Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Undiscovered Artist - The Little Fox

Today is far too hot, I'm beginning to have concerns about keeping the cresties cool enough if it gets any hotter. The heat always makes me very tired, especially as it tends to stop me sleeping - give me a nice snowy day any time! Not much going on on the art front at the moment as I'm planning a party for my 21st birthday on Saturday which I'm sure is more stress than it's worth!

Remember to get your votes in for the photographic challenge. Also we only have one entry so far for the next challenge 'Hidden' so be sure to get your entries in too!

Please, please could you all go over to Pets Jubilee Furbabies and vote for little Ghost in their monthly contest (scroll down, he is 14) as he is seriously unloved at the moment and nobody wants a sad gecko on their hands, he promises to love you forever with his cold little heart if you do!

We haven't had an undiscovered artist for a while (mostly because I've been a bit rubbish and neglected the blog) so we have
thelittlefox who paints beautiful, sometimes dark paintings and makes little dolls of her characters. She is very new to Etsy but I'm sure she will be very successful with such lovely items. She even added some fun new questions to her interview so make sure to give it a good read!

How long have you been an etsy seller?

I am still very new at this, as I listed my first item this May.

Where do you get your inspiration?

I grew up as an only child, and since both my parents worked pretty long hours, and very often brought work back home, I guess I became adept to using my imagination a lot and always fabricating quirky little scenarios in my head. I started painting very early during my childhood, and I especially loved (and still do) Andersen's tales and Carroll's Alice books.

I enjoy painting girls of unspecified age, that look girly and serious at the same time. I was always fascinated with what may be hiding behind a phenomenally simple expression, what story might that person tell if he/she was given the chance...I like making up quirky scenarios about their life, but in the end it's always them that make me go one way or another.

My influences consist mostly of graphic novel artists, such as Michael Zulli, Simon Bisley, and John Bolton in particular.Neil Gaiman's The Sandman Series, (actually anything by the man is inspiring), Blythe dolls, Tim Burton's movies, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, The Cure, Lewis Carroll's and Andersen's book, the Grimm Brothers. Anything sweet and enigmatic at the same time. But really, if an image swims around my head for days, the inspiration for it could be anything...sometimes it's a dream I just had and that's why I always keep a sketchbook by my bed!"

How much time do you put into your shop on average weekly?

I try to paint everyday, and sew a doll a week ( If I can squeeze it in! )...

What's your favorite item you're selling at the moment?

Oh, that is a tough one... I love this one, which was my first commision on Etsy,

and this is my dream home...

Tell us about your most enjoyable experience with a customer.

A couple of days ago, a lovely (and very cool) 13-to-be year old girl commisioned me to do a painting for her birthday. The theme evolved around the Cinderella story, but she wanted it done in a slightly punk way. She was very open to ideas and suggestions, and allowed me plenty of freedom as an artist, which I find most important. And best of all, she loved the outcome!!

Tell us about three other etsy shops you love and why.

Simbiosis by Julia - I adore her pouches!

LillaLotta - perhaps the most beautiful ribbons I have laid my eyes upon

We've Got Paper - cuteness ahoy!

Pets? Family? Tell us about them.

I live with a lovely Siamese that is pictured in this painting, as well as my lovely boyfriend (or boy-hedgehog, as I call him), who doesn't whine when I stay up late because I 'just have to get this on canvas'...

If you could have lunch with and pick the brain of any artist living or dead, who would you choose and why?

ooh...Salvador Dali. I have always wanted to ask him if his lifetime seemed to him as lucid as his famous melting clocks...

What other interests do you have?

I work as an architect and interior designer.

Is there anything you think we should know?

-I have 3 degrees in Architecture, History of Art and Interior Design.

-My favourite thing to do as a child was to draw my own graphic novels ( which my mom still keeps somewhere...lol)

-I still own my very first plush toy. It was a gift from my dad the day I was born, and although it lost its nose and tongue many-a-years ago, I still can't find anything as adorable as him. I named him The Sad One when I was 3.

-My list of favourite (famous) people include Neil Gaiman, Tim Burton, Alan Rickman, and Robert Plant.

She also has a great blog: One Little Fox

Saturday, 27 June 2009

Established Artist Cabootique

Okay so the really bad news first - I went to use my camera today and found the glass covering the LCD screen smashed. I've no idea how it happened; I'm extremely careful with my camera and it's been all over the world without incident. Luckily I've phoned the repair centre and they say it will take about 30mins and will cost £20.

So here's what I was planning to photograph before I found my camera damaged:

I made this sketchbook last night for a friend. It's not perfect by a long way but it isn't bad for a first attempt.

Thanks to everybody who has voted in the photography challenge so far. Please vote if you haven't done so already and enter a photograph into the next photography challenge 'Hidden'. Please remember that the idea is to enter a photograph that fits the theme or title 'Hidden' not necessarily a similar image to mine, it might be wildly different in fact!

We haven't had a featured artist yet this week so here we go: Established Artist Cabootique who makes great value jewellry.

How long have you been an etsy seller?

I joined Etsy in April 2008 and very slowly (and nervously) added items into my shop until I got more sure of myself as a crafter.

Where do you get your inspiration?

I get my inspiration from wandering around vintage/thrift/antique stores, mostly. I love to buy falling apart vintage jewelry and clean the beads and use them for earrings, necklaces, etc.

How much time do you put into your shop on average weekly?

I'm getting better at balancing my crazy days, and all of my nights (seven days a week!) are devoted to creating, updating, and editing my shop. When I get a random day off (of my day job) during the week I spend every second I have on my shop!

What's your favorite item you're selling at the moment?

Right now I'd have to say my Strawberry Ice Cream earrings because they're fun, girly, and perfect for summer.

Tell us about three other etsy shops you love and why.

I love The Beady Eye. It's where I go to for all my supply needs! They have awesome supplies ranging from beautiful mixes of gemstone beads to funky head pins and other findings. Another huge plus is that they offer flat-rate shipping to Canada & the US which is perfect for stocking up!

I've never been one to spend tons of money on clothes, but everything I like seems to be out of the price range I'd prefer spending. That is, until I found Drop Dead Designs Suzanne makes beautiful, unique clothes ranging from summery tank tops to cute hoodies and everything in between! She offers free shipping to the US & Canada and most tops are $29! What a steal.

The last shop I'm currently obsessed with is Pink Quartz Minerals. It has a wide variety of make up products, and the owner is one of the sweetest and most helpful sellers I've dealt with! Everything (including applicators and brushes) is 100% vegan and Doree, the owner, is so helpful and will work with you to make sure you're getting the exact color and item that you're looking for!

What other interests do you have?

I love to paint, sew, bake, cook. I've gotten really into New Age stuff and crystal healing lately which I find fascinating!

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Let the voting begin!

I've been away visiting friends for a couple of days so sorry for not sorting out the photography challenge sooner. Okay so here we go with the photography challenge entries. I've left out the entrants' details in the interests of fairness. I also really have issues with fancy titles for photographs so any titles have been replaced by a number (sorry guys) to even the playing field.

The rules for voting are as follows:
Please vote once for your favourite image (entrants please don't vote for your image).
You are welcome (indeed encouraged) to advertise the voting on your blog.
Voting will close on the 1st of July.
The winner will receive a feature and something nice and handmade that I haven't decided what it is yet.


I will launch a new photography challenge tomorrow so you can all start thinking about something to enter.

Saturday, 20 June 2009

Life update & Artist Feature 'Shiplett'

Sorry I've been away for a few days; I've got some nasty stuff going on that's taking its toll on me a bit at the moment.

I've been at a lace fair today with my mother.  It has made me a bit more confident about my lacemaking abilities (despite having made lace since before I went to school, I've never done enough of it to get good) and inspired me to paint some bobbins so I've bought some plain wooden ones to decorate.  I also found an excellent bead supplier and have added to my shiny things collection.

Let's have an Artist Feature today as tomorrow is the last day for getting in entries for the 'On the Other Hand' photography competition.  Please get your entries in by midnight tomorrow.  Gone on enter, even if you're not a photographer, I'm sure all you creative people can come up with something!

Today we have Lara of Shiplett on Etsy. She makes all sorts of beautiful jewellry with something to suit every person and every budget.  She's been kind enough to share with us a little about her life and her art.  Please got to her Etsy shop and show her some love.  I'm sure you'll find a lot there to tempt you!

How long have you been an etsy seller?
 I joined etsy last summer, but have been selling since November. 

How do you get your inspiration?
I get inspired with materials. I enjoy going to bead and gem shows and finding new materials. Some materials I use right away. Other materials I may have for a year before I figure out how I want to use it. I create many one of a kind pieces. I am trying to keep track of what I buy in case I want to duplicate a piece I have made. 

How long do you spend working on your shop in the average week? 
I would estimate that I spend 7-10 hours a week. I am busy mom to three young children so I do not put in as much time as I would like to. My first priority and job right now is to be there for my kids. I can get wrapped up creating jewelry or getting online checking out things on etsy. I try to put my priorities in order and realize that my children are most important. 

Weekly, I do spend time on the computer checking my shop, updating, and communicating with customers. I am a member of a local team Cleveland Handmade so I try to keep up to date with what is happening in the group. The team is a great resource and they share wonderful information. Check out the other wonderful artists on 
www.clevelandhandmade.com/ or type clevelandhandmade when searching on etsy

What are your top three etsy shops that you can’t go a day without stalking? 
I find that most of the shops I heart or look at on a regular basis are shops similar to mine. I am drawn to jewelry I guess. And it doesn’t hurt to size up the competition. I like to compare my prices and styles and see if they are relevant. 

I love the photography of Gary Heller. He was so kind when I first joined etsy. He gave me photography tips and helped touch up my photographs for free. The most shocking part is I don’t even know Gary! I have never met him. He saw my work and liked it and thought he could offer advice.

When I first joined etsy I found a fellow teacher who lives in N. Ireland and we chatted online in the wee hours of morning. I always would check her shop and see how her sales were going. Since her and I joined around the same time. One night I decided to buy some earrings for my sisters and I from her since she was offering free worldwide shipping. Beautiful work. 

I also love the jewelry of simple elements. I always love to check and see what new things she has in her shop. 

Pets? Family? Tell us about those? 
I am happily married to Mike for 8 years now. We are the proud parents of twins Elisabeth and Samuel 5 1/2 and one year old Sarah. Since the new baby I am quite busier and have less time for creating jewelry. We have 3 cats (2 girls and a boy- just like our kids) and a fish. 

Tell us about a typical day in the life of  Lara.
I started to write this but with 3 kids I am not sure this would be all that exciting. I find snippets of time to get online, create jewelry, photograph it and list items. It varies from day to day and week to week how much time I spend on my business. The bulk of my business is customer orders. The beauty of this business is I can work it around my schedule. I get most of my work and creating done when the kids/baby are sleeping or at preschool. 

What your favourite item in your shop at the moment?
I have many favorite pieces so it is difficult to choose. I love interesting necklaces with beautiful materials like the Remembering Autumn necklace. The copper colors of pearls are gorgeous and I especially like the double strand with the scattered pearls. The copper medallion is a great focal piece for the necklace. The Funky Chic Hematite Flower necklace gets a lot of attention. I also make a bracelet in the same design. It really makes a statement with the chunky beads and the beautiful sterling silver flower clasp. The Winter Dream necklace looks great with everything. The captivating handblown lamp work bead is eye-catching. It is paired with the peacock colored top drilled pearls attached to a sterling chain. This style has been popular mixing pearls, sterling, and hand blown lamp work beads. 

Remembering Autumn Necklace

Favorite pieces Funky Chic Hematite Necklace

Winter Dreams Necklace

What has been really popular for me is my custom designed jewelry. Most popular are the little girl’s bracelets that spell out the child’s name. The design that is selling well right now is the one that my daughter Lizzy helped me design so it is named after her. The Lizzy design incorporates white freshwater pearls with the birthstone for the child in Swarovski crystal. The child’s name is spelled out with sterling silver cube letters. 

Little Girl Name bracelet

Also, another favorite are the “mommy” bracelets. These are custom made for the mother with the child’s name and birthstones on each strand. There are a variety of designs to choose from. I use sterling silver, Swarovski crystals, 14K GF, Swarovski pearls and Bali sterling. 

Double Strand Mommy Bracelet

The hammered sterling silver oval links with Swarovski crystals dangling from them look stunning on. These earrings can be custom made with any color of crystal you choose. Great gift for friends or sisters to custom make and combine your birthstones together. Or select the colors you like to go with your favorite outfit. 

Swarovski crystal earrings/sterling oval

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Undiscovered Artist - PeggyGsJewelry

Sadly today has not been great, I think it is well summed up by standing on a nail and grabbing a handful of stinging nettles whilst trying to clear part of the garden - now just imagine a whole day along those lines. . . 

Shall we have a more cheerful artist feature?  Introducing Undiscovered Artist Peggy of PeggyGsJewelry on Etsy.  Her work is some of my favourite out of all of Etsy.  It is not a million miles away from my style I suppose so she is something of a kindred spirit.

How long have you been an etsy seller?
I have been an Etsy seller since November of 2008.

How do you get your inspiration?
Many things inspire me. Books, pictures, art, and my husband is a great inspiration. He will see something he likes and ask me what I think and what I can do with it and my mind floods with ideas. I check out different shops and try to find new techniques and ideas. That is what inspired me to learn about steampunk. Found some great tutorials from a shop called Eugena777 and some great wire wrap tutorials.

How long do you spend working on your shop in the average week?
Like most people I start my day going into my shop and end my day at my shop but I put a lot of hours into working on things that I think will be good to put in my shop so it varies. But like most people I probably spen too much time.

What your favourite item in your shop at the moment?
Right now my favorite is my
blue steampunk and filigree heart pendant. I know steampunk is quite popular right now but in my area people have not heard of it yet. I found that even though it is new in our area people are fascinated by it and I love working with it and experimenting with new ways to incorporate it into my work.

Pets? Family? Tell us about those?
The "kids" we (my husband and I) have are wonderful. Sara is our oldest dog and our great protector. She is 12 years old and still thinks she is a puppy. Scottie is a shelter rescue dog and has become my shadow. I don't understand how someone could have given him up. He is about 7 years old and we've had him for almost 2 years now. And then there's fudge, our cat. He is the old man at 16 years old and he thinks he is a kitten. Runs around the house and chases the dogs. He also keeps the dogs in line when he thinks they are getting out of hand. That is my husbands and my family now that the last of our boys is grown and gone into the army. They keep us busy.

Tell us about a typical day in the life of Peggy.
Right now I am one of the many unemployment statistics so I have a lot of time to work on my jewelry. I get up, check out my shop, thinking about how to improve my work or improve my shop. Check out different shops and then get into my work for a while. At some time during the day I find time to do the "normal" things like cook, shop and take care of my family. When that is done I go back to my work room and do some more and then end my day on my computer checking things out again, listing new work or figuring out what I want to do next.

What else interests you? 
My other interests are painting, quilting, computers, home improvement projects, and of course, my family, even though our boys are all grown and live all over the country and have families of their own. 

Is there anything else we should know?
Just want to let people know not to give up on what they really want. Obstacles can be overcome and achieved with persistance and willingness to learn and to try new things. Don't ever be afraid to try something new.

Photography Challenge Update

We have some great entries so far but the more the merrier so if you have a photograph (or what to take one) that fits the theme 'On the Other Hand' please take a look at last Sunday's post on how to enter.

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

eek people!

wow I suddenly got popular - 4 new followers overnight!  Thanks for the love everybody.

I was pretty ill last night, not sure why, I think it might have been a migraine-type-thing hence the lack of post.

I've entered one of my geckos Ghost into Pets Jubilee's monthly cuteness contest.  Please visit and vote for Ghost by commenting on his photograph.

My parents are back from their holiday so the house is suddenly really busy again.  It's hard to know whether to be grateful for the company or miss the peace and quiet.  Apart from a lot of cleaning prior to my parents' arrival, I painted this greyhound as promised this afternoon, whilst watching InkHeart, which I highly recommend as an exceptional film. 

The anatomy is a little off but this really isn't my area of expertise.   All in all I don't think it came out too badly.  I'm still getting to grips with the acrylics and one of the most challenging things at the moment is the inability to mix the colours on the canvas.  If anybody is interested in buying this canvas I am selling it for the Retired Greyhound Trust, please contact me for details.

Sunday, 14 June 2009

Artist Feature: MilesOfTextiles

Sorry for another missed post yesterday; I've got some relationship stuff going on at the moment that is taking up a fair amount of time and energy.

There haven't been any entries into the 'On the other Hand' photography challenge.  I will therefore run through the rules again in the hope somebody will want to share a photograph with us:
To enter your photographic take on the theme 'on the other hand' please comment on this post with a link to your image. At the end of the week I'll open a poll to choose the winner, whose work I will do a feature on.

Please enjoy this little interview with Etsy seller Catheline of MilesOf Textiles.

How long have you been an etsy seller?
I have been an Etsy seller since January '09.
How do you get your inspiration?
The textiles themselves inspire me. I'll take a little snippet or whole piece, combine a few of them together, hold them under different lighting, and magically something happens and a new design will pop into my head. That's usually the start. 

How long do you spend working on your shop in the average week?
I work on my designs almost every day. Since I'm retired I have the luxury of creating as much or as little as I choose. If a design is really coming together for me I will work almost non-stop on it until it is the way I like it. If its not coming together I'll most likely put it aside and in a few days or weeks it may take on a whole new dimension. Its not beyond me to take something apart many many times until it right. 

What your favourite item in your shop at the moment?
This is my favorite pillow for sale at the moment. It is very very plush and soft. Its my favorite because a) it took me weeks to make it, b) its completely handstitched, c) everything on it really came together the way I envisioned it. I also try to master new techniques in working with the fabrics. This pillow has handsewn "shark's teeth" around that white & silver center piece. They added the special touch I was looking for. Also...the gold studding you see around the edges: they are all individually sewn on with fishing wire and are very strong. It gives a dramatic look to the contrasting softness of the fabrics.


Is there anything else we should know?
I'm retired from the foreign service. I've lived and traveled all over the world. My favorite memories and inspiration for my designs come from my time spent in the Middle East. It is where I bought the majority of the textiles I now use. 

Friday, 12 June 2009

Undiscovered Artist - NicksHippieGlass

I've made a lot more paper pulp today, the termite hill is starting to take shape but I have some concerns about how long it is going to take to dry - anybody with ideas on how I can speed the drying process up please let me know.  

I've also been trying to put a cloak together that I started making a couple of years ago but it just keeps going wrong, partly because the instructions are so terrible, it is most frustrating.  I need to recut one bit but I've run out of large enough bits of fabric so I either need to try and buy some more (though I bought the last lot in London two years ago so goodness knows if I can get any here) or patch the scraps together, which I think will look too obvious and messy.

Now the boring stuff about me is out of the way, how about we have a look at an undiscovered artist.

Nick of NicksHippieGlass sells some beautiful and unique glass pendants.  His main line is in the most adorable little mushrooms suspended in glass teardrops.  Who can resist a bunch of cute little mushrooms?!

Nick not only sells these cute little 'shrooms but also makes stunning dichroic pendants such as this celtic knot pendant, which is my personal favourite item from Nick's store.

Go check out Nick's store and his  lovely handmade hippie items.

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Artist Feature - DaffKnee

I've had a pretty slow day, partly because of the rain stopping me from doing the outside things I want to get done but I've made a couple of books up today - I've ordered some nice paper and a leather hide and I'm out to make some leather sketch books for a couple of friend's birthdays that are coming up.  If they turn out nicely and people are interested I can make these to sell - photographs to come along with rough prices (not sure what it's going to cost me to make them yet).

It's vintage day!  

Our first Featured Seller for the week is Daphne of DaffKnee who specalises in collecting up vintage patterns for us all.  When I was doing music halls, I had a really hard time finding suitable patterns to make my dresses from and I never thought of buying them vintage (obvious really isn't it?!).

How long have you been an etsy seller?
I joined etsy in Sept 2008. I started selling on etsy in Feb 2009. 

How do you get your inspiration?
I am inspired by lots of different things. Sometimes it's a television show, sometimes it's junking at the flea market, sometimes it's when I open up my cupboard doors!

How long do you spend working on your shop in the average week?
I spend about 2-4 hours per day photographing and listing new items, about 4 hours per week ironing out patterns and checking to make sure they are all complete. I also spend about 5 hours a week just checking on my shop, editing, and posting in the forums.

Are there any shops that you can't go a day without stalking?
Roxy Mamas: she makes the most adorable dresses for little ones!
CreatedbyLee: she has sock monkeys and dammit dolls!
knittingmette: I think she could knit just about anything!

What your favourite item in your shop at the moment?
My favorite item right now is my Tupperlamp! I was inspired to make it when I saw the stack of bowls sitting on my counter. It's definately a conversation piece! Check it out for yourself and see what you think....http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=19733645

Pets? Family? Tell us about those?
I am a single mother of 4 teenagers. My oldest daughter, Liz, just graduated today! I'm soooo proud of her! My next oldest, Hannah, is a really sweet girl. She plans to join the army this summer as a junior in High School. She will attend basic training the summer after she graduates next year! Then I have a set of Twins, Sarah and Matthew, both freshman in high school. Sarah is a beautiful girl, she loves animals and plans to be a vet when she grows up. She is also a talented young artist who enjoys drawing and painting like "Bob Ross". Matthew is in the NJROTC at school, he has been given the opportunity to go to Basic Leadership Training this summer. It's a big honor for him since they only pick 5 cadets from each school to go.
I am proud of all of my kids!

Tell us about a typical day in the life of Daphne
A typical "working day" for me goes something like this... 
Get up around 8am, clean up the house, my sister usually comes over and we talk "shop" We both like to sew and are always bouncing ideas for new projects off each other. She likes to make purses and has recently started making dresses for herself. I like to make toddler dresses as seen in my shop and hats that I plan on featuring soon.
Around 11am, I start photographing my items and listing. I am usually done around 2pm or 3pm. The rest of the day, I like to work outside in my gardens and watch a little tv in the evening.

What else interests you?
I love to go flea marketing and to yard sales. Recently my passion has been vintage sewing patterns, sewing machines, and I am starting to really like searching for vintage clothing. I have started my own blog about my flea market adventures. You can see it here: http://daffknee.blogspot.com/

Is there anything else we should know?
I love to knit and spend my winter just knitting away making baby hats and booties, hats for kids, and want to try to knit some stuffed animals and dolls this winter. I am excited to be a member of etsy and am finding it to be a great site to sell from as well as making new friends!

Monday, 8 June 2009

Oh no now I have to think of new titles!

I spent this morning undergoing possibly the single most humiliating experience of my life in the form of a 'Back to Work Session' at the DWP office.  I remember when I was in year 8 (about 12) at school and we had PSHE classes on finding work and interview techniques, those classes not skipped over the completely obvious stuff that was covered this morning; which can be summarised by 'you have to find a job. In order to find a job you have to look for a job', but actually taught me more useful things.  It was almost as insulting to my intelligence (and indeed anybody else's) as the woman who told me my CV couldn't possibly be good enough unless she looked at it and when I said the Cambridge University Careers Service had seen it and were impressed, she said they didn't know anything either.  

Sorry for the rant, I just despair rather.

Mondays are a time for new things so here's a little feature of a few newer items for sale in my etsy shop,  http://amazoncat.etsy.com  after which I will be using Monday's to show off new works.

Sunday, 7 June 2009

Sunday always comes too late.

I want to start doing something a bit thought provoking for Sundays so I'm thinking it's a good opportunity to display some of my photographs, possibly without any text.  Those of you who follow my deviantart may have seen some of them before (sorry), I'll try to mix some new works in too.  I would also be interested in using my image to spark of a photo challenge of sorts, getting others to submit a link to a photograph they have taken on a similar theme.

This week we have an old favourite of mine:

'On The Other Hand'

To enter your photographic take on the theme 'on the other hand' please comment on this post with a link to your image. At the end of the week I'll open a poll to choose the winner, whose photographs I will do a feature on.

Quote of the day: 'I took an emotional inventory and realised I have some issues'

Saturday, 6 June 2009

Saturday Wait!

Today we have Undiscovered Artist, Alyce of Fabric Greetings who makes beautiful cards using fabric (it's kind of in the name isn't it).  As somebody who has been making cards for many many years, there's not too much in the card making sphere of life that is totally new and original to me but Alyce has some really refreshingly unique cards for all occasions.  She was kind enough to answer a few questions for me to share with you all.

How long have you been an etsy seller?
I signed up for etsy in February and then panicked at thought of using the computer for this venture. So it took me until mid-March to convince this old dog she could learn a few new tricks. But my hubby and adult daughter kept urging me on, so here I am. Still learning, but more at ease everyday.

How do you get your inspiration?
I find that my inspiration comes from a variety of places. A piece of fabric catches my eye and I'm off. Case in point - I saw the bra fabric I use in my breast cancer awareness cards at a quilt show and just had to have some. A year later when I was trying to come up with a unique fundraiser for my Relay for Life contribution, I remembered the bra fabric and a light bulb went off. Sometimes it is an occasion that trips an inspirational spurt. 

How long do you spend working on your shop in the average week?
I generally sew two to three hours a day. If inspiration is really coming, I can spend an entire day in the studio. My other off line business is making OOAK clothing for the 18" dolls. Computer time takes longer simply because I generally hit the wrong button and have to start all over. I do spend time in the forums every day as that is a great learning experience. 

Are there any shops that you can't go a day without stalking?
I can't say that I am a "stalker" of any shop at this point. I am trying to check out as many of them as possible to familiarize myself with the variety being offered here. And I am totally awed by the talent that is showcased on this site.

What your favourite item in your shop at the moment?
I guess that everyone has a favorite item in their shop. Mine happened to be a card with an Emily Dickinson quotation. It just recently sold. So I guess my next favorite is the one dealing with age being important only if you are cheese!

Pets? Family? Tell us about those?
I am a former school teacher who stopped teaching 38 years ago and became a stay at home Mom. Our daughter is a school librarian working on her second Master's degree to become an Archivist. She was just awarded a summer internship at the Biltmore Estate. So we will have a place to explore when we visit her. Hubby is retired from power company. We've been married almost 43 years. Met in high school, married after college.

Tell us about a typical day in the life of Alyce
My typical day starts by 6 AM. I am a morning person. I generally walk 2-4 miles before I start my day. If I am not attending a meeting or teaching at the quilt shop, I am sewing or puttering in the studio. I do love to bake and do that on a regular basis. Anything fabric interests me. I piece "quilty" things, but turn tops over to a longarm quilter to be quilted. I read when I want to really relax - nothing that requires much thought. And if there is a chance to travel, I am all for it as long as my sewing machine is in the car.