onsdag 31. desember 2008

Happy New Year!

Hope you all have a wonderful evening.
Best wishes for the New Year!!

New Years eve 2008 (Hvaler, Norway)

fredag 19. desember 2008

Meet Bianca at bndesign

Today it is time to meet Bianca, the creative mind behind bndesign. Bianca has a great variety of products in her shop, and I usually discover something new every time I take a look at her shop, or something that I just haven't noticed before.....so remember to take a good look around in her shop once you're done reading this interview!!

1. Tell me about your store (name, products, etc)?
What is there to tell? Let's start with its name: bndesign. That is my design-name. It is my initials (Bianca Noodelijk) plus the word design. I already have my own online shop but that is my little jewelry shop.
Then why did I choose my design name for etsy? Well I started out as a buyer and didn't think about selling on Etsy at first... When I did think about selling I thought about selling my prints, art... But I started to list more and more jewelry, which sold a lot better;) So that is why the jewelry took over :)
I sell a lot of things in my shop, mostly jewelry. But also phonecharms, plushies (triny's), ACEO's and for 2009 I have the plan of listing photo's/ prints/ art/ cards and such.
I miss designing. I am still thinking if it is a good idea putting it all in one shop or maybe I should make a second. But I am still undecided on that one...
I am selling on Etsy since December 14th 2006 :) And I notice an increase on sales as I go along which is always good! That keeps me keen to make and list and promote more to keep it growing.
2. What made you start selling your products and show your designs tothe rest of the world?
My design/ illustration work I was already showing to the world but since it is hard to get assignments for that I also started to make jewelry which is more easy to sell on. And now the jewelry kinda took over... And I always make a LOT! So I have lots of stock. Even of products I don't use/ wear myself. And what better way to get them out of the way by selling them and making some extra cash with it?! So it really started out as a hobby. Which it still is. But I also have the dream of making my living out of my work. (designwise and jewelrywise)
3. How do you let the world know about your products?
Promote promote promote! I started out with my family (although only my mother and grandmother promote me;)) (and my bf!) and I keep 2blogs, a personal one and a "business" one, and I sometimes place ads. And of course on the forums on Etsy :) with my lovelystreetteam! Also I some times do a craftfair. And people are now finding me for time to time, which is great. My plan for next year is to invest a part of my etsy-income in more ads to get more people to notice me... I am still in the invest more than you earn part but next year I only want to invest my etsy/craft income to the crafts section of my life...
4. Do you adjust you crafting to the different seasons? And how?
Just a little bit. I always try to come up with new items to make. ButI do use more vivid colors in spring summer, Christmas fabrics forChristmas and snowflakes for winter. Although when made they will bein my shop all year round (except the Christmas items, those I do remove from my shop)
5. How do you get inspired?
Very boring: by everything around me! The butterfly necklaces I am making started out by looking at old poetry images and me thinking howcan I use those? Because I love them! Also nature brings me lots of inspiration: the colors the shapes! And of course fashion, songs,movies... truly anything can be an inspiration.
6. Do you ever get a creative block?
Oh yes! I notice when I focus myself to much on one thing like photography or just the butterflies, that I get bored and fed up with it. So that is why I do so many things! I can't get myself to focus on just one thing! Although I do envy people like Anna, thehouseofmouse, they have a style and product I have a bundle of things. I also noticed that I need time to be creative. I used to have a full-time job with no free-time almost and I had no time to create. That made me so sad and down that when I left there I took a part-time job so I can do both. Although I must say I do miss the extra money ;))
7. What is a normal day like for you?
That depends if it is a jobday or a "me" day. On a job day I leave the house around 8.40 and am back at 18.30. On a "me" day I get up (around7.30/8.00) check etsy and email when eating breakfast, get dressed. Feed the cat, go to the supermarket, post some packages (if I have sold items;)). Go home, do the laundry, some ironing/ housework. Check etsy and everything again. Take photo's of items, upload those, edit them and start listing. Or make new items :)But with the start of 2009 I also want to give that a new turn: I want to make a timetable sort of like a workday, and stick to it. Get upearly and work with a routine. So my days get more organized and I will be able to do more :)
8. Do you do this for fun or for serious business?
It is both :) It is not serious enough that I can live from it, but I do treat it like that since I do want that to happen :) But I also love doing this so it is also fun ;)
9. How do you see yourself down the road?
Well hopefully being able to live of my work. And I do have the dream of owning a real shop also where I sell my handmade items (and depending on the size: also handmade items from other crafters)
10. What else interests you besides your craft?
Art and design, but that is also craft related. Fashion and photography, but that is also design related, so yeah... everything in my life is connected :)
11. Is there something you would like to say as the end of the talk?
Thank you VKnO for this opportunity :) You are the best (and people should check out your lovely shop!!) And I just hope people will lovemy items :D People should buy more handmade items, it is unique and more special :)
illustratie - fotografie - design
Hope you've enjoyed reading this.......I'll be back with a new interview after the holidays :D

fredag 12. desember 2008


I'm back with a new etsy-shopowner-interview, after a few weeks break.

Today I'm presenting Inger, the creative shopowner of
For those of you that don't know the work of Inger, remember to take a good look at her two shops once you've read this interview - I promise you it is time well worth spending :)

1. Tell me about your store (name, products, etc)?
My store is called after myself as that is what it is about, me and the things I make. I make felted toys and scarves, some flowers and jewelry too. Whenever I see something that may be felted I will try, so my range of products is ever expanding. Tha main seller are the scarves though.

2. What made you start selling your products and show your designs to the rest of the world?
I started felting about 2 years ago and having innundated all my friends and family with felted presents I needed to have somewhere else for my felt to go. And while looking for wool I stumbled across this etsy site. After a while I thought I may as well try and sell from there as well as the pile of felt was reaching the ceiling.

3. How do you let the world know about your products?
First I opened a shop on etsy and just hoped for the best, then I forgot all about it till I actually sold something. Suddenly my interest was piqued. I roamed the fora and chatrooms for hints tips and suggestions. One day I discovered there were teams, I applied for membership to the EST and was added to the list. I lurked around there for some weeks and then finally introduced myself. This team has been paramount in further developing my skill as a shopowner. Constantly egged on to improve my photographing skills and descriptions. Together we make treasuries that often end up on front pages further promoting the shops. In the mean time I have started blogging as well and have a flickr page (http://www.ingermaaike.nl/ and http://www.ingermaaike2.flickr.com/ on twitter i am called ingermaaike too)

4. Do you adjust you crafting to the different seasons? And how?
My crafting and color schemes are strongly influenced by what I see around me so automatically it changes with the seasons, but this is not something that happens on a cocious level.

5. How do you get inspired?
My inspiration is found around me, in nature and from feedback and requests. Every bit that goes in gets stirred in the brain and eventually comes out in a shape or form of felt. Sometimes directly and sometimes it may take months.

6. Do you ever get a creative block?
If I am a bit stuck I just make some scarves and inspiration for something new will come again. The making of a scarf is very meditative occupation, so then the ideas start brewing as I am laying out my scarf.

7. What is a normal day like for you?
I get up at 7.15 take a shower and wake the boys. They fix their breakfast and lunch stuff and we walk to school. A 20 minute walk through the woods. Once I get back home I do some house work if I feel like it. Usually I will mess around on the net for a while, time flies as we all know once you start surfing. Having done that I will felt or dye or felt and dye. Maybe take the dogs for a walk and gone is the day, time to pick up the boys from school again. On coming home they do homework and I help as they are still learning the language and need help with translation. By then it is time to cook and after dinner I will felt some more or hang out behind my computer. All in all a very exciting life..

8. Do you do this for fun or for serious business?
It is a business, and we need the income from it as supplementary income.

9. How do you see yourself down the road?
We will have remolded our barn into a workspace for me where I can create and teach workshops, maybe even sell to passing tourists.

10. What else interests you besides your craft?
I love all kind of science and read a lot about it, reading is my water and food.

11. Is there something you would like to say as the end of the talk?
Make fun every day, not just when you have time :0D

......I'll be back with another interview next week, unless the holidays hits me first ;)

onsdag 3. desember 2008


Do you ever feel homesick? I do, and today I googled my 'hometown' Knappskog looking for photos. Well it's not a town, just a small village - but nonetheless, it's my 'home' .

I didn't find many photos from Knappskog, but amongst the ones I found there was this gorgeous photo of a sunrise, taken 2 1/2 years ago, and I just had to share it with my blog readers.

I think I'll have to bring my camera with me when I'm going home for the weekend.......maybe I can capture a morning like this myself.

torsdag 27. november 2008

I love this weather!

Welcome to my little photosafari,

according to the weather forecast it was 8 C and 15m/s, so it was rather windy...
this is a crowded beach in the summer, but today I was all alone....

I walked to the end of the pier, feeling a bit unsecure.....it was really hard to stand upright,

when I was standing on the top of the stairs and turned back towards the wind.

A bit later when I was about to leave, one sporty guy came along. Just note that the sea temperature is about 0.0 C. I'm impressed:

Finally: Home, dear home.....

I live close to the sea, but I can not see it from my home, only hear it. On days like this the windows of our house and car usually gets covered with a white layer of salt from the ocean.

mandag 24. november 2008


In the weekly challenge of the European Street Team on Etsy we had 'Vikings with a hint of upcycling' as the theme.

Nine creative europeans delivered an entry to the challenge, and here is the winner:

Please welcome.........

Chichiboulie with 'Dalla':


torsdag 20. november 2008

The Vikings are back!

This week I won the weekly challenge of the European Street Team on Etsy with my "Aqua et ignis". As the winner I got to choose the new theme, and I ended up with 'Vikings with a hint of upcycling'.

The European Street Team has, as usual, accepted the challenge and I will, in this blogpost, present the entries as they are presented to me.

Please welcome the Vikings of EST:

Chichiboulie with 'Dalla':
Kreativlink with 'The Vikings, Suede Journal':

BonnieBoon with Baby Viking HAT:

GiftsandStars with Feeling Like a Viking Key/ Bag Ring:AleciaV with Return of the Vikings:
kraplap with Erik the Discoverer Brooch:

toosis with Silver Cuff Viking Bracelet: dinafragola with Viking Shield Pendant:

paperfection with The Harald the Viking Journal:

The challenge started this monday and will end a week later (monday 24th Nov. 21:00). If you would like to be a part of this challenge, please convo me once you have completed your entry. http://www.vkno.etsy.com/

onsdag 19. november 2008

Designed by RJ and RJ Charms

Today I’ll let you meet the Nicole, the woman behind two great shops:

1. Tell me about your store (name, products, etc)?
I sell fun, costume jewelry at Designed by RJ. I love adding a vibrant pop of colour to my outfits, and you'll see that come through in a lot of my designs. I also have a line of charm accessories that have ended up in their very own shop, called RJ Charms.

2. What made you start selling your products and show your designs to the rest of the world?
I started out like many people, making gifts for friends and family - I slowly moved onto doing craft shows and opened an online shop 6 or so years ago, when Etsy came around it looked like a great place to sell! I've since closed my own online shop and now sell only via Etsy, as well as some consignment and wholesale.

3. How do you let the world know about your products?
I love blogging, and enjoy some of the more popular network sites. I also do some online advertising, and of course - word of mouth!

4. Do you adjust you crafting to the different seasons? And how?
I do adjust somewhat. For example, this fall I introduced my "Victorian" line of jewelry. And of course RJ Charms features some fabulous kitschy charms for specific holidays (right now it's all about Christmas and winter!).

5. How do you get inspired?
Mainly by playing with my beads. Sometimes I'll browse online supply shops, and get inspired by something I see. I also follow some colour trends - red and turquoise is still one of my favorites!

6. Do you ever get a creative block?
Sometimes I do, and when that happens I dig into my little pile of items waiting to be deconstructed and repurposed. Or I just take a break altogether!

7. What is a normal day like for you?
I have a part-time office job, so typically I'll get up and spend an hour or so online while having breakfast. Checking orders that came in over night, reading blogs, twittering. Usually I lose track of time and race to get dressed and out the door. I'm home again at lunch to pop online, maybe relist a few items in the shop, see what's going on online. Then when I get home in the afternoon I'll do more of the same, pack orders and get them to the mail box by pick-up time. Around 5:30 I head to the living room and catch a cooking show or two, waiting for my partner to get home - at which point I cook dinner (unless it's his turn, and then I relax and wait for the sushi delivery!). After dinner I get crafty - either making items for orders, or new items. I craft in my living room so I still get to spend time with my partner in the evenings. Then around 9pm it's back online for some late evening listings!

8. Do you do this for fun or for serious business?
It's a business for me, but it's only gotten to this level by being fun! If it wasn't fun it wouldn't be all that much different that a desk job.

9. How do you see yourself down the road?
I hope to keep on crafting! I've been making and selling jewelry for six years now, and I hope to keep on doing it for years to come. I also sell supplies so no matter what I'll be involved in the craft world somehow!

10. What else interests you besides your craft?
I love art, I majored in silkscreen printmaking in University, and miss it terribly! I recently received a membership to our local gallery and plan to make good use of it! And food and wine are big things at our house. We don't have kids (yet), so I have lots of time to prep yummy meals. Right now we get a bin of organic produce delivered every week, so cooking with that is always a new and exciting challenge!

11. Is there something you would like to say as the end of the talk?
As I've done the past few years, I'm having a handmade holiday this year - everything I give is either handmade by me, another crafter/artist or is a charitable donation. It's a great way to support the indie artists, and give something meaningful! I hope more and more people consider having handmade holidays too!

At the end of this interview I would like to offer the readers of this blog a discount: ~ 15% off at DesignedbyRJ.etsy.com or RJCharms.etsy.com with code "VK08" Code can be used at checkout in 'notes-to-seller' and a refund will be sent.
Thank you RJ for taking time to answer my questions and for your kind offer to my readers!

I'll be back next week with a new interview..........

mandag 17. november 2008

The challenge: Vikings

Thank you, AmandaYuDesign for choosing me as this weeks winner, my "Aqua et ignis" Pop Art on display won the last theme "Aqua". So I am the boss, or the queen as I may be called, for this Weekly Challenge for the European Street Team on Etsy which originated from Kreaktivlink.

I was thinking of a challenge that has a connetion to my corner of the world. Ok, I'm from Norway where we have a lot of water, some snow and ice, semi-high mountains and a 'ugly' history. Water (Aqua) has been used, snow/ice is just too cold and mountains have to wait till next time.......... cause I have choosen a part of our 'ugly' history for this weeks challenge: the VIKINGS!

I would like to see items that are somehow related to Vikings or to the time when vikings raided and colonized parts of Europe.

In addition to a Viking-connection, there has to be some recycling or upcycling involved when creating the item. It's up to you to decide how much recycling/upcycling as long as it is involved somehow.

Once you have done your entry please send the link to http://www.vkno.etsy.com/

Here is something for you inspiration:
Link to Osebergskipet, a famous viking ship


I have not been able to copy any photos of viking ships - so please take a look at one of the links for more details - some of the ships had the most amazing carvings.

Monday special: Upcycling finds Europe part II

Last monday I made my monday special based on upcycling finds from the European Street Team, and I found so many lovely items made by upcycling or recycling so I decided to follow up with a part II from Europe.

Have a wonderful week, and remember to think twice before you trow anything away - it may be turned into something loveable!
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