Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Christmas Schwag

So it's been a month, and now it's safe to post pics of what sister & I made and what we received for Christmas! I was spoiled! I got TWO sets of happy flannel pillowcases! I've made loads of them, for gifts and for sale, but no one had ever made ME a set.

Sister made these happy striped ones. And mom made me these the red & white cherry ones with little ribbon roses--in king size!

And yes, both sets are on my bed right now, with the third pair of pillows swathed in cloud-print flannel. It doesn't match but it's warmer than anything and makes me HAPPY!

Sister also made me a fabulous tote recycled from a torn Vargas print shower curtain. I don't have a pic of it, but it's very similar to one she sold on our Etsy site a while back. She also made me this adorable (and very warm) scarflette out of a beautiful green-and-blue beaded yarn. I picked it out, and I picked out the buttons ... and then completely forgot about it! So it was a nice surprise :)

Finally, sister also made me a new apron. Again, I picked out the fabric. Isn't it too cute? What we thought were colorful sushi rolls are in fact petit-fours. I still like to think they're sushi!

And to match, she made this adorable sushi roll pin cushion! It cracks me up every time I look at it.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Boxing Talent

So one of the first things I made to put into our Etsy shop was a shadowbox. I love to collect bits & pieces of the past, and I have quite a pile by now. Gloves, old photographs, bits of lace, doilies, baby items, and sewing ephemera. I especially love old pattern envelopes of blouses and dresses that I'll never have enough sewing talent to make in my life! But, coming from a long line of women who sew--and I mean SEW!--I can't help but think of them when I put together a pattern envelope, old tape measure, and vintage buttons.

So far, I've made two sewing collages: Maureen and Louisa. And earlier this week, Louisa found a home. And that made me very happy!
I have one more of this type of shadowbox planned--with a Parisian "theme"...and it should be in the shop very soon :)

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Featuring Julia Belle Vintage!

From time to time, like to feature fellow Etsians, but to make things more interesting we wanted to get to know the person behind the avatar. Meet Amy of Julia Belle Vintage.

How long have you been designing jewelry?
I've been making and selling jewelry for about three years, but have only been selling on Etsy since August of 2007. I've had so much fun!

What was your first craft?
I've been making things for as long as I can remember, but when I was very young (probably as young as 3 and 4) my favorite thing was sewing/cross-stitch/embroidery. My mom actually used to have Creative Circle parties, and I used to love making all those kits!

Who first taught you to make jewelry?
I completely taught myself to make jewelry. I found that I didn't like having to buy all the mass-market jewelry everybody else was wearing. I love jewelry that's been made from items that used to be used for something else. I love jewelry that tells a story.

What is the first piece of jewelry you remember having?
Hahaha ... this is funny. The first piece of jewelry I remember having is a necklace with a Grumpy Bear charm on it (from the Care Bears). I got it under my pillow when I lost my first tooth!

What was/is your favorite piece of jewelry?
My favorite piece of jewelry is a late 1800s tiny silver book locket with a floral design. I wear it every other day or so.

Where do you find inspiration?
I'm a bibliophile at heart, so most of my inspiration comes from books. I also have a great love of antique photos and use them whenever I can. I have a whole wall in my home dedicated to antique photos of people I don't even know.
What music do you listen to while creating?
I'm an acoustic guitar girl (I've played for about 4 or 5 years) so I like listening to anything with acoustic guitar, new or old. My favorite song of all time is “Blackbird.”

Where does the name “myhools” come from? How is it related to your Etsy shop name, Julia Belle Vintage?
You know, I really wish I could change that username! I was a buyer long before I was a seller, as is the case with many Etsians. I have a daughter named Julia Belle, and we call her Jules. Jules somehow turned to hools, and that has been her nickname for quite a while now. My hools is really my daughter.

Is Julia Belle Vintage your main job? If not, what do you do in "real" life?
No, Julia Belle Vintage is just a side job right now. I work full time as an authors' liaison at a publishing company. We publish plays and musicals.

Finish the following: "In a parallel universe, I would be _____ instead of designing jewelry."

Hmmm.... In a parallel universe, I would be a writer living in England, surrounded by books and hot drinks and my kitties.

Your favorite crafting tool?
Oh, definitely my pliers. I'm lost without them!

Your favorite and least favorite materials for creating?
Old, tarnished brass is great. And obviously, I love using ephemera. I don't prefer to use plastic beads unless they are a really great vintage design.

What's your hope for the future of Julia Belle Vintage?
I really hope that I can continue making interesting pieces of jewelry that tell a story (without letting my day job kill me at the same time!). I love knowing that I have pieces all over the US and out of the country as we speak. It just adds to the story of each piece!
Thank you Amy for your time and photos!
And you can visit Julia Belle Vintage here.