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 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

1 comment:

  1. Hello! I would love to be considered for one of these blog posts! What a great interview you did with Lara!

    my etsy shop is I make creative jewelry and feather hairpieces and accessories! "wearable art," i call it :)

    thank you! you can email also at


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