Kentucky Wild Weeds: Storing Roots

Today we have another installment of Kentucky Wild Weeds, written by team member Jackie Alberti of Glorybeherbals.

Harvesting and Storing Roots

Fall is the time to harvest roots to store for future use. Roots will store much longer than leaves and flowers and will remain “fresh” for years if handled properly.

The first thing you should do is to do your homework about the particular plant you are harvesting. Some plants have to be a certain age or they won’t be useful-this would be tragic all the way around if you kill an innocent plant and waste your time. Also, some plants like American ginseng may be illegal for you to harvest without a permit from the state. Here are some useful guidelines-Coneflowers (Echinacea) should be 4 years old; Ginseng 4 -7 years old; Goldenseal 3-5 years old. I strongly recommend raising your own endangered plants so that wild stands aren’t depleted!

After you have dug up your roots you want to wash them really well then cut them into small pieces that will be easier to work with later. Then comes the hard part-lay them out in a dry dark place to thoroughly dry. This will probably take months but it’s well worth the wait since you will have years worth of medicine on hand. Check them periodically to make sure they aren’t developing any mold and they are drying out.

After they are dried you can store them in plain brown paper bags away from heat and light.

Companionplants.com has lots of bare roots for sale if you are interested in raising endangered plants on your land. They are located in Ohio so shipping is fast to anywhere in Kentucky and I have always received beautiful stuff from them. If anyone knows of a Kentucky source let me know!


Congrats to Tina Mackin of Smackin Art

Today’s Woman Magazine recently issued an Artists’ Call to Entries for an art piece representative of its 18th birthday. Tina Mackin's piece “18” landed in the top 5 (out of 52 entries) and is featured in the December issue of the magazine, on its website and on a T-shirt.

Check out the 18 finalists at the Today's Woman website.

Click here to see the top 5 winners featured in depth, including Tina.

Way to go Tina!!


And the Winner Is!

Congratulations to Teresa R. of PaperonParade! Teresa is the winner of the December team giveaway donated by Belinda Johnson of Wandering Whimsies. Enjoy the cute "Joy to the World" snowman ornament. We'll be sure that you receive it before Christmas!

We will announce the January giveaway in about 2 weeks.

On behalf of the entire Bluegrass Etsy Team, we wish you a very happy Holiday Season!


Give a Gift Made in Kentucky Month

It's Official! Here is a wonderful press release from the Governor's office, proclaiming December as the month to buy something handmade from Kentucky. Our team couldn't agree more! To see wonderful Ky Handcrafted items, visit etsy.com and search for "teambluegrass" in the search box. It's not too late to do some holiday shopping!

Original artwork by andreatdesigns

Governor Beshear Promotes Giving Gifts Made in Kentucky

Press Release Date: Tuesday, December 01, 2009
Contact Information: Ed Lawrence
Communications Director
(502) 564-3757 ext. 473

FRANKFORT, Ky. – Gov. Steve Beshear has proclaimed December 2009 as "Give a Gift Made in Kentucky Month," and representatives of the Kentucky Arts Council joined First Lady Jane Beshear yesterday, along with regional artists and state and local officials, in kicking off the campaign at the Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea.

"We are very pleased to join in this campaign to contribute to our state's economy and support artists in Kentucky," said Lori Meadows, executive director of the Kentucky Arts Council. "Giving a gift made in Kentucky is as gratifying as receiving a gift made in Kentucky."

If you're not sure what someone on your gift list would like, consider purchasing a "Kentucky Unbridled Spirit Gift Card" online at http://parks.ky.gov/gift. The gift recipient can use the card to purchase works by the over 650 artisans featured at the Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea (www.kentuckyartisancenter.ky.gov).

The Kentucky Arts Council, the state arts agency, creates opportunities for Kentuckians to value, participate in and benefit from the arts. Kentucky Arts Council funding is provided by the Kentucky General Assembly and the National Endowment for the Arts.

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Our Holiday Giveaway!

We are excited to announce the winner of the November giveaway!! Wanda B. of Winnipeg, Manitoba is the winner of the necklace from 3Magpies.

Our December giveaway will be drawn in two short weeks so that the winner can enjoy it during the holidays. The December giveaway is created by our very own Belinda Johnston of WanderingWhimsies. Be sure to check out her shop for other cute whimsical items for the holidays!

Description: This 5 1/2 inch star shaped wood snowman is holding a banner made from a piece of vintage quilt with "Joy to the World" hand-stitched across the banner. Several small jingle bells adorn the edges of the banner.

The snowman is painted a light buttermilk color, sanded along the edges and lightly antiqued for an time worn appearance. This beautiful country primitive snowman ornament does have a wire hanger attached for hanging on your tree or wreath, but will also stand on its own on a shelf or mantle.

This item is valued at $15.95.

Want to win? Here's what you need to do. Visit the WanderingWhimsies etsy shop here. Come back to this blog post and leave a comment on something in Belinda's shop. Give Belinda ideas about what you like or ask a question of her. For additional chances to win, subscribe to this blog, become a follower, tweet about the contest or put the contest on your blog. Be sure to let us know with separate comments so you get additional chances to win.

We'll draw a random winner on December 15 and will post that week.

Good luck to all and Happy Holidays from the Bluegrass Etsy Team!!


Black Friday Cyber Monday promotions on Etsy

Teambluegrass is on top of the Black Friday fun! Here are a list of Kentucky handmade shops and the promotions they are having for Black Friday and Cyber Monday! You can click here to shop the whole teams listings or enter "teambluegrass" in the search bar on Etsy.com to find everything made by us!

LeslieN is having a sale and FREE SHIPPING in her jewelry shop for Black Friday All prices will be marked down by 10% just in time for morning Black Friday shoppers! She has a gorgeous selection of natural gemstone jewelry.

Glorybeherbals is having free shipping in her shop of all natural herbal products. Glorybeherbals is also known as Jackie who has been doing our Kentucky Wild Weeds Series here on the blog! She really knows her stuff!

BlessedBe is having Free Shipping all the way till Christmas! She has BEAUTIFUL Christian themed jewelry. Perfect for the Christian in your life!

WhimsyBeading is having 15% off everything from Friday till Monday and also Free Shipping! They specialize in PLUS sizes and make gorgeous elegantly crafted Beadwoven works of art with a steampunk/gothic/victorian feel.

WanderingWhimsies is having 10% off ALL orders and 15% off all order over $40.00 Free shipping to US and Canada! Wandering Whimsies has a fine selection of handmade primitives, Raggedies and other beautiful things, check her out!

DoMosaics is having 10% off all 5x7 Mosaic Frames and Mirrors till Dec 15th. They have a gorgeous selection of handmade mosaic frames, trivets, mirrors, and more!

PurpleGypsyStudio is having 10% off and free shipping 11-27 thru 11-30. This shop has gorgeous hand fired pottery. What a great gift!

LaDonna Eastman is having a sale in both of her shops Ladonnaedesigns And ClosetVintage She is having free shipping and 20% off in both shops Black Friday thru Cyber Monday!

SewFriendzy is having 10% off thru Paypal refund Black Friday thru Cyber Monday. They are our newest members who make lovely Pet beds, bags, totes and more!

AimeePlus3 is having 10% off in her shop via Paypal refund. She has an amazing assortment of pet beds, collars, leashes and other pet goodies!

Creativeeyestudio is having Free shipping to US and Canada Balck friday thru Cyber Monday!
She has handmade cards as well as gorgeous handmade Jewelry. All her earwires are Sterling Silver and she has a large selection to choose from.

SmackinArt is having a special "Let's Make a Deal!" Buy one item from textiles and get 1/2 off (the one of the lesser value). Buy one ACEO and get one FREE. Buy one print and get 1/2 off another one.

Lunabudknits is having 10% off ALL merchandise Nov 27th thru Nov 30th. This means EVERYTHING...Wheels, roving, carders, fiber, ALLLL of her stuff. She even has some hemp top!! Everything for your spinning needs can be found here. 10% off via refund thru paypal after purchase.

BellaSmiles is having Free shipping till monday and a 7$ vintage necklace sale!

Sarabeedesigns is having free shipping in the US and half price shipping internationally. Sarabee has gorgeous drop spindles, hand painted roving, polymer clay Poke me nots for your knitting needles, gorgeous hand dyed yarn etc....

I will update this post as I hear of more team members having sales, if you are on the team and have a sale I have not mentioned here please add it to our forum thread here and I will update this post accordingly.

Have a great weekend everyone!


Our November Giveaway from 3 Magpies!

It's time again for another Bluegrass Etsy team giveaway!! Our giveaways have been going strong for a year now. We started doing this in November of 2008. Hard to believe it has been a year already!

Our winner for the 2nd half of October was Vicki W. of Fargo, North Dakota. Vicki is the winner of the custom bib and burp cloth set created by our very own Angela Latham of Spool of Plenty. Angela is also on Feature Friday so check out her shop if you haven't already.

Our November giveaway comes to us from Denise Johnson of 3 Magpies.

Here is Denise's description:

This is a beautiful mother of pearl gogo pendant measuring 50mm strung on a waxed cotton cord. Very versatile, may be worn every day or dressed up for those special holiday occasions.

This beautiful necklace is valued at $13.

Want to win? Here's what you need to do. Visit the 3 Magpies etsy shop here. Come back to this blog post and leave a comment on something in Denise's shop. Give Denise ideas about what you like or ask a question of her. For additional chances to win, subscribe to this blog, become a follower, tweet about the contest or put the contest on your blog. Be sure to let us know with a separate comment so you get an additional chance to win.

We'll draw a random winner on November 30 and will post the first week of December.

Good luck to all!


BEST Team in Print

Our Bluegrass etsy team recently advertised in Arts Across Kentucky, a local magazine focusing on Kentucky arts and crafts. We are so proud to be the recipient of a etsy team grant to help us cover the cost of the ad. The ad is on the inside front cover - a great location!

In case you missed it, we just had to show it off a little more.

Our thanks to team member Brandy of WickedSisterDesigns who created the art for us!

Go Team!


Feature Friday: Angela Latham - Spool of Plenty

Today we feature the sewing skills of Angela Latham of Spool of Plenty. Angela has lots of knowledge and tips about etsy forums and chatrooms and is a great help to our Bluegrass etsy team. She has traveled a great distance to attend our team meetings. We are happy to have her!

How did you first hear about etsy?

My sister in law in Florida told me about etsy.

Tell us about a little about yourself and your favorite craft/art!

I don't know that I could pick a favorite! I really Enjoy sewing and embroidering right now but I dabble in other things too on the side.

How did you get started as a designer?

My Grandmother was always sewing and quilting so I guess I picked it up from her. I took some classes in High School and went on to graduate from Western Kentucky University with a Bachelors Degree in Graphic Design. Now that I am a stay at home mom, I use my free time to make things to put in my shop and give out as gifts.

What inspires you to create?

Colors and Fabrics. I constantly have ideas for all kinds of things bouncing around in my head! Sometimes it can get overwhelming!

How long have you been a member of Bluegrass etsy and how did you hear about the team?

I think I signed up for the team in September of 2008. I was on the etsy team page when I saw there was a group in KY. I have been to two team meetings now and it really helps me stay motivated.

Any advice you would give to aspiring designers?

Do what makes you happy. Make your own unique style and stand out!

Anything else you would like to add?

Shop Local when you can to support small stores and the Handmade world!


Thanks Angela for letting us learn a little more about you!

To see more of Angela's creations, please visit her Spool of Plenty etsy shop here!


Wandering Whimsies Front Page!

I just want everyone to know that our very own Wandering Whimsies has made the etsy front page! Her item Country Christmas Trees was grouped with others picked from Etsy's categories! How exciting! Congrats Wandering Whimsies!


October Team Giveaway: Part 2

Our lucky winner of the first October giveaway from Whimsy Beading is Linda K of California. Congratulations Linda. Kelly and Joey will be in touch with you when your prize ships!

We are so excited to announce Part 2 of our special giveaways for the month of October! This too-cute giveaway is generously donated by Angela Latham of Spool of Plenty.

Personalized Burp cloth and Bib set - valued at $12

You choose the bib color and the fabric to customize this prize! SpoolofPlenty will contact you with the details when you win!

How to Enter?
To enter, please visit Angela's Spool of Plenty shop. Come back here to leave a comment and tell us what you like about Angela's shop. If you tweet about the contest let us know for another chance to win. If you post this contest at your blog, leave a comment with the link for yet another chance to win. Finally, if you are not already a subscriber to our blog, enter your email in the subscribe box for another chance to win. Just let us know that you have become a subscriber.

This contest ends on October 31. We'll post the winner here, so stay tuned! Good luck to all and thanks for playing!!


Feature Friday: Toni Johnson of Vernon Ave

Today we feature the talented Toni Johnson of Vernon Avenue. If you love handbags (and what woman doesn't?) you need to check out her work. Toni was recently featured in the Autumn issue of Haute Handbags!

How did you first hear about etsy?

I found it on the internet about 3 years ago.

Tell us about a little about yourself and your favorite craft/art!

I have been making things and being creative for as long as I can remember. I love art classes as a child and grew into it naturally. My Mom gave me the freedom to be creative and paint murals on the wall, have a purple mohawk and "redesign" my clothes too. So, it has been ingrained into my everyday life. Maybe the purple mohawk was not the best idea but it was an outlet. I love to paint, draw, bake, sew and pretty much anything I can get my hands on.

How did you get started as a designer?

See above! ha! I started in high school making my own purses and changing my clothes to my liking. Then I moved on to design school.

What inspires you to create?

Travelling and seeing new places inspires me. Also, the history of handbags. I like to go back and look at the different cultures and learn about all different types of bags.

How long have you been a member of Bluegrass etsy and how did you hear about the team?

I have been a member about 9 months. I learned about them by reading stories about the street teams on The Storque.

Any advice you would give to aspiring designers?

Make what you love and the rest will come. Try not to make things "just" for money.

Anything else you would like to add?

I think etsy is a wonderful thing and it has given so many artists and people a community to thrive on on it's own terms.


To see more of Toni's colorful and unique handbags, visit her Vernon Ave etsy shop! They make great gifts!

And check out Toni's fun posts at her HandmadeMoonshine blog.


Feature Friday: Danielle Hammon of Lovelettersdesigns

Today we feature a new team member and jewelry artist, Danielle Hammon of Lovelettersdesigns.

How did you first hear about etsy?

I believe I saw it on a blog a few years ago. I’ve wanted to have my own shop ever since but it wasn’t until a few months ago that I took the plunge and decided to do it.

Tell us about a little about yourself and your favorite craft/art!

I am the Design Director for Underwired Magazine, a local women’s magazine in the Greater Louisville/Southern Indiana area. I decided to start I make earrings to sell on etsy about three months ago. I wanted to create earrings that were unique, but also simple and sophisticated. I love the simple elegance of v-shaped earwire to take a fun element or bead and make it a little more grown up. I think there is really something in my shop for everyone. Whether meeting a friend for coffee, or going out for a night on the town, my designs are functional and eye catching. I wear them everyday and get compliments all the time!

How did you get started as a designer?

I have done art for as long as I have been able to hold a crayon. My mom was constantly making things growing up. Our dining room turned into a workshop every year in November as my mom started making Christmas gifts for people, most of which showcased her painting skills. I started making my own jewelry in high school and have kept is as a hobby until now. It hasn’t been until recently that I thought about turning it into something more. I was in a bead store with my sister in July and I thought suddenly “I can do this, I’m going to do this.” I came home, made a bunch of earrings and opened my shop the next day.

What inspires you to create?

I draw inspiration from everywhere... art and design, nature, life. My husband has been a huge encouragment. He has been the push I need sometimes to go out and make my dreams happen.

How long have you been a member of Bluegrass etsy and how did you hear about the team?

I have been a Bluegrass team member for about a month and a half. I met Kim and Libby when they were thinking about advertising with Underwired. At that point I was only a month into my shop. The night I met them I had my first sale!

Any advice you would give to aspiring designers?

I’m more in a place of taking advice rather than giving it right now, but I have learned so much in the little time I’ve been a part of etsy. I guess my advice would be to take advantage of every resource out there. There are so many! And don’t give up or get discouraged.


Great advice Danielle!
To see more of Danielle's creations, visit her Lovelettersdesigns etsy shop.


Share our Success: WilmothFarms

Our very own Rachel Blanton of Wilmothfarms soaps was featured in the News-Enterprise paper today on October 7th 2009 !

We are so proud of you Rachel! The write up was great and so were the pictures! Congratulations and here is to your continued success on Etsy and Artfire and also Locally! You go girl!

Fall Craft Expo in Shelbyville

Nine members of the Bluegrass etsy team were set up last month at the Shelby County High School Fall Expo. Team members were able to socialize a bit and promote their creations as well as promoting their online etsy and artfire shops. Here are some pictures from the event!

Libby Goldsmith and her great smelling Maylees Garden soaps!

Kim Ries with Creative Eye Studio displays handcrafted jewelry and greeting cards.

Joey and Kelly Graves of Whimsy Beading with jewelry designed for plus sized women!

Becky Keith, Carolyn Campbell and Robin Green display their sewing skills!

Carolyn Mallin showcases her beautiful metalsmithing jewelry talent!

LeeAnn Christenson features her handcrafted kitchen textiles!

Some beautiful purses created by Toni Johnson of Vernon Ave.

Jessica Brown of the Pink Needle displays her sewing talent!