behind the scenes

Studio Tour

Studio Tour :: Merry Mery

Studio Tour ::  Merry Mery

Location :: Santiago, Chile

Owner :: Maria Bradley

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Where is your studio located?

My studio is located in the flat where I live with my husband, in beautiful Santiago, Chile. We moved here from Spain almost two years ago, and our neighborhood is both a quiet residential place during the weekends, and a busy business place during the work days. I'm so lucky to work in this studio with so much light, huge windows and a balcony with plants and flowers that brings a little glimpse of nature into my space even living in the middle of a big city. 

How did you get started in your craft + what inspires you?

Well, I've really been working with my hands since I can remember. The first thing I've sewn was a pouch made with plaid wool from an old skirt when I was 10 or so, and I´ve never stopped sewing since then. Being a teenager I started sewing my clothes, and making gifts to family and friends for special ocations. But my crafts becomed a real business when I got married and moved to Seville. I began working with furniture restoration and recycling, until we moved to Madrid. We had no space to furniture there, and I decided I needed an online job just in case we moved again to another city. So, making bags again and opening my Etsy shop was a natural way to go on doing what I love the most: sewing and working with my hands.  

And about what inspires me, well, I'm really inspired with so many things and inspiration may come at any time. I can be thinking on something else, and suddenly find a new bag or a way to improve the making process. I know I should have a little notebook always always with me, but life is life and sometimes I have it and sometimes I don´t :) New ideas come so often during a road trip, with my mind in the landscape. I don't know why, maybe because I´m not doing anything else than just looking to the beauty of nature.  

What are the top 3 tools most important in your craft ?

It´s hard to choose just three tools, but I think they would be my industrial sewing machine, the rivet setters and the rotary cutter (with the cutting board). 

What's a typical day like in the studio?

A day in the studio usually beggins checking mails and a bit of online work while I have a quick brekfast. Coffee is a must during the mornings, and there is always a pitcher of water on the table. I never watch the TV, and the studio is really a silent place except for the sewing machine that is quite noisy. Sometimes I listen podcasts, online radio from Spain that makes me laugh so much, or maybe some music (I really "need" to sing while music is playing). But that´s not so often as I´m really concentrated in my work and that can make me forget that music is a nice thing! Also, I try to work outside (in the balcony) when the weather and the tasks allow it. 

What are the greatest rewards of creating something handmade?

Well, for me, creating something with my hands and liking the result is so really satisfying. I can see it as something "normal" because I can do it naturally, but I know these abilities are something to be thankful for. A happy customer is the best reward, for not talking of returning customers. My customers, together with my friends and family, remind me that creating good products with your own hands is not normal and is really a gift. That is so satisfying, and I'm so thankful for this.  

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Inspired By

Everyday :: Inspiration

    be happy  :: islays terrace    enjoy the little things  :: modern botanics shop    launch yourself on every wave  ::  jillian audrey designs    do you thing  :: apple white   

 

be happy :: islays terrace   enjoy the little things :: modern botanics shop   launch yourself on every wave ::  jillian audrey designs   do you thing :: apple white   

As a small business owner, I am faced daily with the joys and trials of being self employed.  It's sometimes frustrating and challenging, but then it's also filled with joyful moments and the beauty of a handmade life.  I wanted to put this post together to highlight the wonders of the entrepreneur's road - but to also start a conversation.  I've handselected 16 items to get the conversation started - view it here!

I'd love to hear from YOU - my fellow creatives!  What gets you up and inspired everyday?  Do you have a mantra you repeat daily to keep your creative juices flowing?  Is there an inspiration board in your studio or a big poster above your desk?  Share your story in the comments below and let me know what keeps your inspired everyday! 

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Studio Tour

Studio Tour :: Glass Paper Scizzors

Mickey in her Norwalk, Connecticut Studio

Mickey in her Norwalk, Connecticut Studio

SHOP :: Glass Paper Scizzors

OWNER + DESIGNER :: Mickey Saverine

MAKER OF :: handmade decoupage plates for all occasions

Mickey's home in Norwalk

Mickey's home in Norwalk

The four seasons in the backyard

The four seasons in the backyard

WHERE IS YOUR STUDIO LOCATED?

   My studio is in my home, in Norwalk, CT USA, and I’m lucky enough to border on woodlands. Though I spent many years commuting to Manhattan, living close to nature is my greatest joy.

  Norwalk is in Fairfield County CT, a stretch of land that travels from Greenwich to Fairfield. All these towns are on Long Island Sound and have access to lovely beaches which I enjoy all year round. Having grown up spending time on the water it’s in my blood and I couldn’t live very far away from the wet stuff! Call me a Salty Dog!

the local beach

the local beach

seaweed plate in gray

seaweed plate in gray

plant life outside the studio

plant life outside the studio

Doc

Doc

HOW DID YOU GET STARTED IN YOUR CRAFT AND WHAT INSPIRES YOU?

    I was a creative director in NYC ad agencies for many years so I brought my skills from that career to my plate designs. I love botanical prints and have been collecting them for many years. John Derian’s amazing decoupage was had a huge influence on me – but I wanted to create something a bit different from his designs. So I use a square plate that allows me to incorporate various borders which compliment the antique images – I think this is a unique and contemporary way of approaching decoupage and making it my own. What really makes me happy is color! I’m always looking for new colorways for my plates and spend many hours tweaking images to get the subtle colors just right! I’m inspired by many beautiful beach related images - sea shells, coral, sailboats, and sea birds – as well as all images from nature. I enjoy customizing plates for my clients and frequently frame them to bring them to the next level. I use very architectural frames that bring even more layers of dimension to the many leveled look of a framed decoupage plate. 

a mix of beach designs

a mix of beach designs

border designs

border designs

WHAT ARE THE TOP 3 TOOLS THAT ARE MOST IMPORTANT IN YOUR CRAFT ?

  My hands are my tools – creating decoupage is as much a sensory skill as a visual one. Each plate is a new challenge. I use my fingers as much as my eyes to feel if something is positioned properly!

 My computer. I create all my designs digitally. I literally have many thousands of different images and color variations.

 Scizzors, Razor Blades and my trusty paper cutter!

a view from the studio window

a view from the studio window

a display of Mickey's plates

a display of Mickey's plates

workspace

workspace

WHAT'S A TYPICAL DAY LIKE IN THE STUDIO?

   I work alone in my studio. I’m on my feet for hours at a time. Typically, I have a cup of tea within reach which grows cold before I can break away to drink it all as my hands are busy most of the time! I listen to all different kinds of music but it helps when it’s something I can sing to. When I work on my computer I am totally engrossed in my design work and sometimes don’t know when the music has stopped!

 

a custom made wedding invitation plate

a custom made wedding invitation plate

WHAT ARE THE GREATEST REWARDS OF CREATING SOMETHING HANDMADE?

  Everything I create is brand new. The completion of any piece is enormously satisfying! But most of all – the colors in my plates are very upbeat and my spirit is lifted by them! When I’m doing a show and see my presentation of many plates all together it gives me great joy! I call them my “happy plates” – I think they make others happy too!

Feature in Country Living Magazine in June 2014

Feature in Country Living Magazine in June 2014

wedding invitation plate

wedding invitation plate

butterfly plate

butterfly plate

KEEP IN TOUCH WITH MICKEY and GLASS PAPER SCIZZORS

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A big THANKS to Mickey for sharing her studio and what inspires her creations!

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Studio Tour

Studio Tour :: ACBC Design

Ann in her 'Design Den' in Portland, Oregon

Ann in her 'Design Den' in Portland, Oregon

Shop:: ACBC Design

Owner + Designer :: Ann

Portland, Oregon and the Willamette River

Portland, Oregon and the Willamette River

Portland Theater

Portland Theater

postcards  designed by Ann

postcards designed by Ann

Ann's home where ACBC Design is based

Ann's home where ACBC Design is based

Where is your studio located?

I live and create, along with my husband and two kitties, in my home studio located in lovely Portland, Oregon. It’s a beautiful city filled with lots of creative people, great restaurants and endlessly walkable streets. Our home is in a beautiful neighborhood filled with tree lined streets, old homes and tons of inspiration.

paper stack.jpg

How did you get started in your craft and what inspires you?

My love of all things graphic and paper seem to have been with me since I was young. I always loved coloring and drawing and went on to attended art school and have been a graphic designer for 17 years. A couple years ago I was looking for a new, creative outlet beyond design projects for clients. Since I always like making cards for friends and family, I decided to give that a go and opened up my own Etsy shop. I find that my ideas can come from everything and anything - architecture, nature, fashion - whatever crosses my eye. Design to me is a very visual interpretation of thoughts and ideas - I bring all that experience to each piece I create.

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Tools of the trade 

Tools of the trade 

What are the top 3 tools that are most important in your craft?

Black micron pens, sketch book and my computer.

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What's a typical day in the studio like?

Most days in what I like to refer to as The Design Den, begin with a warm cup of tea and a bowl of cereal, while I plan out what needs to happen that day. I’m always entertained by listening to all my favorite podcasts through out the day. Nice, or at least non-rainy days during the winter, I try and get out on a nice walk around the neighborhood - eyes always looking for new inspiration. Whether I’m sketching, refining card designs or filling orders - I am always kept company by one or both of my kitties, Shitaki and Pepper.

Portland Postcards

Portland Postcards

What are the greatest rewards of creating something that is handmade?

There are so many great things that have been a result of starting to make my items that I never anticipated. I love how much my creativity has been pushed, meeting so many other great makers online and locally and getting to meet customers face to face at craft shows. It’s all been a great journey and I’m so happy to have jumped on board.

 

Keep in touch with Ann!

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 A big thanks to Ann for sharing her studio with us!

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Elite16 Etsy

Instagram :: Go Behind the Scenes with #studiolife

Being a part of the Etsy community means we're connected to an international network of shop owners.  It's been a great way to meet fellow artists and connect on a variety of subjects - both shop and life related.  The internet opens those doors and although we still haven't figured out how to host a teleportation party - we do find fun and social ways to connect!  Instagram gives us an awesome platform to stay in touch and share little snapshots of our creative process with each other and our followers.  We came up with the hashtag #studiolife to better track the daily heartbeat of life in the studio!  

Shopping on Etsy means directly supporting the creative artist behind the shop - whether it's handmade or vintage.  We're your direct link to those quality shops on Etsy so you can shop locally and globally right from home!  Learn more about these shop owners by following @elite16etsy on Instagram and checkout the hashtag #studiolife for additional peeks behind the scenes of some of your favorite shops on Etsy! 

 

Instagram :: #studiolife

o bliss jewellery ::  @o_bliss :: queensland, australia

toodles noodles :: @tootsnoots :: cambridge, new zealand

karo art :: @karoartceramics :: dublin, ireland

creatiate :: @creatiate :: richmond, virginia

created by storm :: @sstormster :: boulder, colorado

 

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Meet the Makers

Meet the Makers :: Gardenmis

sachet's handmade and beautifully wrapped by Priscilla of Gardenmis

sachet's handmade and beautifully wrapped by Priscilla of Gardenmis

Maker :: Priscilla

Shop :: Gardenmis

When and why did you open an online shop on Etsy?

I opened my shop in March 2009 as a way to make a little extra money from home selling the handmade items my eldest daughter and I was making. 

hanging lavender  sachet

hanging lavender sachet

herbal sleep  pillow

herbal sleep pillow

lavender sleep  sachets

lavender sleep sachets

organic potpourri  sachets

organic potpourri sachets

What got you started in your craft?

I simply started following in the footsteps of my creative mother who has lived a life of creativity before me (cooking, sewing, quilting, painting, woodworking, refinishing antiques) and who can literally grow anything. 

a field of lavender in bloom

a field of lavender in bloom

Who or what influences your style the most?

Nature is my muse and classic literature is a close second.

a favorite spot where Priscilla goes to meditate, walk and watch the birds and clouds

a favorite spot where Priscilla goes to meditate, walk and watch the birds and clouds

What inspires you ( a place, music, etc) how do you get into your creative space?

Sometimes it's as simple as seeing a beautiful sunset,  a walk through the woods being inspired by the flora and fauna, other times, it's a walk through the local fabric store and finding just the right fabric. I love making sweetly scented bags and pillows that are calming and beautiful.

just a few of Priscilla's favorite shops on Etsy

just a few of Priscilla's favorite shops on Etsy

Name at least 5 of your favorite etsy shops.

This is hard... There are so many beautiful shops in my favorites. As I must choose a few, they would be:

1. SweetPaperLove :: black paper garland 

2. Wild Wilderness Photos :: photograph of Lake Louis, Canada

3. Elegant Rose Boutique :: peppermint + eucalyptus soap

4. Eye Poetry Photography :: crooked houses photograph

5. Miles of Light :: rocks and twigs no. 4 photograph

6. Burnish :: silver monogram necklace

 

The reason I began my  shop , to stay at home and be actively involved in the lives of these fine folks, my beloved children, Beth, Sam, and Tosha.

The reason I began my shop, to stay at home and be actively involved in the lives of these fine folks, my beloved children, Beth, Sam, and Tosha.

Anything else you may want to share about you and your process.

 I am a wife and mother first and foremost and also an introvert, I struggle with sharing my process and thoughts, but am so very thankful for all my wonderful family and customers that allow me to do what I love. I dream of someday having my own lavender farm and each sale helps me get just a little bit closer.

I don't often get pictures but this is the most recent one I have, taken in Aug. 2014 with my lovely daughter Beth, owner of  SweetPaperLove . We were at Cracker Barrel celebrating her 18th birthday as a family.

I don't often get pictures but this is the most recent one I have, taken in Aug. 2014 with my lovely daughter Beth, owner of SweetPaperLove. We were at Cracker Barrel celebrating her 18th birthday as a family.

 

Keep in touch with Gardenmis ::

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A big thanks to Priscilla for sharing what inspires her!

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