bersarin Quartett – Alles ist ein Wunder

Lastly, do you have any advice for anyone thinking about opening their own shop or participating in craft shows?

I will quote two of my heroes. Joseph Campbell when he says:

Follow your bliss.
If you do follow your bliss,
you put yourself on a kind of track
that has been there all the while waiting for you,
and the life you ought to be living
is the one you are living.
When you can see that,
you begin to meet people
who are in the field of your bliss,
and they open the doors to you.
I say, follow your bliss and don't be afraid,
and doors will open
where you didn't know they were going to be.
If you follow your bliss,
doors will open for you that wouldn't have opened for anyone else.”

I wanted also to quote Hubert Selby, but I can’t find that one, so I will try to paraphrase it.
He said that making true art is a process when you give up everything, the relationships, recognition and give the whole energy and time into it while not expecting anything in return.

In the end, I will add something of my own. I agree with Selby, but I try to not be so idealistic anymore.
I love getting something in return, that’s the whole reason that I opened an Etsy shop.

I believe the most important things for your art or craft are honesty, to yourself and to others and originality. Believing is the key. When you try to do something really different, people will, even your loved ones think that you’re mad. Be persistent. There is an old saying that even the mad man will become wise, only if he persists enough in his lunacy.

If there’s a creativity inside you, find ways to get it out. It’s beneficial for you and your surroundings.
It brings magic to everyday and makes life no longer something to endure, but to live.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

wiw vol 57 - Orphan Black

TV Series 2013 - 
Amazon Prime


SPOILER: Orphan Black follows outsider, orphan and street-wise chameleon Sarah. After witnessing a woman's suicide, Sarah assumes the strangers identity - who happens to look just like her. Expecting to solve all her problems by cleaning out the dead woman's savings, Sarah is instead thrust headlong into a kaleidoscopic mystery as she realizes the dizzying truth - she and the dead woman are clones. As Sarah searches for answers, she discovers the chilling fact that there are more people like her out there - genetically identical individuals who were planted in unsuspecting birth parents and nurtured in completely different circumstances. With no idea who created the clones, she'll need to discover the reason in a hurry as an assassin is killing them one by one. 

I fell in love with this show and watched the entire first season very quickly. Just waiting for season 2 to be put on Amazon Prime. Have you watched this show? It's so amazing that she plays all these roles. Very cool show, check it out if you haven' seen it.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Buy Handmade vol 103

This week we head to Croatia..

Name: Marina Marinski 
Age: 29
Occupation: Ceramic designer
Etsy Shop: Marinski Handmades

Tell us a little about yourself.
I'm coming from a beautiful industrial city situated on Adriatic coast called Rijeka (meaning River), Croatia.

During the last couple of years, I have been working with different materials such as plastic, wood & clay. Organic properties of clay has fully occupied my attention. I found it strong and stable and at the same time warm and genuine in its primitiveness. I'm a jewelry and pottery designer and I run a small ceramic studio with a help of my boyfriend Daniel, photographer.

When did you start creating and how long have you been on Etsy?
I have started creating when I was 5 :)

At that age I was living in a big family house, with my cousins, grandparents and I enjoyed making little drawings and handmade presents for them, just to make them smile. That's what I remember. Later on, in high school, I enjoyed making bags, shoes and jewelry for my friends. Since then, I'm totally hooked on working with hands. After a good acceptance of my products in Croatia, I wanted to show my design to the rest of the world, so a year ago I opened an Etsy shop.

How did you come up with your business name, is there any special meaning behind it?
My name is Marina Marinski. People find it funny, like it's joke, but it's for real. I think my father did it on purpose and I'm glad he did it. It seemed like a perfect name for a brand :)

Has your Etsy shop become your full time job? If not, would you like it to be?
A month ago I completely changed the offer of my Etsy shop. Instead of jewelry, I have decided to go with ceramic dishes. I'm super satisfied with the feedback and hoping it will become a part of my full time job.

How would you describe your creative process?
My creative process is made out of tiny steps.

Sometimes I draw my ideas on paper, usually directly to the clay surface. First stage is hand building or building dishes using positive molds I have made out of plaster. Next step is reviving them with the illustration and when they are completely dry they are ready for the first firing.

To protect the drawing and to make dishes useable in the kitchen, I'm applying transparent glaze and returning pieces into the kiln for second firing. That's the production part after which there is still a lot of work to do such as photographing, marketing and packaging design.

Where do you get your inspiration from?
Everything around me can be an inspiration. Life is an inspiration.

Do you also sell your work at craft shows? 
I love to sell my products at craft fairs. Couple of times a year I participate in them. I love to spend time with my customers and share experiences with other exhibitors. Craft fair is a place for me, always fulfilled with positive energy.

What is your most cherished handmade item?
It's so hard to pick one and I won't do it. Just love them all.

Apart from creating things, what do you like to do?
I love to cook, spend time with family and friends, dance, listen to music and travel.

Was there ever any other job you dreamed of having growing up?
Sure, a lot of them when I was a kid like being a lawyer or a nurse. 
Later on, I discovered that being creative and living out of my own creations is the best job ever.

Five years from now you will be.. 

making the same cozy ceramics, in a bigger studio, maybe having my own gallery, maybe living in the countryside and having big organic food forest. We will see :)

Describe yourself in five words:
Persistent, energetic, stubborn, imaginative, silly.

Carrying on with the five theme, if I were to turn on your <insert whatever type of music player you use here>, what five artists/songs would I see on your recently played list?
Radiohead, Jose Gonzales, Queens Of The Stone Age, Kings of convenience, Little dragon.

Lastly, do you have any advice for anyone thinking about opening their own shop or participating in craft shows?
Just follow your dream and do what you love.

Friday, April 11, 2014

fff vol 111

Favorite finds from the past week:

Etsy find of the week:

Awesome print, love her work.

Please can I move in?

very cool little house..

Get in my belly!

Oh my goodness..and in only 20 minutes?!

Tee shirt of the week:

Interesting tee-shirt. I'm not 100% sure if I would wear it or not, but it has a lot of cute parts to it.

Only a few weeks to go before markets start up. I finally got in my labels for the deodorants..and you won't believe what I did! Ordered the wrong size!! We have figured out a way to still use them with some cutting and rearranging, but gez can you believe that?! After all that hard work and measuring and designing .. I measured wrong..obviously multiple times and never caught it until well..hundreds of dollars were spent and labels that were too big arrived at my doorstep. oi! I'll figure it out as to not waste..not to mention I dont have the extra funds to replace them but man o man, I cannot believe I did that. Talk about going from being super excited to super depressed in a matter of minutes.

I've been doing lots of overtime lately, so havent had much free time. I've also been slacking on working out too. But last weekend, it was finally semi nice and we took the girls on the first "adventure Sunday" of the year. I'll have to post some pictures. We went to Green Lakes and the lake was so amazing looking because it was still frozen. I was a silly goose and wore new boots and ended up getting horrible blisters, so the walk was not too fun. I'm excited about my boots tho! I got a pair of half cab bogs. I've been wanting a pair for a couple years and finally splurged (thank you over time) 

I'm excited for this weekends adventure, not sure where we are going to go yet, but it is supposed to be almost 70! A far cry for the 20-40 degree weather we have been having.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

bad word:Selenium Sulfide

Selenium Sulfide

Hazard Score: (EWG Risk Score)

Hazard score key:

Low hazardModerate hazardHigh hazard
What is it?
Antidandruff Agent; Hair Conditioning Agent


Where is it found?
Hair conditioners, anti-dandruff shampoos

The Risk:
This chemical has been banned in both Europe and Japan and is deemed a possible carcinogen by the EPA, NTP and the state of California EPA. It is also toxic to the respiratory, organ, kidney, cardiovascular, and gastrointestinal systems.  

A few companies using this ingredient:
  • Selsun Blue
  • Head and Shoulders
  • Excel
  • Generic anti-dandruff companies including Wal-Mart brand Equate
My Opinion:
This is some nasty stuff. It has also been deemed a wildlife and environmental toxicity. Is getting rid of dandruff really worth the risks?!

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

wiw vol 56 - The Greenhorns

Documentary - 2010 - 40 minutes
Amazon Prime


Armed with a camcorder, farmer-filmmaker-activist Severine von Tscharner Fleming spent two years crisscrossing America, meeting and mobilizing a network of revolutionary young farmers resettling the land. 'The Greenhorns' is an ode to their grit and entrepreneurial spirit, an exploration of sustainable agriculture, and an enticement to reclaim our national soil. The ninety minute feature is the culmination of well over 200 hours of original footage from all regions of the United States, as well as original animation by young urban farmer and artist Brooke Budner, and rare agricultural archival footage from the Prelinger Archives. Ultimately, The Greenhorns shows us how farmers can move out of the margins recent history has consigned them to, and back to the heart of the American food landscape.

This movie, like many other like it, make me want to say goodbye to my desk job and get out in the dirt. I always have grand ideas of how I'd like to have lots of land and start my own small veggie and fruit farm. You never know, someday... But until that time, I will continue to support all our local farmers and friends we have made through the farmer's markets and make our front yard veggie gardens bigger and better every year. 

Buy local!

Sunday, April 06, 2014

Buy Handmade vol 102 PLUS GIVEAWAY!

This week we head to Brisbane Australia

Name: Belinda Stanton
Age: 39
Occupation: Artist/designer
Etsy Shop: Belinism (Blog:

Tell us a little about yourself.
I live in Australia with my husband, our children and much loved ageing Springer spaniel. My nickname is Belin, clay is my thing, along with painting and drawing. Were possible I try to combine all three things.
When did you start creating and how long have you been on Etsy?
In pre-school I spent more time looking out of the classroom window, doodling on the back of work books than working in them. Later in high school, it was on the back of exam papers. Something to draw with and something to draw on and I am away…with the fairies, flowers, sunshine, clouds...
I have had an Etsy shop for over 2 years. It has taken me a while to ‘find my feet’ and I still have so much to learn. I am only just starting to make regular sales on Etsy these last few months.
How did you come up with your business name, is there any special meaning behind it?
I didn’t want to use my full name (Belinda Stanton) it was too long and not very memorable. When I first meet my husband, he called me Belin, which just seemed to stick. Over the years my quirky/whimsical way at looking at the world became labelled as a “Belinism”. So I guess using this as my business name seemed only natural.

Has your Etsy shop become your full time job? If not, would you like it to be?
I currently work part time as a graphic designer… and yes, I would love to be able to give that job away in the future. To see Etsy become a big part of my main income would be awesome but I also have my heart set on having exhibitions and continuing to do the occasional design market. I have an exhibition coming up in September to show some of my larger sculptural pieces. If I can keep the Etsy shop rolling AND develop a career as an artist I would be one very happy lady.
How would you describe your creative process?
I do a lot of sketching and imagining in my numerous sketch diaries. I’m not always in the studio so when inspiration hits I want to be able to jot it down. When I do eventually get time in the studio I like to make the most of it. There are quite a lot of stages for both my ceramic table ware and sculptural pieces to go through… after the initial concept, I have to work out how it will work in clay, build it, apply any surface decorations, fire it, glaze it, fire it again and sometimes even fire it a third time (if I want to add a lustre). Simple pieces usually take a month or so to make their way around the studio. Sculptural pieces can take months (and months and months…). Then there is the photographing, marketing, admin, bookkeeping, etc.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
Anywhere and anything. From the kids, the backyard, conversations with people, books, music, experiences, etc. One of the more recent sculptural pieces I am working on at the moment is about the train ride I take to get to my design job. The day to day regularity of life. Inspiration can be found anywhere.

Do you also sell your work at craft shows? 
Yes. I think it’s important to get yourself out there on a physical level and see how people react to your work. I have been at a few big design markets like Melbourne Made:trade:design fair and the Finderskeepers markets but I am also a member of our local BrisStyle designer market. We’re a community of designers and crafters that also have a great Etsy presence.
I’m not sure I’ll make it to many this year with the exhibition happening. There is so much preparation to do when taking your work to markets, especially the bigger ones. They are more like pop up shops and carrying your stock and set up to other states can be quite challenging and yet can also be quite rewarding.
What is your most cherished handmade item?
That’s not fair. I am deeply in love with all  the little art creations I’ve picked up from other artists over the years.
Apart from creating things, what do you like to do?
Spend time with my family, taking the dog to the beach, listening to music, daydreaming…

Was there ever any other job you dreamed of having growing up?
No, with a mind like a butterfly, I always thought I would have a job where I could be creative.
Five years from now you will be…
Hopefully doing the same things but maybe on a larger scale.
Describe yourself in five words:
Whimsical, playful, imaginative, maternal, complicated

Carrying on with the five theme, if I were to turn on your stereo, what five artists/songs would I see on your recently played list?
David Bowie
The beatles
Kate Miller Heidke
Megan Washington
Lastly, do you have any advice for anyone thinking about opening their own shop or participating in craft shows?
Be yourself, be unique and keep going doing it!!
Something I have learnt from doing craft shows — Some people will not understand your work at all and will leave your stand unimpressed and vacant, that’s OK. Others will just love what you do and leave your stall thrilled, they’ve finally found you and your work! It’s exactly what they’ve been searching for! These are the wonderful people you should think of whenever you start feeling discouraged.
Do what you do because you love it and someone else will surely love it too. Just get it out there and consistently keep getting it out there.

Belinda has been gracious enough to give one of you lucky readers one of her prints!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, April 04, 2014

fff vol 110

Favorite finds from the past week:

Etsy find of the week:

I love these vintage charts. The mister actually bought one a year ago, but we don't have it up anywhere until the house gets remodeled I just love how they pop and all the drawings, they have them of botanicals and of animals. Very cool. Check them out if you have never seen them before.

Please can I move in?

I know this isn't a house (I think its someone's backyard "shed") but its so awesome

Get in my belly!

We went out to dinner last weekend to Nolas and I cannot stop thinking about how absolutely yummy my dinner was. I don;t think I've ever gone somewhere, that nearly a week later I am dreaming about eating the same dish again! haha

This is what I had if anyone was wondering:  Chicken Nola prosciutto and sage flour dredged and battered chicken breast with a lemon sauce

Tee shirt of the week:

Zen threads...ah I could pick out nearly all their shirts!

Random find of the week:

My friend Leigh shared this on her facebook page the other day, and it was just too awesome to not share..

Number three is my favorite hahaha

3. "What do you do all day?"

This week has flown by. I cannot believe it's already friday. Lots to do in the few shot weeks we have left before markets start back up. We have some awesome new layouts and great new products. Can't wait to share all the completed products and setup with you guys. It feels like I've been talking about it forever, but things are finally almost ready and getting exciting!
Have a great weekend everyone!