Share Our Success: Vernon Ave in Haute Handbags

A big round of applause goes out to our very own Toni Johnson of Vernon Ave who was featured in the Autumn 2009 issue of Haute Handbags!! The magazine just hit the newstands this week. Be sure to check out a copy and congratulate Toni on her success! Two of her lovely clutch purses are shown in the article.

To see more about it, check out the latest Haute Handbags issue published by Stampington.

To see more of Toni's purses, check out her Vernon Ave etsy shop.


Team Meeting In Bernheim Forest Fall 2009

Our team meeting at beautiful Bernheim Forest was a blast! We went over quite a few topics during our meeting thanks to the impeccable organization skills of Kim Ries, who made an agenda of topics that need attention from the team.

First thing was handing out a team roster, this is invaluable to all of us since we want to encourage shopping within the team, and its nice to be able to have an easy way to contact other members for networking. The team roster is available for download if any member would like it please contact me or Kim and we can send you the file.

We talked about our ad coming in the October-December issue of Arts Across Kentucky. Kim passed around the printed out ad to show how it will look in the magazine. Many many thanks to our resident graphic designer Brandy of WickedSisterDesigns for designing this ad for us, it will make each of us so proud to see it in print!

We talked about our monthly giveaway, and have taken sign ups into next year for this. We will be having 2 giveaways in October so get ready!!

We talked about the samples box that our wonderful Jackie Alberti (Of Kentucky WIld weeds fame) of Glorybeherbals will be accepting donations of samples for the box which will be sold in our team shop to raise funds for the team treasury. Anyone wanting to send a donation for her box can contact Jackie.

We also talked about membership issues...this has been a hot topic all year since we do have a large portion of the team that is not active in any way. We will be taking action in the next few days to hopefully thin out the team a bit and get us into one smaller and more organized and active group that can have each member promoting the team and their fellow team mates on various social networks to help us all gain more overall sales and boost ALL of our shops popularity.

We all had a wonderful lunch served by Isaacs Cafe, All the food was large portions and in my opinion very much worth the money spent. The vegetables were very tasty and very fresh. Everything we got looked so delicious I wished I had more than one stomach! I would definitely go back there with my family just to hang out and eat! Thanks so much to Carolyn of CowgirlRosie fame for running our lunch orders over there, and many many thanks to the staff at Isaacs for preparing such a wonderful delicious and nutritious lunch for our team! We needed the extra vitamins after all that talking and trading we did!

We got to hear some wonderful stories from our members. One such story was the story of Angus McEwan. He is the handsome ram/sheep that is pictured to the right and at the top. He apparently was a very naughty boy and got his twitter account deleted....now he spends his time blogging about the Whimsybeading husband and wife team of Kelly and Joey Graves. Thanks guys for bringing Angus - he made my day! I hope he didn't cause any trouble on the way home.

We got to meet with two of our newest members of a sewing team called SewFriendzy. They create gorgeous dog leashes, beds and other pet wares. Leighann brought a beautifully made halloween bag with a kitty applique on it to the meeting...I left with it! My daughter adores kitties and I had to have it for her! Her work is VERY professional and this is coming from a long time seamstress. I highly recommend checking them out if you're in the market for an item for your pet.If you are a jewelry lover, one member does jewelry! Her shop HumanKindness is full of treasures to behold! Many warm welcomes to our newest members of the team! Its a pleasure to have you all!

In summary it was an awesome day and we get to get together again very soon as we will be having a Christmas get together at Brendans on Shelbyville Road in Louisville on Dec 12th. Thanks so much to Joey Graves for setting this up for us I cant wait to try that Veggie Quesadilla Kelly mentioned! This venue serves alcohol so bring your designated driver and goods to swap! I am so looking forward to getting together once again with the team for good times, lots of laughs and trading!

Team photo from left to right:
Libby Goldsmith ( Mayleesgarden )
Kelly Graves (Whimsybeading)
Carolyn Campbell (Cowgirlrosie)
Joseph Graves (Whimsybeading) Angela Latham (Spoolofplenty)
Paulena ( Paulena )
And our wonderous meeting organizer who deserves more than a thousand thank yous for all her hard work for the team, Kim Ries (Creativeeyestudio)

Not pictured but who came to the meeting (we were having so much fun we forgot about pictures till it was time to go!)
Toni of Vernon Ave (Who by the way is having an article about her in the new issue of Haute Handbags! GO TONI!)
Leighann and Sherry from SewFriendzy
Tina Mackin from SmackinArt
And Asha from MisfitDreamers

Thanks so much to all who were able to come out, and next big meeting hopefully will be in the spring in Lexington!


Feature Friday: Jackie Alberti - GloryBeHerbals

Today on Feature Friday, we focus on Jackie Alberti of GloryBeHerbals. If you have been following the blog you will recognize Jackie's name from the Kentucky Wild Weeds articles that she writes for us. Now we learn a little more about Jackie and her love of plants, flowers and herbs.

How did you first hear about etsy?

I first heard about etsy from another student in my herbal program.

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

My favorite is aromatherapy but I also love herbs. I also knit and crochet when the urge strikes me but that's usually for family gifts.

How did you get started as a designer?

I have always been interested in herbs. I seriously studied herbs and essential oils a few years ago because I was getting really concerned about how many chemicals my family is exposed to. I really believe that plants are God's gift to us and they can sometimes work in ways that pharmaceuticals can't. After I was using herbs and essential oils for a few months I realized how much better my stress levels were and I was off all my prescription meds, plus I wasn't having any of the nasty side effects. How great is that!

What inspires you to create?

Sometimes it seems to come out of nowhere. Definitely a new herb or essential oil will inspire creativity. Sometimes I am trying to find a new protocol for a specific condition and I will be drawn to a certain plant or oil.

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

I have been on the team for about a year and a half now. I was invited to join not long after I signed up on etsy and I'm really glad I joined. We have really nice people and it's great to have a group supporting each other. BEST is a great team and I hope more members will be inspired to participate more. We have some members that are working SO HARD for the benefit of the whole team! If we could get half the team this passionate we probably could take over the world-or at least the state.

Any advice you would give to aspiring designers?

I think being an active member of a street team really helps with networking and morale. I also say keep on doing what makes you happy and listen to your customers.

Anything else you would like to add?

Actually I have a new store for perfumery where I am using mainly fragrance oils plus some natural perfumes. It's at JASaromatics if anyone would like to check it out. I also love to do custom work for customers-it challenges me in a great way.


Thanks Jackie for the interview. In addition to Jackie's JASaromatics shop, you may also want to check out her Glorybeherbals etsy shop!

To see more of the talented arts and crafts from Kentucky Handmade, go to etsy.com and type in teambluegrass in the search box.


Its That Time Again. Team Meet And Greet!

Well, team its almost time for us to get together, giggle like little girls, and eat some lunch at Isaacs Cafe in beautiful Bernheim Forest!

Our team meeting is set for this Saturday September 26th from about 11-ish till about 4-ish. I never want these things to end so I could easily party up into the night with you guys if you want to.

We have been informed no booze is allowed on the property. BOOOO!!!!!!

It is Ok however to bring items to barter and trade! I love trading!

Bring your promo items to swap with others, Feel free to bring samples of your work too! At our last meet and greet we got to see some AMAZING work by Jama Watts, and Jenni Phillips of Lucajenn So if you got something you wanna show off, bring it! We would LOVE to Oooo and Ahhh over your creations!

We will be discussing a lot of team related stuff so bring your thinking caps too. We want to make the team more exciting for you and also help you to make your shop be the best it can be. So bring your questions, and ideas too.

Kim and I are looking very forward to meeting each and every one of you coming out on Saturday. Kim and Carolyn have worked very hard to get this thing together, and I wish to thank them for all their hard work to make this meeting a success!

GO TEAM!!!!!!

Photo credits:
Above left courtesy of TheUnderstory
Bottom right courtesy of SewFriendzy
Click on the picture to see the listing for that item if you wish!


Kentucky Wild Weeds: Peppermint

We have another installment of our Kentucky Wild Weeds series from Jackie Alberti of Glorybeherbals. Today Jackie will discuss peppermint.

If you aren’t familiar with peppermint you must be from another planet! Peppermint is used extensively to flavor commercial products including candy, toothpaste, mouthwash, etc. It is also one of the most useful herbs you’ll ever use. Peppermint is cooling and warming-and it seems to know if your body needs warming or cooling. It stimulates appetite, circulation, mental function and relieves muscle spasms. The menthol content also makes it useful to open breathing passages when you’re suffering from allergies or colds.

To make a medicinal tea with peppermint you can boil some water, chop a teaspoon or two of fresh leaves, take your water off the heat and let the peppermint leaves steep in the water (covered) for 20 minutes. This tea can be sipped to relieve indigestion (and IBS) or added to bath water or a footbath to cool you down and relieve fatigue and pain. One of my favorite baths is rosemary and peppermint. I take this bath after I have spent the morning toiling in the garden but still have a full days work ahead of me. It takes care of my muscle aches and keeps me going for the rest of the day.

If you like to carry a water bottle in the summer, try dropping a sprig of fresh peppermint into the bottle. It really cools you down on a hot summer’s day.


To learn more about medicinal uses of plants and herbs, feel free to contact Jackie through her Glory Be Herbals etsy shop.


Share our Success: Tina Mackin of Smackin Art

Our very own multi-talented team member, Tina Mackin is a finalist in the Today's Woman "18" themed contest. Tina's art submission is shown above.

We'll find out the winner sometime after October 12.

Good luck Tina! Teambluegrass is proud of you!


Feature Friday: Maylees Garden

Today's interview focuses on Libby Goldsmith of Maylees Garden. Libby is also the leader of our Bluegrass etsy team! We hope you enjoy getting to know a little more about her!

How did you first hear about etsy?

A good friend of mine, Kelly went from ebay to Etsy. I too was selling on Ebay at the time in 2006. Her shop was my first exposure to Etsy, and I fell in love with it! It was cheaper than Ebay for sure and it featured ONLY handmade goods. At the time this was not commonplace like it is now. So of course I jumped on the bandwagon along with some others who made the style of clothing I make. I been on Etsy ever since. So my thanks to Kelly, for finding Etsy to begin with and heading over there and talking so much about it.

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

I am a work at home mama of 2 boys ages 11 and 16 and a girl who will be 2 in October on the 15th. I have been sewing plus size clothing since 2005, and I have been making soap seriously since 2007. I am a fibromyalgia survivor, and an arthritis survivor. I have chronic pain every day but I am determined to not let it slow me down. Life with chronic pain is difficult at times, and also frightening at other times if I have a flare up that is severe. It effects every aspect of my life, but I have become a stronger person for it. I always say as long as I have my right mind and my two good hands, I can create.

I am a columnist for handmadenews.org in the Marketing Dept. I have always loved writing, and I seem to have a knack for marketing so it made sense I would end up with this job. We have some very talented writers in the marketing Dept including our own Kellibeans who is a wiz at this stuff. Check us out!

I have a fan page on Facebook and a personal page. I love having new fans and friends so friend me and fan me! Also be sure to visit my crafty blog.

I am also the leader of this Etsy team now! I am quite proud of what we have done here in bringing the handmade movement to Kentucky and promoting ourselves as a team. I get really excited thinking of where this team can go. We have done so much this year, I expect next year to be even bigger and better!

Needless to say I am pretty busy, but when I get a spare moment I like to dabble in other arts and crafts, I have picked up crocheting lately, and spinning my own yarn from wool. I also like to dabble in dying methods, tie dye, batik, all the fun messy stuff! I like to keep an open mind creatively. I stumbled upon my talent for making clothing by accident, so I wonder what other talents are in my head just waiting to come out and play!

I can't say I have one favorite craft, I love sewing and I also love making soap too. I can use my creativity in different ways with both mediums. I love blending scents and inventing new ones with my soap. With my clothing I love making new patterns, and I get a great deal of joy from knowing I have made a plus sized woman feel beautiful. All too often plus size ladies feel less than gorgeous, and its sad. I happen to think plus size is the best size! Big mama's Unite!

How did you get started as a designer?

My mother has always been pretty crafty, She made soft sculptured dolls back in the 80's and I would help her with them. Mom was always creating something even if it was just the awesomest supper you ever ate. Mom and her endless creativity has been a huge inspiration. My father was also quite creative, he built me the most gorgeous furniture. I will treasure it always. His masterpiece was a bench made from an old twin size headboard and footboard for a bed. He used the headboard for the back of the bench and cut the footboard in half to make the sides of the bench. He added a board to sit on and some nice decorative touches, and Voila! I have a true work of art that starts up many conversations right in my house. Mom and Dad were my first inspiration to create, the seed was planted when I was just a wee girl. It has grown over the years.

What inspires you to create?

When I sniff my essential oils, I get ideas for blending. When I see beautiful fabric it inspires me to make something pretty with it. The changing of seasons is a big inspiration too. I love using the colors and scents of fall or spring in my work with soap and clothing. I draw a lot of inspiration from nature with both my chosen art forms. I like to keep my soaps as natural and pure as I can while still having fun with the medium, and I like to represent nature in my appliques on my clothing. My favorite applique I have designed is one with cat tails by a pond. My next favorite is my tree with the big roots.

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

I found out about the team from the team page on Etsy. I was pretty happy to see there was a team for Kentucky. I joined up in 2007...I think. It's been a while. I was one of the first several members invited to our Ning site after it got set up. I was very honored when Corinne asked me to be the leader when she had to move out of state. It has been quite an adventure and I have learned so much through doing this. I wouldn't trade the experience for anything.

Any advice you would give to aspiring designers?

Promote yourself, be friendly online, join several social networks and get your name "out there." Make yourself visible to people and they will see how cool you are and of course want to check your shop out.

Make sure your shop looks good, great pictures, good descriptions, use all the tags Etsy gives you to use to describe your items, and read up on SEO and what it means for you and your business. Educate yourself to how the internet works, and how search engines work to make yourself be more visible. Check out Google base as well. Etsy doesn't list each of your listings to Google you have to do that part yourself. So get down to Google Base and get it done! The more traffic you can pull from google searches the more sales you will make. Bottom line is, READ! Dig in the internet and educate yourself, it is a lot of work at first to promote a new shop and to get the sales, but once you get the customer base its easier over time. All your hard work in the beginning will pay off, just don't give up! If other people are successful selling online there is no reason why YOU can't be successful too. Be passionate, think positive, and go for it!

Anything else you’d like to add?

Think positive. Project a beautiful future for yourself. Hugz are free so give and receive them often. Love each other. Smile a lot. Don't sweat the small stuff, seriously. Life is short, live it joyfully!


Thanks Libby for allowing us to interview you. We are happy to have you leading our team, as you are so driven and enthusiastic! If readers have any questions for Libby, please leave a comment. She is eager to share her marketing ideas with everyone. And if you haven't tried her soaps, you don't know what you're missing! Check out her Maylees Garden etsy shop and her artfire shop!

To see more of the talented artists from Kentucky Handmade, go to www.etsy.com and type teambluegrass in the search box.


Bluegrass Sept Giveaway: SmackinArt

Our lucky winner of the August giveaway from Purrprints is Jacque Curl of Missouri. Congratulations Jacque. Becca will be in touch with you when your prize ships!

We'd now like to announce our giveaway for the month of September!

This month's prize come to us from the very talented Tina Mackin of SmackinArt Studio. Tina is giving away three hydrangea watercolor greeting cards and a copy of her original 'zine, the "Poetry and Essay Issue."

Total value of this prize is $15.

To enter, please visit Tina's SmackinArt shop and come back here to leave a comment and tell us what you like about her shop or her art. 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.

The contest ends September 30. We'll draw a random winner that evening and post by the first week of October.

Good luck to all and thanks for playing!!


Etsy Moment Video Contest : Lucajenn

TheMidnightOrange has submitted a video for the new Etsy Moment Video contest and it features the paper dolls made by our own Lucajenn! If you have a moment please go vote for this video on the Etsy Handmade Moment Video site. To vote you have to be signed in to Etsy, so be sure to sign in first!

Here is a preview of the video: