Sunday, August 30, 2009

Meet the Artist - With Ieva

Last week, while taking one of my Etsy strolls (which I like doing when I'm bored and there's nothing nice on TV, which happens quite often) I stumbled about a lovely shop of whimsy polymer clay jewelry, quite unique and full of imagination - I was drown into the artist's world quite instantly. I immediately hearted her and sent her a convo asking to feature her shop. She was nice enough to agree (she was actually quite pleased!) and so I am proud to introduce the lovely and talented Ieva!

Tell my readers a bit about yourself

My name is Ieva, I‘m 17 year old Lithuanian girl who will soon move to study in Italy. Art is my hobby and hopefully will turn into job as well. Other than art I like Asian culture, wind, whispers, trees, and colors.

I made a similar face when I realized she is almost half my age

When and how did you begin to create polymer clay accessories? Is this your only creative medium?

I first saw polymer clay (Fimo) two years ago at an international camp, but back then it wasn‘t sold in my country. Once being in Poland I bought some color blocks, tried to make various canes, that were so popular among people working with polymer clay. It didn‘t work out for me and after some time I decided that I can develop my own style. That‘s how I started making little colorful characters I make now.

I‘m an explorer, I work almost with all materials I can find,I try different styles. From my inside I‘m definitely a painter (I also graduated from Art school, painting course), I draw cards, photography is one of my biggest passions, I cannot live without crafts, I like writing poems, one of the most beautiful languages for me is Japanese. Having such a varied personality I join my different hobbies into one. This turns into brooches with my own photographs, painting on furniture and umbrellas,cards with texts in Japanese on them.

You just started your way on Etsy, and are still waiting for your first sale. Where else do you sell your art? Is this your day job?

Today I got my first sale! One nice Australian bought three items and I‘m very happy about it. My Etsy is the only shop I sell my art in. I usually sell my art to friends, friends‘ friends, my mother‘s friends, etc. Sometimes I participate in fairs. Fairs are the best way to get the feedback an artist needs to see that he is not working for nothing.
You are yet to add your and whisper line to your shop. Can you tell us a bit about the difference between your lines, and maybe share some photos as well?

My accessories from polymer clay are funky, funny and cute, whereas and whisper line is more for special occasions, sophisticated and luxurious items. Since all of and whisper line items disappear everytime my mother‘s friends come, I haven‘t added them to my shop yet.

Hard to blame mom's friends..

Can you tell us a bit about your work process? Your inspiration, the creation process..

As for being an artist I fail at one stage – I never make sketches. I know it would be useful, but the vision in my head always looks better than on paper. So I write it down instead of drawing. My inspiration comes literally out of nowhere. Sometimes I inspire myself, even though this might sound ridiculous. I can‘t count the times I painted something looking at my own photographs and these paintings I like best. Of course, I surf the net and see amazing things made by amazing people and they inspire me a lot, but for the ideas - they just pop into my head. And I can‘t sleep till I make those ideas come true.

Beaded eye charm

What is your favorite item of all times?

This question took me a while. I chose a painting that is so precious to me that I can‘t even find nice frames for it – all of them seem too plain :)

Such talent at such a young age, ahh! Where have all the years gone by? I cannot imagine what wonderful creations she will create in what promises to be her very bright future. Yay Ieva!!

If you want more of her work, visit her blog and her website.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

A special sale and a shop update

The Etsy Israel Team is having its first co-sale. All of these shops (including both of mine) offer a buy 2 get 1 free special (which ends on Tuesday morning - 1.9.09):
Apart for this, I have a new clearance section on my shop, with lots of wonderful discounted items.

And today I added a new Roman centurion Flutterbutt to my shop, on top of the new items listed this week, including beautiful hand painted Hanukkah Menorah and Christmas cards. Check them out!

I also worked out my international holiday shipping guidelines for 2009:
  • Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year) Eve 18.9.09 - Last international shipping date is Tuesday 1.9.09
  • Halloween 31.10.09 - Last international shipping date is Monday 12.10.09
  • Thanksgiving Day 26.11.09 - Last international shipping date is Monday 9.11.09
  • Hanukkah Eve 11.12.09 - Last international shipping date is Monday 23.11.09
  • Christmas Eve 24.12.09 - Last international shipping date is Sunday 6.12.09
Tomorrow I will post a new Meet the artist with a wonderful fresh shop I found on Etsy this week. Stay tuned!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Looking for promotional items

It's time to get my promo packs in order in time for the upcoming holidays. I send a promo pack with each of my orders, and am almost out of my current batch. This is a nice chance to get your shop introduced to a new audience.

If you have promotional items you would like to send me, please email me at and I will send you my shipping address (in Israel).

I am looking for items up to the size of a standard business card, such as:
  • Coupons
  • Buttons and badges
  • Magnets
  • Charms
  • Stickers
  • Moo cards
They're back!
Festive promo packs from last year

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Nothing to write about..

I have nothing to write about. I've been staring at my blog for a couple of days now, thinking I didn't update it in a while, but as I said - nothing to write about. No new puppets, no new projects. I spent the last week or so either resting or working myself off my feet and am so tired most of these evenings I can't think of writing anything interesting or work on any crafty projects.

My main concern about the shop these days is trying to sell old items, in order to make room for new ones. I don't like having more than 60 items for sale at a time (for no real reason, I just don't like it). I am planning several Flutterbutts, including a new Santa (I just sold the one I had), a Roman centurion, and a fall fairy. I also want to translate my "Etsy tips and tricks" booklet to English and sell it on my shop, on top of the Hebrew edition.

As far as life goes, it's mainly work as I previously said. Haven't seen too much of my friends lately. I also have been overeating for the past week, which is a real shame considering I started losing weight last month, but I am working on it (started maintaining an eating journal yesterday, it usually helps).

I think I will make use of my lack of inspiration and start translating the guide. Lucky me, I can just copy from myself without worrying about creating something new. I am not in the mood for new right now.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Shop update

Happy Friday everybody! This weekend I am completing a shop update on Raisinlike. These are the items I added to my shop, versatile yet with a common grounds - All are related to puppets.

The Muppets Make Puppets: How to Create and Operate
Over 35 Great Puppets Using Stuff from Around Your House
By Cheryl Henson (Paperback)

I also added some new ribbon (including Grosgrain) to Ribbonzella. Here's to sales and to a fun relaxing weekend!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

מחוברת (Connected)

Have you ever met someone and just knew you have to make them into a puppet? No, let me rephrase that..

I have been totally hooked on the TV series "Connected" (aka - מחוברות) almost since it started airing on Israeli cable. The show introduces the viewers to five Israeli ladies (a well known reporter, two well known bloggers, a writer, and a high-school student). Each of them got a camera and documented her life for several months, sharing her view of the world, her life, family, hopes, dreams, etc with the viewers. You would think oh great, another reality show to bore us to death and make us stupid, but Connected is actually an intelligent, touching, heart warming (and sometimes heart breaking) show.

I have to admit that from all the ladies, Dana the reporter is the one I feel most strongly about. But Alizarin - (aka - Zroob) blogger, party girl, hard worker, philosopher, and altogether a very smart young woman captured my heart in another way. The way that made me run to my ribbon collection, pray to God I still have gray-blue eyes in my eye collection, and steal my very own Mini Me's pink eyeglasses (well, I sometimes use daily contact lenses).

Photo from Ynet

So last night I started working on Alizarin Flutterbutt. I did the usual stuff, with a fair skin tone, then started working with several pictures of the Alizarin while working on her features.

Work in progress

I was going for a Gothic-Lolita sort of look, but didn't want to make her entirely pink outfit, since she is 22 and not 4 years old. I gave her a punk plaid and leopard print mini skirt, and made her a little top out of leftover printed viscose. I added rainbow colored All-Stars, fuchsia rose pin on her two shades of pink hair, and made her a nice big Hello Kitty pink necklace.

Who's that girl?

We first had a little Twittup - introducing ourselves (Mini Me noticed Alizarin has very similar glasses to her own, but was nice enough not to mention it).

Then we took some photos.

Eventually, she started going wild on the set, poor thing needed some coffee and cake.

So we decided to call it a day, brought refreshments, called Pinky to join us, and started to parteeeyyyy!

Update: I just added her to my shop with a heavy heart. It's strange to sell a portrait of a person who actually told me she likes her puppet.. It's not like Serena or Barack is it? Not sure how I feel about this.. Should I just send it to her? That feels too 6 year oldish.. I don't know.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Just today!! Just today!!

I am having a special deal on my shop today (Tuesday the 11th).

Buy this wonderful, fuzzy, and inquisitive hamster magnet before it expires today

And get a free Pinky badge

Or a free Etsy sales fairy badge, which ever you prefer.

How does this work? In one of three ways:
  1. Simply buy the hamster, and then send me a convo with which badge you prefer.
  2. Another option is to leave me a Note to Seller during checkout, telling me which one you want.
  3. Last (and least in this case) you can simply buy the hamster and the badge you want, and I will refund your Paypal after you already paid.
Ready? Set! Go!!

Update (12.8.09) - Offer expired. Hamster still looking for a good home!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

A hard day's night

Today was a silly day. In terms of hard work, it was a total disgrace. But in laziness measurements, it was a great triumph.

I slept too late on Saturday (as usual) and wasn't able to fall asleep till way after 3am, and therefore could not get up till 10:30 this morning (ordinary workday in Israel, mind you). I had to go ship some orders, and bring the vacuum cleaner to the vacuum hospital, and was planning to drop by my new favorite ribbon shop in Tel Aviv before getting to the office. By the time I managed to escape the horrible new local post office, it was almost 12:00. By the time I found a parking space near the shop it was 13:00. After I spent about an hour there, I called big boss (aka my big brother) and told him I will not be arriving today. He was busy eating a schnitzel, so he hummed something and hung up, which meant it's time to go to the mall.

Lots of new ribbon

I went to Accessorize (yes, they took the whole point of going to London out of going to London. Thank God they didn't open a local West End). I returned some stuff I bought a while back, and didn't want and since they had a 50% on half the shop, I got out with two new necklaces, a strange red hair clip, and earrings I've been looking at for a few weeks now.

New Ribbonzella illustrations

An ice coffee and frozen yogurt later (and a trip to Top Shop and to Zara, I'm a bad girl damn it. No bra for me this month) and some shopping for mamisha, I got back home in time to shoot the new ribbon I bought for Ribbonzella on the roof. Mamisha and I love looking at new ribbon, so we had fun designing a few new Flutterbutts I hope to get started on this week. Lots to look forward to!

Meet the Artist - With Neta Amir

Neta Amir is a very talented textile artist, I had the pleasure of meeting as well as take one of her sock puppet workshops, which I enjoyed immensely. She is a highly intelligent lady, whose creation is innovative and ingenious. She is so talented, that my Pinky got a puppy from her (and those who know Pinky, know he is very choosy).

I can't get enough of these pictures
Pinky taking his doggy shopping

Tell my readers a bit about yourself

I am 32 years old woman living with my boyfriend in Tel Aviv. In my work I explore the fields of art design and craft.

I graduated from Fashion Design College in 2003 but after a year and a half in the industry I understood that it is defiantly what I don't like to do. At the same time I began to create dolls, and I understood that this is what I do like. At first I created handcraft dolls, but during the last four years it branched out to different directions including art installations and accessory collections.

When and how did you begin to sew? Is this your only creative medium?

I began sewing around second or third class of elementary school; I was always making things with my mother and grandmother during childhood. When I was 15 I moved to art high school, I was painting and sculpting. From time to time I was sewing and crocheting for fun too. Later on, as I already wrote, I attended the fashion college and there I developed my sewing skills much more.

At my current work I fill that I combine both disciplines.

Where do you sell your art? Is this your day job?

I sell my accessories collection in my Neta Amir designs store and my dolls at my new Bobilina Studio store, both on etsy.

It is my day job but besides selling my creations I do many other things, especially teaching. I teach kids and adults in different programs, sometimes I give workshops at home. Sometimes I have freelance projects in dolls design and pattern making for others, so my day job is quite diverse.

You recently opened a second shop on Etsy, where you sell your art dolls. Why did you decide to split your work into two shops and do you think it was a right move?

I felt that there was too much mess in my first store; I assumed that it was less appealing that way. Was it a right move? I am yet wondering.

You take outstanding photos. Can you give my readers some tips on improving their Etsy listing photos?

Wow this is a great compliment thank you.

I am spending much time in taking photos, and taking many photos for each item, many of the photos are awful, sometimes I even have to take more photos after I was downloading more then 80 frames.

I try to get 15-20 good edited frames to choose from 4 or 5. I also make a lot of experiments, during shooting with different angles, displaying and styling. As I have no knowledge in lighting I use only day light.

What is your favorite item of all times?

It is like asking mother who of her kids she likes best. But OK if I must I assume that so far this girl is my most favorite.

Read about the process of making this brilliant doll here

I hope you have fallen in love with Neta's work as much as me. I highly recommend following her amazingly creative and fun blog (with tons of wonderful photos) here.

Sunday, August 2, 2009


She could make angels
I've seen it with my own eyes
You gotta be careful when you've got good love
Cause the angels will just keep on multiplying
When did Jack Johnson write that song about me? And how did he know I spent the weekend making angels? What a strange man he is, I must keep an eye on him from now on.

First to be listed on my shop is Lailah Flutterangel. I named her after visiting an angel names directory, and finding Lailah is "the angel of the night who watches over spirits at from conception to birth", how wonderful is that? Lilah has soft light blue hair, white feathery wings, and white and silver sparkles tutu.

Lilah loves flowers

Since I am way too early listing Christmas items (well, angels are always in style, but last year I sold angels mainly towards the Christian holiday season) I am holding back on listing the second angel, who is yet to be named. She is wearing a powder colred (this color is so trendy these days on the red carpet!) lace dress decorated with satin roses and has white hair and small bead eyes. Is you have ideas for a name for this little angel, please let me know.