Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Featured Shop: Mindful Presents ~ Creations by Charlene

Shop Name:   Mindful Presents

Basically I have had an incredibly eclectic life, I was Born and spent my early years in South Africa.  I lived in Belgium, Berlin, London and the USA. In my 20’s I studied costume design, and lived as an au pair in Berlin with a lovely lady who designed costumes for the Burg Theatre in Vienna.  She was the first person who sent me to art school, where I studied portraiture. I then came to the USA studied theatre costume design, did a few shows on our beautiful Mount Tamalapais  (The Mountain Play: Annie get Your Gun and Henry V) then I moved  back to Europe, designed a few shows for small theaters in London before taking off and working with the Club med for 6 months.  When I returned to the USA, I continued to design clothes.  However I was really interested in making a difference in the world,  so I started my prerequisites for Nursing, and in 1988, I married my husband Alan who is my rock. We had two children, I went to school, and worked, and graduated with my nursing degree in 1996.  I continued to try and create things, I made clothes and halloween,costumes for the children, and sewed, and took up silk painting. I worked on a lot of school art projects, and helped with school plays. I made many blankets, prayer shawls,  and scarves.
I  also made teddy bears, and crocheted.  However I had so little time, working as an RN in a very busy cardiac stroke unit, and taking care of my children husband and 2 beautiful border collies.  My children are now 21 and 23, and I am very proud of them, but I now have an empty nest.  I was feeling a little sad, since they left home. One day,about three months ago, while out running on our beautiful mountain with my border collies, I fell, and  ended up with a broken ankle.  This was a blessing in disguise.
I thought, since I now had the time off work, I needed to get my creative juices flowing, and to boost my morale, I decided to create ‘one beautiful thing’ every day.  So I started making crowns, all kinds, big ones, small ones, brightly colored ones, ones with seashells and feathers and flowers and glitter.  Every day my husband came home and found me cooking dinner with a new crown on my head.  It was so much fun, and my creative juices were bubbling over, so much so that I was able to delve head first back into my silk painting.
I created a number of scarves, and sold a few to people at work, then I created the mermaid quilt, which made my heart sing.  I pulled out some old pieces I had stopped working on a while ago, because I didn’t have time to finish them.( I was so busy,  as I had gone back to school to further my nursing education at the ripe old age of 51 and got my Bachelors of Science in Nursing.) I found that I looked at these pieces with new eyes, and started working on them with renewed passion. While at work, one day a lovely patient of mine asked to see my work, and I gave her a crown before she went to surgery  She wore it during her hospital stay and everyone commented on how radiant she looked.  She suggested I open an ETSY store.  So I opened Mindful Presents at the end of July, and have been so happy to be part of something creative. I am blown away by all the gorgeous, stunning artwork, clothes, and designs, even the food creations I have seen on ETSY, there is so much talent.  Prior to ETSY, I never sold anything - I just gave everything away.  I was amazed when people actually commented on my work, and ‘liked’ my store. This is all very new to me, but I feel like I have my mojo, I am meeting so many people, and have made new friends with local people who are on ETSY. I love it when the people who buy my wares write back to me, and include me in the pleasure they experience while wearing one of my creations.  I called them Crowning Glories, in the hope that whoever wears them will feel beautiful from inside out.
 Not only am I expressing myself creatively, but I am feeding my soul, especially when I paint on silk, because  the ebb and flow of the silk as it disperses  and bleeds into the pristine white background is meditative and soothing. This is why the reason I call my silk creations, ’Silk Dreams’
My goals are to build up my silk painting inventory, continue with creating the Teddy  Bears I call Bear Souls, because there is nothing like a teddy bear to bare your soul to when sad.  I will also continue to crochet - a lovely pastime taught to me by my grandmother.  I have a new project I would like to get started, which is creating dolls from recycled materials.  I make dolls out of old glass or plastic bottles, and all the old socks whose mates have moved on to sock heaven.  I call these Bottled Souls… They are fun and whimsical.  I would also very much like to get back into making costumes.  So as you can see I have many irons in the fire. I am so happy to be on ETSY, it has opened up so many exciting avenues for me.

Featured Items:

Hand made Embroidered SILK QUILT/ Wall Hanging. OOAK Kiss of the Dolphin.




Hand made Halloween, Queen of the Sea Starfish Crown





Exotic Halloween Head Piece with Peacock feathers, Oyster shells, and Sea Plants

Where to find Mindful Presents:

Mindful Presents Etsy Shop

Mindful Presents on Facebook

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Featured Shop: Whimsicalfolk

Featured Shop: Whimsicalfolk

Shop Name:  Whimsicalfolk
Description:  I make one of a kind hand-painted art pillows, decorations and ornaments. Specializing in Halloween.

*Look for one of WhimsicalFolk's witch pillows in the upcoming issue of Better Homes and Gardens Holiday Crafts.

 Featured Items:


Friday, October 26, 2012

Top Shops Treasury Challenge #4 is OPEN

Top Shops Treasury Challenge #4 is officially open. 

This week's featured shop is:

NeatoKeen offers a variety of vintage items.  

The Guidelines:

- You must select one item from the featured shop of the week to include in your treasury.
- Treasuries must be tagged with "TopShopsChallenge 4"
- Try to share your treasury and promote our challenge.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Featured Shops

Featured Shops

Thank you to everyone for your continued support of Top Shops of Etsy.  I have had some technical difficulty this past week and was unable to feature any shops.  Luckily, the issues have been resolved and there will be several follow-up feature e-mails going out this afternoon.  I will be resuming shop features tomorrow morning :)

Top Shops Treasury Challenge #3 Winner

Top Shops Treasury Challenge #3 Winner

I apologize for the delay of this post.  I have been having computer trouble this week but I am back up and running.  There were some beautiful treasuries created during last week challenge.  The treasury with the most hearts was Winter's Bone by NeatoKeen.

Winter's Bone

NeatoKeen will be our featured shop for this week's treasury challenge.  The next challenge will open Friday morning.  Thank you to everyone who continues to participate in our challenge!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Top Shops Treasury Challenge #3

Top Shops Treasury Challenge #3

Welcome to the Top Shops of Etsy treasury challenge.  This weeks featured shop is:  Mission Jewels.  Mission jewels has a wide variety of great items to choose from and I can't wait to see the treasuries everyone creates.  As always, the winner of this week's challenge will be selected on Monday and their Etsy shop will become the featured shop for next week's treasury challenge.

Mission Jewels Etsy Shop

The Guidelines:

- You must select one item from the featured shop of the week to include in your treasury.
- Treasuries must be tagged with "TopShopsChallenge 3"
- Try to share your treasury and promote our challenge.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Featured Shop: WierClock

Featured Shop: WeirClock

Shop Name:  WeirClock


What I do is find vintage/antique timepieces and restore the delicate clockwork mechanism's inside, along with a light restoration to the cases they are in.  Except for a particular vintage watch here and there, every piece here is mechanical and spring driven.
Each piece is disassembled, cleaned, repairs made where needed, reassembled and lubricated using the finest horological products available.  When a piece is purchased, it is inspected and tested yet again before shipping to insure the customer receives a correct vintage/antique timepiece.  

*I also have a listing titled "What I do at WierClock".  I posted this to help inform the consumer, and it is right there at the beginning of the watch listings.

 Featured Items:

Where to find WierClock:

Monday, October 15, 2012

Top Shops Treasury Challenge #2 Winner

Top Shops Treasury Challenge #2 Winner

Thank you to everyone who participated in week #2 of Top Shops of Etsy treasury challenge!  The winning treasury this week was created by Tina Knepper of Mission Jewels.

Congratulations Tina!  Mission Jewels will be our next featured shop.  The next challenge will open Friday morning.  I look forward to seeing all of your beautiful treasuries!

Featured Shop: Shawl Pin Heaven

Featured Shop: Shawl Pin Heaven

Shop Name:  Shawl Pin Heaven


I first opened my Etsy shop in March 2009 and featured handmade jewelry.  I have a variety of styles that I like to wear and make so my shop had an eclectic mix of items.  That year for Christmas I purchased neck warmers for my step daughters and when they arrived they were strips of crochet without a means to secure the ends together.  At first I was going to purchase pins, but then decided it would be more fun to make them each one.  This is how Shawl Pin Heaven began.  After several months of watching the jewelry sales decline and the shawl pin sales increase I decided to offer only the pins.  Since then sales have continued to grow.  The lesson here is, stick with one thing, do it well, and success will follow.

I hand make all the items in my shop and use a variety of materials.  I love using semi precious gemstones, but also offer pins made with carved bone, wood beads, buttons, metal beads and plastic.  I use non tarnish craft wire in different gauges depending on the hole size in the bead I'm using.  I hammer the coil at the end of all the pins which adds more strength and style.  I file the end smooth, but not to a point.  The main reason I don't file the end to a point is the gauge of the wire.  16 or even 18 gauge wire is thick enough that even if the end is filed to a point it will leave a sizable hole in cotton or silk.  My pins work best with knitted, crocheted and woven items with a somewhat looser weave.  They can be used with shawls, scarves, ponchos, capelets, neckwarmers, purses and hats.  I also make scarf slides for customers who wear cotton or silk scarves and are looking for a way to keep them secure around their neck.

Specials:  For the month of October, receive 15% off your purchase with the coupon code:  OCTOBER15

Featured Items:

Shawl Pin or Scarf Pin - Hand Painted Czech Glass Button





Scarf Slide or Napkin Ring - Aluminum Wire





Shawl Pin or Scarf Pin - Dainty Czech Glass Heart


Where to find Shawl Pin Heaven:

Friday, October 12, 2012

Top Shops of Etsy Treasury Challenge #2

Top Shops of Etsy Treasury Challenge #2

This week, there are a few changes to the treasury challenge.  Treasuries need to be tagged with "TopShopsChallenge 2".  The tag we were previously using was also being used by another group.  In the coming weeks, we will continue to use TopShopsChallenge, then a space and the number of the challenge. 

Last week's winner was:

This week we will be using their Etsy shop as the inspiration for our treasury challenge. Mad Meadow has a variety of beautiful jewelry pieces. Select one item from Mad Meadow to create your treasury.  The treasury with the most hearts by Monday wins!  Good luck everyone and feel free to share our treasury challenge!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Results of Top Shops of Etsy Treasury Challenge #1

Results of Top Shops of Etsy Treasury Challenge #1

Thank you to everyone who participated in our first treasury challenge.  There were some absolutely gorgeous treasuries made by our team.  

The winner of this weeks challenge was Mad Meadow with their treasury, Gettin' Cozy.  

Mad Meadow will be the selected shop for this week's treasury challenge.  There will be a few changes this week, so stay tuned for updates.  I will inform you of  all updates in the Friday post letting you know the second treasury challenge is open.

Thank you again to all who participated.  I look forward to seeing the treasuries that are created this week!

Featured Shop: Veronique's Jewelry

Featured Shop:  Veronique's Jewelry

Shop Name:  Veronique's Jewelry

Description:  Jewelry with love
Beautiful and Classy Jewelry, like the Women that wear them.

Featured Items:


Handmade 14k Gold and Sterling Silver Bead Necklace




Where to Find Veronique's Jewelry:

Friday, October 5, 2012

Top Shops Treasury Challenge #1

Top Shops Treasury Challenge #1

Happy Friday everyone and welcome to Top Shops of Etsy's first treasury Challenge.  The featured shop for our first challenge is:

Pick at least one item from the Stylish Smithereens and create a treasury around the item.  Make sure to tag your treasury with "TopShopsChallenge(space)(challenge number)" ex. TopShopsChallenge 1.  The challenge will end Monday morning and the treasury will the most hearts will win the challenge!  The challenge winner's shop will become the selected shop for next week's treasury challenge.

Let's try to get one of our treasuries featured on the front page!

Here are some general tips on creating treasuries:

-  Do not include items from your own shop.

-  Do not include more than one item from the same shop.

-  Try to include items from a variety of categories (homemade, supplies, vintage..etc).

-  Make sure the listings you include have clear, high-resolution images.

-  Try to create a theme and stick to it.

- Promote, promote, promote.  Etsy has thousands of treasuries.  Make sure to post a link to your treasury in any of your Etsy team boards and any social media sites that you use.

Good luck everyone!  I will announce the winner of the first treasury challenge on Monday.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

New Treasury Challenge

New Treasury Challenge

I've noticed the past few weeks that many of the treasuries featured on the front page of Etsy are part of an Etsy team challenge.  I thought Top Shops of Etsy should have it's own treasury challenge.  Let's try to get some of our shops featured on the front page!

Here is how the challenge will work:

Starting Friday at noon, I will randomly choose an Etsy shop from the directory and announce the shop in a post.  Pick at least one item from the selected shop and create a treasury around the item.  Tag your treasury with "TopShopsChallenge(space)(number of the challenge)" so that I can find it (ex. TopShopsChallenge 1).  The challenge will end Monday morning and the treasury will the most hearts will win the challenge!  The challenge winner's shop will become the selected shop for next week's treasury challenge.

Please help me to spread the word about this challenge and I hope to see you all here on Friday for the first shop announcement!

Featured Shop: Yellow Blue Bag

Featured Shop:  Yellow Blue Bag

Shop Name:  Yellow Blue Bag


My shop started when I made a diaper bag for myself after a birth of my daughter. A friend of mine was admiring it so much, that I made one for her too when she had a new baby. This started a chain reaction: more friends who had a baby wanted a bag, and someone suggested starting selling my bags on Etsy.

Since I like to knit and crochet just as much as I like to sew, I make not just diaper bags, but a lot of knitted items for babies and children. I have 3 young children at home, and their needs and interests are a constant source of inspiration for me ( as well as the color and pattern trends of modern fabrics and yarns :)

I love combination of vintage / chick / modern styles, and that comes out a lot in my choice of fabrics and colors for my bags and everything else in my shop.
I have always enjoyed art and crafts, and my shop allows me to pursue my passion for creativity without laying a financial burden on my family, but on the contrary - helping out with some expenses! That is truly amazing to me - getting paid for something I love to do anyway :)

Specials:  Receive a 15% off discount when using the coupon code:  TOPSE15

Featured Items:




 Granny Love Baby Blanket and Newsboy Hat, Sea Blue, Made to Order




Dr. Watson Vest and Bow Tie set, sizes 2t,3t,4t,5t,6t, made to order, Flat Rate shipping


Where to find Yellow Blue Bag:

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