New Digital Prints and the Cure for Wanderlust

Well, I’ve been back from the big trip home for just over a month and I’ve already gotten a case of island fever. It’s amazing how quickly it sets in, isn’t it? Luckily, I was able to get away last weekend to visit a longtime friend out west. Breaking out of our routine for a few days is all I really needed to hit the refresh button, and once again I find myself glad to be home.

Ocean_1_P36Inspired by my recent travels, or perhaps more accurately, by my return to this little island paradise, I added some new digital prints to my etsy shop! The “ocean” print above is completely hand-lettered and then vectored and placed over an image of Bahamian turquoise water. I actually couldn’t decide which I liked best though—so I’m also offering it in a watercolor version (in the small frame below).

The “Beach” print below is actually one of the first digital prints I ever made—it just took me six months to get in it up in the shop! It’s something a little different for me, as it has no illustrations and offers a much cleaner look (and a fabulous shot of a Bermuda beach, if I do say so myself!).

beach_P30As you know, I’ve been painting a lot lately, and in addition to the finished paintings I recently listed, I usually work on a few little nature-inspired bits and bobs each time I sit down to paint. Since I often have to wait for paint to dry between colors, it’s nice to have several in the works at once. I combined a bunch of those flowers and leaves into what might be my new favorite print—with a hand-painted quote that will motivate you to get shit done to boot! You can find all of these and a few more here!

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Everlasting flowers

large_bouquet_8561It took a little longer than anticipated, but handmade crepe paper flower bouquets are finally here! Available in small, medium and large, they’re the perfect gift for any occasion. And how great would one be for a wedding? Either for the bride—so she can keep her bouquet fresh forever—or for a special favor to the lucky lady who catches the toss bouquet!

medium_bouquet_8544Each arrangement is made to order in colors of your choice, and I’ve included a few of my favorite combinations in the listing description if you’re feeling stuck. Check them all out here!

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Floral Initials

initial_H_7197This project has been on my mind since I first started experimenting with paper flowers. I love letters and I love flowers, so why not combine them? Can’t think of one good reason, huh? Knew it.

Anyway, I started with a template of the letter, cut it out of chipboard, then added 2.5″ tall strips around the edges to make it three-dimensional. I filled the “box” with my handmade crepe-paper flowers, then added some extras and a bit of foliage to fill it out. I’m absolutely in love with the results!

initial_H_7200I made this “H” for a friend, who displays it on her nightstand (her photo is below), but I can also see these initials hanging on a gallery wall, or as the centerpiece of the front table at a wedding! An ampersand is also available! Check them all out here.

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Paperfection

Sisters Tamara and Elzeline are Europe-based paper artists bringing the Japanese art of origami into the 21st century. In addition to their folded paper sculptures, paperfection dabbles in hand-bound books and notebooks, cards and more!


Tell us about your work—why do you create what you do?
For me and my sister, crafting was always our favorite pastime. Every few years we would try something new. Mosaic, drawing, knitting, filting… We tried a lot of different things but now we specialize in paper creations. When I was eighteen, I started the study Japanse Language and Culture. Since then, I’ve been fascinated by the art of origami. For my sister, her love for paper and letter design started during her study of Graphic Design.

How did you learn your craft?
During my study, I spent a year in Japan. There I learned how to make modular origami creations from my Japanese friends and from origami books.

How has your work evolved?
I started with very simple origami techniques. In de last few years, I tried more difficult techniques. The Internet has been my guide: there are so many examples and tutorials available on the net.

What is your greatest challenge?
I’m not as commercial as I would like to be. My challenge is to reach more people with my work. I’m now starting a new webshop for Dutch customers.

What inspires you?
I love themes and colors. I’m inspired by different cultures, different seasons and the beautiful work I see here on Etsy. When I go out shopping, I always come back with some materials which inspire me. Usually, I just start somewhere and the ideas come as I continue working.

Tell us about your etsy business.
My sister discovered Etsy when she was browsing the web. We started in 2008. Beginner mistakes: at that time, our shop was not full enough and even now we find it difficult to keep the shop full. For now, Etsy is a hobby next to our jobs. In the future, we would love to create more and work less.

Where can readers find your work?
We have a blog: paperfectionsartandcraft.blogspot.com/ and we are starting our webshop in the Netherlands at /www.paperfection.nl

What advice do you have for new etsians?
Try to be as commercial as you can. Use Google Ads, make flyers and business cards. Be active on the forum, join groups and make friends.

Porcelain lace

Are you all tired of hearing about me and my work? I do apologize, my blog has been a little 622-centric lately! In an effort to correct that, I present a new series of artisan interviews. I hope you’ll learn as much about their craft as you do about starting an etsy shop for yourself! I’ve gotten a lot of requests for advice for beginners lately, so I hope between my writing and recommendations from experienced etsians, you’ll learn everything you want to know!

First up, the lovely and talented Isabelle Abrahamson, a Boston ceramicist who somehow makes solid clay forms seem light as air.

Tell us about your work—why do you create what you do?
My current body of work focuses on incorporating patterns of negative space into functional works of art.

Tell us about the business end of things.
I discovered Etsy by reading an article about Etsy in the New York Times Magazine. I had just started making selleable things and it seemed like the perfect venue for me. I opened my shop that day.

I still sell all of my work myself. In addition to my Etsy shop I also have a website www.isabelleabramson.com , which usually has a little more of a selection of new work than my Etsy shop. My things are so time consuming to produce that it’s never worked to split the profit of a sale with a store. I’m working with Viridis 3D to produce limited edition reproductions of my pieces. These might be available at stores someday but for right now I will sell them on my website and probably on Supermarket HQ (I’m pretty sure Etsy is not down with 3D printed pottery).

How has your work evolved?
I think that my work has gotten more elaborate as I’ve gotten more comfortable working with clay. You can do anything with clay. It’s just like clay :)

What is your greatest challenge?
My greatest challenge has been to keep up stock. I don’t like making the same things over and over, and I tend to be sold out of popular items while I experiment in the studio with new things. I think it will be a huge creative relief to get over the hump of having to make any particular thing just to make money. When I’m focused on being creative my work is always better, though it may happen slower. This has been the draw of getting set up to do 3D printing. When I really nail a design I’ll be able to put in a couple thousand dollars to get it set up as a limited edition print, and it will stay available for a while without me having to try to recreate it over and over. I’ll be able to move on to the next thing and, overall, my collection of work will be much better.
What advice do you have for new etsians?
I would say to any new Etsy shop owner that having good pictures is incredibly important. Partly it draws customers to your item, but also it gives you the opportunity to sell the idea of your item to customers. I think a good picture can even make customers feel better about something after they bought it…. they get to remember falling in love with it. I try to take pictures that seem like they could be in your home. If you look at the earliest pieces that I sold they’re all taken in a photo tent and came out weird shades of pink. At some point I found a place in my house (my bureau in my bedroom) that has the perfect light in the afternoon and a couple spots near windows in the studio and the pictures became so much more inviting (in my humble opinion).