and the winner is...

Daydream Art Studios, with 54% of the votes for this ornament:

Close runners up were MoMo's Bows and Whimsy by Mari, who tied for second with their beautiful ornaments!

The reader comment who won a $20 gift of BEST Bucks is Libby, from Aurora's Garden!

Congrats to everyone!!


Holiday Gift Guide


Monthly Giveaway- Whimsy by Mari

Its time for our monthly giveaway again! All you have to do to win this fabulous pair of earrings is visit their maker, Whimsy by Mari, leave a comment here about her shop, and one comment will be chosen at random on January 1, 2009 to win!

Earrings are Blue Quartz topped with Montana blue Swarovski. Designed to go from jeans to dresses, these are a $12 value and available here also, if you aren't the lucky winner and want to buy a pair for yourself.


Holiday Ornament Contest

All these ornaments have been handmade by members of Bluegrass Etsy, and are all available for sale in their shops! Shop our stores in the sidebar to find these and more great holiday gifts! Please vote for the ornament you like the best. Winner of the best ornament will recieve $20 in BEST Bucks and a month long spot on this blog. Also, after voting, leave a comment and be entered to win $20 in BEST Bucks, valid toward any purchase in participating Bluegrass Etsy shops. Happy Holidays!!


Member of the Week- Ginny Macks Crafts

Virginia (Ginny) Wilmoth is originally from Louisville, Kentucky, and currently resides in Cecilia, Kentucky. Ginny has been sewing, kniting, crocheting since she was 7 years old, making clothes for her dolls at first, and then clothing for her siblings, the first being dresses for her twin sisters when she was only 12 years old. At about that time she also began her first quilt. Her first finished quilt was in 1964, and she has continued to make them since!

In 2002, Ginny was helping her son Norm on their farm, and riding on the back of the 4-wheeler with her dog Mickey, a blue heeler, when Mickey accidentaly bumped Ginny off the 4-wheeler and she was injured severly. She was in a coma for 3 weeks with severe head trauma, and they didn't know if she would live. Thankfully, Ginny pulled through, however she had to relearn everything. She still has minor problems with some things like finding the right words to describe what she is talking about or numbers. Some things are a little harder for her, like using the computer, but she has never given up during all this! She had rehabilitated herself while taking care of her husband who could not walk much or do for himself until his passing in 2007. It is remarkable what she has accomplished!

She continues to sew, knit and crochet. She has entered her crafts in the Kentucky state fair, local craft fairs, and bazzars and has won numerous top placing ribbons! She began creating her own patterns in 1975, and has continued to do her craft and make patterns her entire life. Ginny loves what she does, and often makes gifts for family and friends. She has arthritis, but doesn't let that stop her either. She even continues to help her son and daughter in law out on their thousand acre farm of crops and cattle combined whenever she can.

You can see all of Ginny's handicrafts in her Etsy shop, Ginny Macks Crafts.


Monthy Contest Kickoff!

Here at Bluegrass Etsy, we constantly try new ideas to get people excited about buying handmade. We have decided to have a monthy contest where you can win a prize just by browsing (no purchase necessary) our online shop and giving us some constructive criticism in a comment posted here. Every month, there will be a prize donated by the featured shop. Winners are chosen at random from the comments here. This month, the shop is Daydream Art Studios. December is Whimsy By Mari, January is Creative Eye Studio, and February will be Maylee's Garden. Stay tuned!

Here is the prize up for grabs this month:

This necklace features original digital artwork printed on plastic and hangs from an adjustable 16" to 18" blue satin ribbon necklace with sterling silver plated ends and chain. All findings are sterling silver plated, and this lovely necklace is topped by a genuine Swarovski crystal. It is also fully sealed for durability and waterfastness. I have worn these in the shower, pool, and ocean!

It also comes in this little handmade eco-friendly recycled box perfect for giving this holiday season! All you have to do to win is visit http://daydreamartstudios.etsy.com/ and then come back here and leave a comment about the shop! One winner will be chosen at random December 1, 2008.


Member of the Week- J Cobb

We are very lucky to have some talented men on our team that tolerate being on a team full of women. One of our men, J Cobb of J Cobb's Folklore, is fitting to be featured right before Halloween because he makes these rad, kind of funky-eerie paintings:

How perfect for Halloween! And the prints are only $10 a pop too! Visit J Cobb's Folklore soon!


Our member of the week is a team superstar, Kim Ries! She is the one responsible for making that great Octoberfest video, seen here a few posts ago, and writing the FAQ's for me to answerm which has helped countless current and potential members to our great team. She has also helped brainstorm many other exciting ideas, so keep an eye out for some great things to come! We are very lucky to have her!

Etsy: Your place to buy & sell all things handmade


About Bluegrass Etsy Street Team...

Find more photos like this on Bluegrass Etsy Street Team

Are you an Etsy seller that lives in Kentucky? Are you interested in joining our team, but have some questions? As our membership has tripled in the past month, here are some common questions that have come up.

Q: What are the requirements to be a member of the team?
A: Bluegrass Etsy is open to all Etsians that reside in Kentucky. To maintain a high standard of quality that we can use to help market our team as the B.E.S.T. artisans in Kentucky, a 95% or above rating on Etsy must be maintained to stay a member. Other than that, there are no requirements to be a member, just remember that you will get out what you put into this group!

Q: How do I get listed as a B.E.S.T. team member at the etsy communities team listing? How often is this updated?
A: Once you join the team member-only network on Ning, you are an official member! The Etsy Communities team listing is updated periodically to reflect this.

Q: How should I tag my items in etsy so that they come up in searches?
A: Our team tag is “teambluegrass” (all one word). Tag all items in your shop “teambluegrass” to be found by shoppers and treasury makers. All our team resources on the web (flickr, myspace, blog, email) are found under “bluegrassetsy”.

Q: How can I contribute to the team blog?
A: Guest writers and articles are always needed for the team blog. Every Wednesday is our member of the week article, and submissions for any other day, Monday through Friday, are accepted. Email submissions to Corinne at daydreamartist76@yahoo.com. Make sure articles are well written and edited, and relevant to issues pertaining to team members, Etsy, arts and crafts, and/or Kentucky. Also, any photos you post on the Ning website go directly to the slideshow on our team blog.

Q: Should I create a blog myself?
A: Absolutely!! Blogs are a great marketing tool, and a way for your voice to be heard! Once you start a blog (free, easy to use blogs can be had from www.blogger.com), convo Corinne (daydreamartstudios) with the link so it can be added to the blog roll on the team blog.

Q: How can I participate and feel a part of the team?
A: Join our flickr group and friend our MySpace page. On our Ning site, post blogs and start and reply to discussions in the forums, post craft shows in your area under events, post photos (products only, no family pictures, please) that go directly to the slideshow on the team blog. Create team treasuries and comment on treasuries your teammates make. Cross-promote with your teammates. Consider splitting a booth with teammates at local shows to save money and make friends! (Sometimes double sized booths are cheaper than two individual booths.) Participate in team-wide sales and promote them on your own blog. Share your ideas with us! If you find somewhere on the web you feel our team should have a presence on, start a page/ group for our team and tell us about it! We also have a chat in our own private chat room every other Wednesday evening, so drop in and say hi!

Q: What is a treasury and what is the etiquette for treasuries?
A: Treasuries are those beautiful collections of products that follow a theme you see on the front page of Etsy. They are a terrific marketing tool for getting traffic to your shop. Anyone on Etsy can get a treasury by watching the treasury page and waiting for an opening. More info can be found here. When you are lucky enough to land a treasury, email the link to us at bluegrassetsy@yahoo.com. We will then pass it on to the whole team! When you go to these team treasuries, leave a comment and click on the items in the treasuries, as these clicks are what moves the treasuries up the list and to the front page. Your teammates are helping to market you and put you on the front page, so please take a minute to click and comment! Be sure to tag items “teambluegrass” to be found by treasury makers!

Q: What if I have a friend that wants to join? How do I invite them?
A: Send email addresses to daydreamartist76@yahoo.com to receive an invitation to join.

For further questions…

about flickr group – Mari, http://whimsybymari.etsy.com
about MySpace page – Libby, http://www.aurorasgarden.com
about team video montages- Kim, http://creativeeyestudio.etsy.com
about team blog or anything not covered above – Corinne, http://daydreamartstudios.etsy.com


Join us for our fabulous Octoberfest Sale! The following shops are offering their biggest discounts of the year, just in time for holiday gift shopping! Save up to 20% and free shipping on fine handmade jewelry, fine art, bath and body items, household decor, baby items, and clothing.

Sale is from now until October 19th.

To take advantage of these discounts, simply enter in the coupon code "BESTOF" in the "message to seller" in checkout, and wait for a revised invoice before paying. Easy~Peasy!

Visit these shops and save big:

Daydream Art Studios
20% all orders, free shipping on orders over $35
Whimsy by Mari

20% off all orders, free shipping

20% off all orders, free shipping
Maylees Garden
3 soaps for 10 bucks! Free shipping.
Creative Eye Studio
20% off all orders
Dragonfly Design

20% when you buy 2 or more pet portraits OR free shipping
Spool of Plenty

20% all orders, free embroidered bib of your choice with $30 or more purchase
Purple Gypsy Studio

20% off all orders, free shipping
Ladonnae Designs
20% off all orders, free shipping
The Artistic Touch
10% off all orders, free shipping on orders over $35
MoMos Bows

20% off all orders, free shipping on orders over $35
Julibee Kitsch
20% off all orders
The Velvet Patch

free shipping on all items
20% off all orders
20% off all orders


Member of the Week- LaDonna Eastman

Our member of the week this week is the fabulously motivated LaDonna Eastman! LaDonna not only keeps busy with her own art and Etsy shop, she also organized the first annual Every Woman's Art Festival last weekend in Louisville. This festival was centered around the talents of Kentucky women, and as a women-only festival showcased the talent of many, many women all in one place. As expected, the show was a hit!

In addition, LaDonna also makes jewelry and paints. Two of my favorite paintings are these modern, bold poster-sized paintings:

Be sure to check out LaDonna's jewelry and art in her Etsy shop, ladonnae.etsy.com!


Member of the Week- Mari of Whimsy By Mari

Our member of the week is the Divine Ms. M. No, the other one, our own Mari, of Whimsy By Mari. This wonderful lady keeps track of all sorts of things for our team, including every Etsy treasury we create or are in, such as this new fall favorites one, created by Libby, last week's member of the week:

Mari also creates the most beautiful and classic jewelry featuring handmade one of a kind lampwork beads and sterling silver. Two of my favorites:

Be sure to visit Mari's shop and say hi to this lovely lady! We would be lost without her on our team!


Tina Mackin of Smackin Art

Our own Tina Mackin, of Smackin Art, had her digital art published on the cover of underwired in August:

We are very proud of this talented member of our team! Tina does amazing digital collage art in addition to her fun illustrations and gorgeous watercolors. My favorite in her shop is this watercolor, Variegated Leaves Never Say Never:

Be sure to stop by and say hello to Tina at her Etsy shop, Smackin Art, and keep an eye out for this artist on the rise!


Member of the Week- Libby of Auroras Garden

Our member of the week is Libby, of Auroras Garden and Maylees Garden. Not only does Libby create enough wonderful goods for two shops, but she also works tirelessly to volunteer for our team whenever necessary, including creating our MySpace page, which is now up for your viewing and friending pleasure.

In Auroras Garden, she creates and sells patchwork skirts, pillowcase tops, and halter-type tops for the plus size gal, along with super adorable pillowcase dresses for babies and small girls in colors of the buyer's choice. My favorite one is this pillowcase dress for baby, modeled by her daughter, Maylee:

Maylee is also the inspiration behind Libby's second shop, Maylees Garden, which sells vegan soaps in all sorts of scents and colors. The one I am drooling over is this luxurious Peppermint and Rosemary Shea butter soap:

You can stop by and say hello to Libby anytime in Auroras Garden or Maylees Garden! Be sure to friend us on our MySpace page as well! Thanks!


We are now listed with the Kentucky Arts Council!

Yep, that's right. Bluegrass Etsy Street Team is now an art organization listed with the Kentucky Arts Council. So shop with confidence and pride that you are getting high quality goods from down home Kentucky artisans. Everything is hand crafted with love and an attention to detail you will never see in any big-box corporate store! To visit our member's shops, check out the side bar to the right, where you will find items perfect for fall, like this hip hat by Cowgirl Rosie:

Or this lovely, super detailed, and elegant hand beaded bracelet by These Precious Things:

And just in time for Halloween or Thanksgiving, this festive handmade card by Devin Pranther:

Or just a little sun, in a gold that goes with any fall attire by Daydream Art Studios:


Member of the Week: Jama Watts

Jama Watts, a member of our team from Lebanon, Kentucky, has had the great honor of being selected by Maker's Mark this month in their "Mark of Great Art" art show. We are all very proud of Jama! She is clearly an artist on the rise! Both a painter and an accomplished jewelry designer, Jama has won several awards for her jewelry design, and will even be featured in an upcoming episode of HGTV's "That's Clever!".

The Kentucky native also runs an art gallery, These Precious Things in Lebanon, in addition to her Etsy shop of the same name. You can learn more about Jama on her website http://www.jamawatts.com, read more about her on the Makers Mark~ Mark of Great Art, or visit her Etsy shop, These Precious Things.


New members, awesome talent

We have many new members and too much talent right here in Kentucky to contain in one blog post!! Keep checking back, as our team blog will be continually updated to show you some of the great stuff we have to offer! in the meantime, check out some of these handmade goodies, and stop by and say hello to us in our shops!

Find more photos like this on Bluegrass Etsy Street Team


A Family Affair- Interview with Carolyn Campbell and Robin Green

This week I interviewed the mastermind and founder of the Bluegrass Etsy team, Robin Green, and her mom, Carolyn Campbell, the creative force behind CowgirlRosie. Both ladies are primarily textile artists and are just getting their feet wet actually selling their wares, so be sure to read on and encourage them to keep up the good work!

Corinne: Carolyn, how fantastic that your daughter Robin is so crafty too!! Is crafting a family affair? I read that you had a textile artist and ceramicist in the family. Which one is Robin- the textile artist or the ceramicist?
Carolyn: Robin is the textile artist and Kira is the ceramic instructor and ceramic sculptor. (Robin’s) brother and (Kira’s husband) is a digital artist and painter and instructor. We don't work together, but often critique each other's work and discuss and discuss and encourage. We have trouble getting it all said.

Corinne: Your profile mentioned you being retired from art education. Tell me more about that, were you an art teacher? What did you teach?
Carolyn: Yes, I was a K through 5, with a very brief stint in middle school, art teacher and when art jobs were not available I taught 4th grade classroom. It has been said that you never really know something until you have had to teach it, and I couldn't agree more. I learned so much about art by teaching. And the younger students have so little pretense, they love creating. There are no posers in the elementary classroom. Even now I am drawn to work that has that childlike freshness and sense of color and design.

Corinne: Where do you get your inspiration?
Carolyn: I used to paint ,but now I sew, and I am sure some of the samethings still inspire me . I love texture and color. I love fabric stores, Quilting Arts magazine, Threads.

Corinne: What about you, Robin?
Robin: I am strongly influenced by nature, but also by other artists. Some of my favorites are the Pre-Raphaelites and also the artists of the Art Nouveau movement.

Corinne: What sets you apart from your competition?
Robin: Hmm...*mumble* the fact that I don't have an Etsy store? *mumble* Seriously, I am working on setting one up, I'm just having a hard time deciding on a craft to concentrate on.

Corinne: Do you do a lot of craft shows instead?
Robin: I have done a couple of craft shows with my mom, Cowgirlrosie.

Corinne: Well then, Carolyn, what do you think sets you apart from your competition?
Carolyn: I really don't if anything does, I like what I do most of the time, but it may not please everyone.

Corinne: Which do you do better at, Etsy or craft shows?
Carolyn: I have been to a total of four craft shows, and on Etsy for six months, I get a lot of compliments but not many sales. The compliments are great for the soul, though, so I am pleased.

Corinne: What do you two sell at the shows? I love doing craft shows- are you finding you like them?
Carolyn: We have not done that many and we sell the same kinds of things we have on etsy. Yes ,I enjoy talking to people first hand , and always find something in common to talk about.

Corinne: What medium do you work in the most?
Carolyn: Fabric, thread, vintage buttons,felted wool.
Robin: Right now, anything fiber-related. After that, I would say polymer clay and carving rubber stamps.

Corinne: Do you do a lot of craft shows? Which do you do better at, etsy or craft shows?
Carolyn: I have been to a total of four craft shows, and on Etsy for six months, I get a lot of compliments but not many sales. The compliments are great for the soul, though, so I am pleased.

Corinne: What is your favorite thing in your shop right now?
Carolyn: I really like the coil bags, fun to make!

Corinne: I love the Geisha bag! You seem to
like making matching bags for vests. Is this from a personal need, or just what you like?

Carolyn: This evolved as a marketing tool more than anything, I have not seen duos on etsy although of course I have not viewed all the items on etsy. The actual construction of a bag is not very engaging for me , I am into the surface of the fabric more, and the bag is just the carrier for the message of the fabric. I am just starting to explore the all the possibilities for manipulation of the surface of the fabric. So many more things to learn!

Corinne: Who is the artist who inspires you the most?
Carolyn: You know my Mother was a great seamstress, and a perfectionist. Just wish I had paid more attention to her sewing skills , but then I really wasn't into sewing.
Robin: I have to pick two: Dante Gabriel Rossetti and Alphonse Mucha.

Corinne: Where in Kentucky are you?
Carolyn: Just south of Louisville, Kentucky.
Robin: Shelbyville, Kentucky.

Corinne: What do you do to get over creative block or to take a break from creating?
Robin: I switch to a different craft, web surf, or read a book.
Carolyn: My biggest block to creating is finding the time,never what to do.I have been retired about two years now and it seems I run at breakneck speed all the time. I have many things in which I have invested my efforts, and I enjoy them all.

Corinne: If you could give just one tip to a newbie to selling their craft online, what would it be? Carolyn: I really feel like a newbie myself, so not much advice in merchandising.

Corinne: Robin, any tips from a buyer‘s point of view?
Robin: Practice taking photographs as much as you can. Make sure your photos look good at thumbnail sizes as well as full size, and try to compose them in a way that is visually interesting. A full view shot is great to include in a listing, but sometimes a close-up is more interesting as the primary picture.

Corinne: Pirate, ninja, or mermaid? Which one would you be?
Carolyn: I would have to be one of those little pony seahorses. The thing that swallows up so much of my time, and is also one of my passions, is my POA herd. I have 11 horses in my care. As I am writing this I am nursing ten stitches and a black eye where two yearlings knocked me into a pipe fence. My fault, but that is another story.

Be sure to visit Carolyn's shop at: http://www.cowgirlrosie.etsy.com/


Interview of the week: Jennifer Earles of Bijoutery Designs

Jennifer Earles is the artist behind Bijoutery Designs and also a graduate student studying geoscience. She says that her love of geology has led to her designing stone and pearl based jewelry. I don’t know if it’s the artist in her or her innate knowledge of stones and gems, but one thing is for certain, her designs are beautiful!!

Corinne: My favorite thing in your shop is this spastic pearl necklace! What is your favorite stone to work with and why?

Jennifer: I’d have to say amazonite – blue is one of my favorite colors, and there’s really no prettier blue than amazonite!

Corinne: Where do you get your inspiration?

Jennifer: A lot of my inspiration comes from nature and the world around me. I study science, particularly geology (though I love astronomy and ecology too!), and get a lot of inspiration from that as well. It gives me such a better appreciation for the materials I work with to know that a stone I may be using is millions of years old, and each one is its own little mystery.

Corinne: Wow, geoscience sounds like an interesting major! What is it, and what do you hope to do with it?? Will you still design your jewelry?
Jennifer: Geoscience incorporates a lot of the different fields that study the Earth, and the materials and processes that affect it. I’m particularly interested in planetary geology (the geology of other planets) as well as environmental geology. I hope to pursue research once I am done, though I think I would like to try my hand at teaching at some point. I really enjoy sharing what I know, and explaining just how important geoscience is to every day life.
I will definitely continue to create jewelry and art! I don’t see myself ever stopping, and maybe one day down the road I’ll get the chance to focus more on it and turn it into a full time pursuit!

Corinne: Well, I hope you don’t stop! Is jewelry the medium do you work in the most?
Jennifer: Currently I mostly do jewelry design, mainly using stones, pearls and leather. However I grew up learning a variety of art forms, and also love to painting and pastels. I found I like photography too, while in college - I took so many geology field trips that I improved a bit every time I took photos and found I just loved what I could do with the camera.Corinne: Do you do a lot of craft shows? Which do you do better at, etsy or craft shows? Jennifer: I haven't done any craft shows since I moved to Bowling Green, near Western Kentucky University, last fall. I used to do a few in my old town (which was right on the Indiana and Kentucky border), and particularly enjoyed art markets. However, I started grad school soon as I moved here and as time intensive as it is, its easier to sell online as I can work on it whenever I want from the comfort of my home! As far as which I do better at, well it depends - I can sell at lot of my smaller and cheaper items at shows, but sell more of my larger more expensive items on etsy, so they're really different markets when it comes to selling.

Corinne: What sets you apart from your competition?
Jennifer: I think my knowledge of my materials helps - I can explain a lot about the stones and pearls which people seem to always be interested in. I'm always honest about what I sell. I don't try to use any 'trick' trade names to make something sound more impressive - I don't need to, because I appreciate the materials for what they are and what beauty can be found in each one.My designs also make the best use of my materials, to show off their beauty and what is special about each component that goes into a creation.

Corinne: What product in your shop is your favorite right now?
Jennifer: My keshi petal pearl necklace will always be one of my favorites - I just love pearls and the keshi ones are just amazing. Each one is a little different in shape, size and color, its like each little pearl is its own work of art. To me its very much a "wow" piece but without being overwhelming since its all in soft colors.

Corinne: Who is the artist who inspires you the most?
Jennifer: Al Bean, an astronaut who was on the Apollo 12 mission and 4th person to set foot on the moon. He has created some amazing space art, and its just such a wonderful thing to find someone who tries to share what had to be an amazing experience with everyone else, through art. What a cool thing that is.

Corinne: What do you do to get over creative block or to take a break from creating?
Jennifer: Spend time with my family and pets, as well as go outside and take walks in the woods.

Corinne: I love your blog! Its educational and entertaining! Do you have a website also?
Jennifer: My blog http://jearles.blogspot.com/ has features about stones, fellow artisans, geology trips, and occasionally one cute bunny might pop in! I also have a web portal I'm currently developing at http://www.bijoutery.com/ that I plan to develop as a gateway to all my sites online, including my etsy store, blog, and possibly some special projects.

Corinne: I love the pictures of your big bunny on your blog! It sounds like he's your baby!! Do you have kids besides him?
Jennifer: No kids yet, just my “fids” (aka “furry kids” as one of my profs called ‘em). Maybe some day, but my little furry family keeps me plenty busy for now!

Corinne: If you could give just one tip to a newbie to selling their craft online, what would it be?Jennifer: Be sure when selling online to give your customer all the information they need - both visual and descriptive. They aren't in front of you to see and touch your items or ask questions, so you have to literally be their eyes and hands. Take the best photos you can, and include all the pertinent info about your items, to help your customer visualize it as best as possible.

Corinne: Somehow I can picture you digging in the dirt looking for rocks! If you were trapped in a cave, and could only take one thing, what would it be?
Jennifer: Super duper flash light with one of those “life long” batteries and a hand crank just in case. Believe me, you don’t want to be stuck in a cave without one! If you ever go on a tour often the tour guides will have everyone turn off their lights for a few seconds (or maybe even a minute) to get a sense of just how black it is. One time, though, I was with a group where we left ‘em off for about 15 mins or so – seemed like a lot longer! It’s very disorienting to say the least; it almost feels like this inky blackness is going to swallow you up, or like your senses are all out of wack. It definitely gives one an appreciation what the early miners had to go through when all they had were candles!

Be sure to check out the beautiful work Jennifer has in her shop, Bijoutery Designs, at: http://bijoutery.etsy.com/


Interview of the Week: Leigh with ElizaLeigh

ElizaLeigh is made up of two sisters who sew and craft together and have joined forces to create this fun Etsy shop. I sat down and talked to Leigh, who is a never ending well of bubbly fun. Leigh has a degree in English and writes advertising copy by day, and fictional works like children's books and poetry in her spare time.

Her crafty partner in crime and sister, Eliza, has a degree in Graphic Design and Fine Art. She says,” I sew, draw, paint, write...just about anything you can thing of that is hands on and creative.” She also says she is quite jealous of her sister, who seems to feel the same about her. Ahh…sisters!

Both sisters have a talent for sewing anything that will stand still, and continuing to push each other to do more. My favorite thing in their shop? This apron, partly for the vintage feel and beautiful craftsmanship, and partly because the description says, “That's me in the apron. Nice to meet you.” Nice to meet you too, Leigh.

Corinne: So, if I am getting this right, Eliza is the artist, and you’re the witty writer?
Leigh: That would be correct. We are two sisters. We took pieces from both of our names and we merged them to come up with our shop name. Eliza comes first because LeighEliza just gets tangled up on the tongue. Try it out loud. See?

Corinne: What do you currently write for?
Leigh: I work in the advertising industry, so a better question is who do I not write for. I have a very extensive client list and have written/produced both locally, nationally and internationally. But, I don’t want to give names.

Corinne: Where do you get your inspiration?
Leigh: I would say we get our inspiration from what we imagine the world should look like. I think if it was left up to my sister and I, the sky would be purple and the grass would be polka dotted.

Corinne: What do you think sets you apart from your competition?
Leigh: Just being who we are sets up apart. Like snowflakes, no two creatives are ever the same. We did grow up in a small town, however, where sewing and crafting were just a part of everyday life. After both of us studying and getting Fine Arts degrees, I think we just married our past and present to come up with what we make now.

Corinne: What medium do you work in the most?
Leigh: We both deal a lot with textiles, just because of the obvious variety that offers. But Eliza is also a very fine painter and artist and I am a writer by profession. So as long as we get to work in the creative medium, we’re pretty happy!

Corinne: Do you plan on adding some of Eliza's paintings to the shop sometime?
Leigh: Eliza has actually done some hand painting on one of the pillows and I would love to see her do more. She is exploring fabric painting and is hoping to do a series of illustrated pillows and blankets.

Corinne: Do you do a lot of craft shows? Which do you do better at, Etsy or craft shows?
Leigh: We’ve just started really putting ourselves out there, so Etsy is where we spend our time right now. However, we’ve been tossing the idea of art fairs back and forth and may try one or two very soon.

Corinne: What textile lovely in your shop is your favorite right now?
Leigh: Eliza’s favorite is her “Don’t you just love this fabric” baby quilt.
Leigh: My favorite is the “Big Eyed Critter Pillow!” I really enjoy seeing what my sister comes up with. She constantly surprises me. Of course, she might say the same thing about me.

Corinne: Who is the artist who inspires you the most?
Leigh: Oh wow, that is a huge question! We both are inspired by art that tells a story or some kind of emotion. When the exhibition for the women of Gee’s Bend came through our area Eliza went like five times! Just looking at the quilts brought tears to her eyes due to the stories she could feel in the pieces. I am affected in much the same way by music and poetry.

Corinne: You call yourself small town, where in the world is ElizaLeigh?
Leigh: While we didn’t start out here, we are both living in and loving the great city of Louisville, Kentucky. I know coming from a small town, this is the “big city” to me.

Corinne: Do you two live together? How close in age are you?
Leigh: We don’t live together, but we don’t live too far apart. Eliza is a little over three years older than me. I think I started my creative choices by watching her.

Corinne: I know I have trouble keeping you two straight online, do other people have this problem too?
Leigh: It happens, but we are both so involved it doesn’t really throw people. All of the items that are created by me are signed by Leigh and vice versa on Eliza. We plan on doing some collaborative projects and those will be signed by us both. If people have questions, we generally both know how to handle them.

Corinne: What do you do to get over creative block or to take a break from creating?
Leigh: My sis can get lost in a good book faster than anyone I’ve ever seen. I watch horror movies and reality television. (Guess which one of us got better grades?) Getting over a block is usually taken care of by a good long browse in a fabric store.

Corinne: I think I saw a mention somewhere of a blog that is shiny and new. Do you blog in addition to your etsy shop?
Leigh: We do have a blog that we’ve just gotten started. It’s http://elizaleigh.wordpress.com./ You can also see our Flickr page there as well. Eliza takes the photos.

Corinne: If you could give just one tip to a newbie to selling their craft online, what would it be?
Leigh: Do what you love! As long as you love what you’re doing, you will continue to do it and other people will recognize that in your art.

Corinne: Wow, GREAT tip! I couldn’t agree more! So, I know you two are quite the duo, but if the two of you were trapped on a desert island and were allowed one thing, what would it be? Do you think you would still be as close?
Leigh: Well, I know that Eliza would have some kind of book. I would have Diet Coke! I guess she could read to me and I would let her have a sip or two...so we would probably stay pretty close. Plus she’s a lot taller than me and I would need someone to grab the coconuts.

You can visit ElizaLeigh at their Etsy shop at: elizaleigh.etsy.com


Interview of the Week: Stephanie Stratton

This week I sat down with Stephanie Stratton, of Luna Bud Knits, to learn a thing or two about fiber art and get to know the delightful woman behind the shop. Stephanie spins her own breathtaking yarn from furs and other natural sources. I wish I knew how to knit just so I could use some of her fluffy goodness!! My favorite thing in her shop right now is this beautiful soy silk yarn:

Corinne: Hi there, so sorry this has taken so long, I have had a crazy few weeks! I spent all weekend helping in laws out after Grandpa backed his boat into the house and knocked down a wall, lol!
Stephanie: Backing a boat into a house....lol! I'm sorry, I shouldn't giggle, but that is a new one for me:) I hope no one was hurt!

Corinne: I don’t know about you, but my days are chaos! Tell me about a typical day for you.
Stephanie: The first thing I do in the morning when I roll out of bed is take care of Miss Piper the 135 lb Newfoundland and Miss Kitty, our little calico cat, who has recently grown quite fond of eating cicadas. Then it is off to the full time job which is web design, marketing and advertising for a manufacturer of steel buildings. After work #1 if needed I head to work #2, which is property management of about 20 rental units. When I finally get home, I like to spend about 20 minutes sitting in front of my 75 gallon saltwater aquarium to ease my nerves and to calm down a bit from my day. After dinner and any cleaning that needs to be done, I usually have an hour or two to spin yarn, knit, card a batt or two, clean/prepare fiber or read a book before we hit the sack. Right now I am almost 1/3 of the way through an order to spin 20 pounds of alpaca. Weekends are really when I get to fulfill my fiber addiction and spend a little bit of time with Applebutter my appaloosa;)

Corinne: What’s your family like? Are they involved in your crafty works?
Stephanie: They love seeing each yarn that I make. My husband loves telling his buddies about what I am working on and they all get a real kick out of watching me spin and knit. I have most of my fiber shipped to my Mom's shop in case I have to sign for it and she enjoys seeing what is in each box and bag as well as seeing the finished product. The nephews ranging in age from 1-11 are always asking 'what is that' and they love trying to figure out how the spinning wheel works. I would have to say that I am a bit more artsy-craftsy than the rest of the bunch, but I blame that on the 'evil' television, internet and video games none of which I am much interested in.

Corinne: I love, love, love your beautiful fibers! Where do you get the material to spin from?
Stephanie: They come from a variety of places. All over the world really. I have wool from Canada, New Zealand, South Africa and America; Silk from China and India; Alpaca from USA; Fire star from China; Camel from America (a wedding gift not to be sold) and from the Middle East; and a variety of others from various places. Some fibers I buy in bulk and others are purchased in smaller quantities. Oh, and some of the fibers I find are a little something special just for me:)

Corinne: Where do you get your inspiration?
Stephanie: I let the fiber tell me what it wants to be whether I am spinning yarn or creating a OOAK fiber batt.

Corinne: What sets you apart from your competition?
Stephanie: Gee... now, that is a tough one. But I would say that one of the larger differences would be that I try to learn as much as I can about different fibers so that I can make sure my customers are happy. For example, not many people know that many of the new eco-friendly fibers like soy silk and corn silk are highly flammable or will melt if left in a car in the summer heat.

Corinne: I love the look of the soy silk yarn. Can you tell me more about it?
Stephanie: Soy silk is actually a by product made from the leftovers of the tofu industry. It is a very soft fiber that is very similar to silk in how it behaves while spinning as well as it's softness and drape (drape would be how it lays after knitted into a fabric). It is also a protein fiber so it takes the same dyes and dying methods that are used with wool and silk. There are two major differences between soy silk and other protein fibers. For starters, soy silk will do what knitters call 'bloom' as it is worked this means that as it is knit many of the end fibers will stick out to give the knit item a softer halo effect. The second difference and I believe the most important is that soy silk can not tolerate overly high temperatures. The result off too much heat would be that the fiber will begin to melt. This must be taken into account when wearing soy silk, such as to not wear it around open flames or when cooking. Ingeo or 'corn silk' will have the same result but at a lower heat level. It has been known to melt when left in a car with the windows up on a hot sunny summer day.

Corinne: What medium do you work in the most?
Stephanie: Fur. Dirty or clean I love it all ;)

Corinne: Do you do a lot of craft shows?
Stephanie: At the current time, I have not had much time to do craft shows. I have been talking to a woman who has a spot at a local farmers market about setting up booth with her as she sells and spins fiber as well.

Corinne: Do you ever get to demonstrate spinning? I bet its fascinating to watch!
Stephanie: Right now, I haven't had much time to research what craft shows I think would best suit my needs. This being the reason why Etsy is my only selling spot for the time being.
I do take my spinning wheel with me to knitty night on Wednesdays at where ever the group ends up. I am at the 'Main and Maple Coffee Shop' in Nicholasville every second Wednesday of the month with my wheel. It usually does garner a bit of attention, especially from children. I always try to get them to come a little closer to show them what, how and why the wheel works like it does :)
On a side note here, I am waiting for things to settle down around here so that I can open up a second shop which will sell my fine art photography.

Corinne: What do you do to get over creative block or to take a break from creating?
Stephanie: I take Miss Piper the 140 lb. Newfoundland for a walk :)

Corinne: What product in your shop is your favorite right now?
Stephanie: Do I have to pick a favorite? If I had to pick a favorite, I would pick my Crashing Waves roving:

Don't tell the other batts as they would be terribly jealous, but I have debated taking this little lovely out and spinning it.

Corinne: Who is the artist who inspires you the most?
Stephanie: As a teenager, I would have to say Van Gogh. At the current moment, I am reading a book by Osa Johnson called 'I Married Adventure' which is fun and action packed and based on Martin and Osa Johnson (her husband) as they traveled the world taking photographs and making films of the exotic indigenous people and wildlife they found. Although the book is mainly based on Martin, I find Osa was a rare woman indeed who bull-headed, bucked the norm of that day and time. A real spit fire! Wish I had read this as a teenager instead of Poe....lol!

Corinne: As a fellow Bluegrass Etsy teamster, I know you’re in Kentucky. Where in Kentucky are you?
Stephanie: Nicholasville, which is a hop, skip and jump from Lexington. Seven miles south to be precise.

Corinne: As a web designer by day, you surely have a website or blog in addition to your etsy shop!
Stephanie: Yes, I do. I have a blog: http://lunabud.blogspot.com/ and a website: http://www.weedofdreams.com/

Corinne: If you could give just one tip to a newbie to selling their craft online, what would it be?
Stephanie: Customer service whether online or at a physical store should always be your number one priority. Always be pleasant, happy and eager to help your customers. This will generally result in return business plus good word of mouth advertising. Another thing to keep in mind is SPELLING! There is no telling how many times I look at a listing and come across incorrectly spelled words. It is annoying to no end, because it means that the seller is too lazy to fix the word the Etsy spell checker pointed out to them in red. And in my mind, lazy is as lazy does.
OK, ok, I'll stop at two ;)

Corinne: Now, for the question that’s on everyone’s minds: pirate or mermaid- which one would you be?
Stephanie: When I was a little girl there was a creek running through the back field behind our house. The water was clear, cool and deep enough in some areas for a refreshing dip in the summer heat. I would sit on a huge grey limestone rock that jutted into the water and pretend all day long I was a mermaid. I would hold both my legs together and flip them in the water as if they were truly fused into a long green tail. I could spend hours on my rock staring into the water playing with the little guppies as they swam beneath my finger tips.

Visit Stephanie’s shop, Luna Bud Knits, on Etsy, at:


Feeling Patriotic

It's summertime, and that means cookouts and fireworks aren't far away!


Interview of the Week: Jacqueline Ettinger

This week we meet Jacqueline Ettinger, of glorybeherbals.etsy.com An experienced herbalist, Jaqueline is just getting started selling her homemade concoctions online on Etsy. In addition to her offerings of herbal remedies and body products in her shop, she can also make a custom remedy to cure what ails you. So read on to learn more about this talent of the week:

Corinne: Where do you get your inspiration?
Jacqueline: A new herb or essential oil inspires me.

Corinne: What sets you apart from your competition?
Jacqueline: I love to make customized treatments for a client.

Corinne: What is your title, I know it takes a bit more knowledge than the average bear to do what you do?
Jacqueline: I'm an herbalist and aromatherapist.

Corinne: It looks like you grow all your herbs. I'm so jealous! I can't grow a dandelion! Do you have a large garden?
Jacqueline: I try to grow as many of my own herbs as possible. It's nice to be able to grab something out of the yard when I'm feeling inspired. I also wildcraft from places that I know to be safe and buy some herbs dried. I do have a big garden but to grow the kind of garden I dream of would require buying a ton of land-maybe someday.

Corinne: I love the idea of your spirit spray! I have "cleansed" my homes for years with sage! What made you come up with that?
Jacqueline: I got the idea of the spirit spray so I could use it at work. You can't even burn a candle so I knew smudging was out of the question. So I decided to extract the sage and make a spray. The spray is wonderful and the infused oil is HEAVENLY!

Corinne: What product in your shop is your favorite right now?
Jacqueline: Sleep Balm-it smells SOOO good and is really relaxing.

Corinne: Your comfrey stick intrigues me. Tell me what you use it for.
Jacqueline: I carry my little comfrey stick with me at all times in my purse. I have tendonitis and the comfrey is the only thing that helps. It also helps with bumps and bruises and sore muscles. Plus it smells really good.

Corinne: Who is the artist who inspires you the most?
Jacqueline: Herbalists- Jeanne Rose, Rosemary Gladstar, Demetria Clark.

Corinne: Tell me about this Heart of Herbs program. You really know your stuff!
Jacqueline: I actually found the Heart of Herbs program through one of herbal suppliers. Mountain Rose Herbs (I highly recommend them) has a web page listing all of the programs that receive a student discount. Many of them offer correspondence courses. After I checked them all out I chose Demetria Clark's program. We also have a yahoo group where we stay connected with each other. It's a great way to learn from other herbalists around the world. Demetria will be putting out a book in June.

Corinne: Where in Kentucky are you?
Jacqueline: Lexington.

Corinne: Tell us about your family. Do they use your stuff too?
Jacqueline: My husband and I have been together for almost 19 years. We have a beautiful, smart, and very talented daughter who is 12. Plus we have a 4 year old toy poodle. Yes, they all use my remedies.

Corinne: What do you do to get over creative block or to take a break from creating?
Jacqueline: A walk in the park or some knitting/crochet.

Corinne: Do you have a website or blog in addition to your etsy shop?
Jacqueline: Not yet.

Corinne: If you could give just one tip to a newbie to selling their craft online, what would it be?
Jacqueline: I'm a newbie myself!

If you want to help Jaqueline, she loves to get insight on her Etsy shop from more experienced sellers. If there is one thing she DOES know, though, its about her wonderful and natural products!! Visit her shop at glorybeherbals.etsy.com to get your herbal treatments today!! Made with love in Kentucky!!


Interview with Tina Mackin

Tina Mackin
This week I talked with Tina Mackin, of smackinart.etsy.com Her work is bold and vivid, and makes a statement wherever it is. Read on to learn more about our conversation with this artist about her fun works.

CORINNE: Where do you get your inspiration?
TINA: Watercolors - nature, music; editorial cartoons - pop culture and the news; illustrations - people, music and issues.

CORINNE: When getting ready to start a new watercolor, how do you select what to paint?
TINA: It’s usually the color or form. When I was painting daffodils, I was drawn to their form. When I painted this large piece on hibiscus, it was the flower’s bold orange color. Once a form or color has caught my attention, the item seems to appear everywhere saying, “paint me, paint me.”

CORINNE: What sets you apart from your competition?
TINA: Each art piece is original. I do not photograph things and, then, trace them as a surprising number of artists do. I do not make giclee's of my work. Each piece is the only and the original.

CORINNE: What medium do you work in the most?
TINA: Currently, ink and pencil.

CORINNE: Do you show your work in any galleries?
TINA: Prior to Hurricane Katrina, I was very active in gallery hops and shows. After the hurricane, the main gallery were I sold my work closed and the other stopped dealing with original art. I gave my paintings a break. Currently, I have paintings at Anabel’s Oriental Rug Gallery in St. Matthews and Widdershins in Louisville.

CORINNE: What about craft shows?
TINA: Not anymore. I wasn't make enough money for the time and effort it demanded. Which do you do better at, etsy or craft shows? Etsy is easier on the art that's for sure.

CORINNE: What product in your shop is your favorite right now?
TINA: Hmmm. Derby Anticipation.

CORINNE: I love your Pomegranate painting, can you tell me more about it?

TINA: Pom drinks, capsules and this-n-that were in the mainstream grocery stores. I was intrigued. I was drawn to the red color. I thought the fruit was beautiful on the outside, but had no idea what it looked like on the inside. So, I decided to buy 2, cut one open and paint.

CORINNE: Who is the artist who inspires you the most?
TINA: I love the creative work of Vadis Turner. I am listening to Sara Bareilles right now. I can't go wrong with The Dixie Chicks have a song for my every mood.

CORINNE: I can tell pop art really inspires you. If Warhol and Rauschenberg were in a boxing match, who would win?
TINA: Yes, I am a big fan of Pop Art. Warhol wouldn’t fight with fists only with words. I’d guess Rauschenberg. His work seems like he’d be a frenetic person.

CORINNE: Where in Kentucky are you?
TINA: Louisville

CORINNE: Tell me a little about your family.
TINA: I am married with two children (almost 12 year old daughter and almost 10 year old son – they have summer birthdays). I have three dogs that are like children, a bunny, guinea pig and a fish.

CORINNE: How do your kids like mom being an artist? I know it’s a big deal to my daughter.
TINA: The children love me being an artist. And, they respect when I’m working on a piece. It’s also educational as my kids hear me say when I love a piece and when I think I’ve missed the mark. I know my kids loved seeing my work out in the community. When I belonged to the Kentucky Watercolor Society, I participated in many member exhibits, one of which was the local library.

CORINNE: What do you do to get over creative block or to take a break from creating?
TINA: Spend time in nature, work in my journals, go for a walk, take anap or meditate.

CORINNE: Your Etsy shop (smackinart.etsy.com) has some fabulous paintings in there. Do you have a website or blog in addition to your etsy shop?
TINA: My website is www.smackinart.com

CORINNE: If you could give just one tip to a newbie to selling their craft online,what would it be?
TINA: Take good photographs of your work.

Be sure to check out Tina’s website for a much more extensive collection of her paintings. Her variety is impressive. You can purchase her original watercolors on smackinart.etsy.com
Next week's interview: Jacqueline Ettinger


Visions and Dreams

I have a little bit of drawing talent. Just enough to get frustrated when the image in my mind doesn't quite match up to what I draw. The colors and shapes seem more vivid in my head than they ever do on paper.

These Etsyans don't seem to have that problem, though. :-)


Mother's Day is just around the corner! Wouldn't you like to get Mom something as unique as she is? Something handmade, something just for her? The members of the Bluegrass Etsy Street Team have got you covered! Check out the mini below (or the links in the sidebar) to get started browsing our member's shops for that perfect gift!


Derby related listings

Check out these auctions to get outfitted in style for Derby!

Images removed, but be sure to search on Etsy for items made by members of the Bluegrass Etsy Street Team using the tag "teambluegrass"!


Derby Time!

The Kentucky Derby is nearly here. On May 3, 2008, Kentucky goes crazy for the most exciting few minutes in sports. Sun or shine, people will be out watching the horses whether in the stands or the infield. Ladies will wear the most amazing, unusual, gravity-defying hats. Gentlemen will sip mint-juleps. If you haven't already, head to the Official Derby Homepage for 2008 and pick out your favorite(s)!

Any team member who has Derby or Kentucky specific items in his/her shop, let me know and I'll feature them here.


New Members

Our team keeps growing! Welcome to our new shops: Do Mosaics, The Miscellaneous Five and Dime, and Weed of Dreams! Check out the Etsy mini at the bottom of this page for items made by members of the Bluegrass Team.


Why buy local?

Since this is a "local" Etsy Street Team, I thought I'd take a moment to post some of the reasons I think buying local is important. If there are any I've left out, feel free to leave a comment!

1) Buying local supports your regional economy. In these days of jobs being shipped overseas, its nice to be able to give someone in your community support by purchasing locally made goods.

2) Buying local cuts down on carbon emissions. Everyone should be aware of global warming and how burning fossil fuels is contributing to it. By shopping locally, you're reducing those emissions.

3) Buying local often means being able to get a custom order. When I go into a Big Box Store, my options are limited to what's in stock. Etsy allows buyers and sellers to come together and collaborate on custom items. If you haven't already checked out the Alchemy section, you should.

4) Buying local allows you to find out exactly what's in the item you're buying. Etsy in particular lets crafters tell exactly what went into that handcrafted item. With the recent scares of contaminated goods from overseas, I feel better being able to ask the maker directly about what ingredients go into an item.

For more on the benefits of buying local, check out:

Living Economies




Kentucky has a lot to offer!

Here are some resources for Kentucky crafters:

The Kentucky Craft Marketing Program is a great resource for all Kentucky craftpeople.

"Arts Kentucky works hand in hand with arts organizations and individual artists to create cities and localities with strong arts and culture, which build vibrant communities. We believe that creative communities not only enhance the quality of life for all who live there, but they also strengthen the local economy and nurture the creative young minds of our future leaders."

The Kentucky Arts Council provides arts-focused grants and programs or services to every county in Kentucky.


Welcome to our newest member, IrisinBloom! She makes a variety of machine embroidered items, from sweatshirts to blouses and even towels!


Cowgirl Rosie's page

If you are looking for a unique handmade purse or hat, head on over to Cowgirl Rosie's Etsy page. Here's what she has to say about her shop:

"I love to work with felted wool. I make purses, hats, and scarves. I recycle/upcycle woolen garments such as sweaters and skirts to create the felted wool that I sew into various items. I also enjoy creating jewelry from vintage buttons."

The Stitch Witch

Looking for a one of a kind clothing? Then head to The Stitch Witch Embroidery Company's Etsy website. We use this website to sell one of kind items or items with limited availability. Our commercial site (catinthemirror.com) contains an extensive selection of gifts for the entire family, including pets. We have an additional Etsy site, The Lazy Daisy, dedicated to children's apparel. Please visit our sites often and keep in mind that we specialize in custom orders. Contact us for this hard to find personalized gift.
Starting this blog in preparation for a new Etsy team! We are a group of Kentucky artisans working in a variety of media. Our goal is to promote high quality, handcrafted products locally and through Etsy.