Happy New Year's from TEST

Thursday, December 29, 2011

On behalf of everyone one at the Toronto Etsy Street Team, we hope you have a glamourous New Year's Eve to launch a wonderful 2012!

Christmas, Boxing Day, Week even Month....

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

image Christmas Tree Screenprinted Greeting Card - Kid Icarus Artist Series: Louis Durand from Kid Icarus

We at TEST hope that everyone who has celebrated Christmas had a good one (and wish a Merry Christmas to anyone yet to celebrate)!

We hope Boxing Day wasn't too crazy for you... but if you are still looking for deals, try searching "Boxing Day Toronto Team" on Etsy. You can find deals like the one below from great TEST sellers who extend their Boxing Day sales for the entire week (or even all of January!).

image: Boxing Day SALE Natural Oatmeal Linen Wool Felt Heart Bookmark by Eyespot Designs on Etsy

Pour nos membres francophones et bilingues

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Ici à Toronto, nous avons quelques membres de l'équipe qui sont francophone, ou bilingue anglais-français, qui sont capable de travailler dans tous les deux langues officielle du Canada. Donc, on vous presente une très bonne nouvelle du Blog Français D'Etsy: « Etsy sera bientôt disponible en français !
Cette fonctionnalité permettra aux acheteurs francophones de naviguer plus facilement sur l’ensemble du site et aux vendeurs de proposer une version traduite de leur boutique.

Nous avons beaucoup travaillé ces derniers temps à préparer ce lancement, et aujourd’hui, nous sommes heureux de proposer aux vendeurs Etsy français de tester et de nous aider à améliorer ces fonctionnalités avant que tout le monde n’y accède.

Vous voulez découvrir Etsy en français et nous faire part de vos commentaires ? C’est très simple, il suffit de vous inscrire à la bêta d’Etsy en français en rejoignant cette équipe. »

Il y a plus de renseignments ici.

For members who do not read French, you may want to keep an eye on the new additional language capabilities of Etsy, which are undergoing beta-testing and will soon be available to all. Currently, it is possible to have your shop listings cross-listed in German, and French will soon be added. Other languges are planned. In such a multi-cultural city, many of our member shops are run by people who speak languages other than English. This will be an opportunity for you to cater to customers in alternate languages, and find shop-keepers who are happy to communicate in languages other than English!

Happy Winter Solstice!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

(The Ice Castle 2010 print by thunderpeep)

Here in the Northern Hemisphere, this is the shortest day of the year. More daylight is worth celebrating! I'm off to the Kensington Market Winter Solstice parade!

Happy Hanukkah!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Whichever one you celebrate...Hanukkah card by HeyRube

Best wishes to everyone beginning their celebration of Hanukkah (or Chanukah... or...) from the Toronto Etsy Street Team.

Shop Local! Solutions for the Holiday Rush

Monday, December 19, 2011


You can still get Etsy items by Christmas if you shop local! DECEMBER 19 is the last day Canada Post will guaruntee regular post delivery of local mail by the 25th. If you are buying cards, or small, flat items, get them today to get them in time. Check out our 'TEST Paper Goods' category for a large selection of cards.

If you are buying larger, 3D items, you can still get holiday packages within Canada by Xpresspost if you purchase your order early enough for it to be sent by DECEMBER 21. Just be sure to let the seller know you need upgrade to expedited shipping. Most sellers will provide this service.

Have you missed your shipping deadline? Never fear! Many sellers offer gift certificates - even ones which can be sent digitally, so that you can be sure to have the perfect item to give.

Vendor Call: Made by hand Show

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Vendor Call:Applications are now being accepted for the bi-annual Made by Hand Show. This is a juried show restricted to handmade items only. Over 150 quality Canadian handmade artists, artisans and designer spots available. Earlier this year, (November 5th) we hosted and showcased over 150 Canadian handmade artists, artisans and welcome over 1750 visitors. This year we're bigger and better. Don't miss out, Click here for a Vendor Application or email us at madebyhandshow@yahoo.ca

Application Deadline:
All applications must be received before March 1, 2012 in order to be considered for the jurying process.

Check out some of the TESTY members that participated in our previous show: berrysweettreats,  butterflytreeshopchristinemarieford, ElisBodyShop, krystlesmonkeys, lianamarieoriginals, lmcreation, lurearts, Sahetahstarrydreams, thunderpeep, TwoRosesToronto

Etsy Craft News: Get-Together in Niagara Falls, NY

Hello local Etsy sellers,

The Etsy admin are starting a new tradition of hosting get-togethers in their hometowns over the holiday. Etsy Admin hebo contacted me to invite any TEST members (and of course, any other Southern Ontario or Western NY Etsy sellers) who are in the Niagara Falls area on December 27, to join her for a casual get-together, and meet other Etsians. It is near the Niagara Falls Market, for those participating. You can find more information here:


If you plan on attending, please RSVP.

Call for submissions: Common Thread International

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Common Thread International Exhibitions, which will be held in Oakville: Nov. 2 - 18, 2012 and in Toronto: Nov. 9- 25, 2012 is calling for artists' submissions for their:
1) Artwork and Interior Gallery Installations
2) Outside Environmental Installations
3) “Fibre Inspired” Exhibition
4) Proposals for Independent Projects

This sounds like a great opportunity for fibre artists, and those inspired by textiles!
DEADLINE: 4:00 pm, Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Find more information HERE.

(via Toronto Craft Alert)

Craft News: Wonderlandish by nanopod

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Via the Toronto Craft Alert

322 Harbord Street


December 10 (11:00am-6:00pm) & 11 (1:00am-5:00pm), 2011
a nanotopian installation
Sound + Vision by Andrei Gravelle & Tosca Teran

TEST's own nanopod: Hybrid Studio is taking part in this year’s City of Craft!
Not only will they have a booth where you can purchase signature nanotopian one-of-a-kind & limited edition gifts & special holiday gift certificates towards their metal + glass workshops and courses they are currently ‘elving’ away creating, Wonderlandish. A special installation taking place at the Theatre Centre during The City of Craft. Sneak peeks and experimentations of what’s in store are up daily on the nanopod blog.

Craft News: The Paper Place Giveaway

Friday, December 2, 2011

The Paper Place (across Queen St W from Trinity-Bellwoods Park) is having the 2nd annual chiyogami giveaway.. They are giving away 700 beautiful sheets of 8.5 x 11 chiyogami! If you would like to enter, just check out their blog for more details.

Craft News: Wandering Craft Show

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Don't forget to join TEST's own Emma of Landfilldesigns (as known as ShopCats) and many great TESTy craftspeople at the 2nd Wandering Craft Show next week!

Saturday, December 10th, 11 am to 5 pm at the Gladstone Hotel
Groundfloor Ballroom

1215 Queen St. W.

Vendor Call: The Last Minute Market

Thursday, November 24, 2011

The Last Minute Market
Craft fair and one of a kind art show.

December 24th
2pm until Midnight!

Get all your last minute holiday shopping done in one location!

The Tranzac Club; 292 Brunswick Ave, Toronto

Located between Bathurst and Spadina, off of Bloor.

Show time is 2:00pm until 12:00 am (Midnight)

Set up time is between 12:45 and 2pm

The fee for a table is 50$.

Application deadline is December 3rd

To Apply to be a vendor:

Please send an email to: TheLastMinuteMarket@gmail.com

List the following details;





What do you make/ plan on selling?

Please attach photos if you can.

Looking forward to hearing from you!

Emily & Mel!

Shop handmade this Holiday Season.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

This holiday season, I am trying to buy as many gifts as possible from local and independent handmade artists. So I was thinking, why would someone buy handmade?  Here are my Top five reasons why I will buy handmade this holiday season.

1. SUPPORT - Buying handmade shows your support for local handmade artists. Most of us (including artists) are struggling with the economy the way it is, and by purchasing handmade gifts you may help a struggling artists pay for life’s necessities. I would much rather buy a handmade gift from a local artists rather than a supporting the big-box stores.

2. UNIQUE - Handmade artists make one-of-a-kind gifts, something truly unique. Just the other day I was wearing a handmade necklace from a local artist.  I got so many compliments and people asking "Where did you find that?"

3. QUALITY - Handmade artists pride themselves in providing quality with every item that they sell. For example, if I make a card and it's not perfect, I often discard the piece and start again. Another example is a handmade knitted hat that I recently purchased, you can feel the quality. Many handmade artists will ensure that every stitch, clasp or whatever is perfect. When I buy handmade I know I am getting a quality piece of work.

4. CUSTOM - I have purchased so many customizes pieces over the years. How many time have you been shopping and seen the perfect item and though "if only it was in another colour". When you buy handmade it's as simple as 'can you make this in pink!".

5. ECONOMICAL - Buying handmade is affordable (which I know is surprising to many). I would much rather spend $20 on a piece of jewellery that will last many years, then $5 on a piece that will tarnish or break in months.

So before you buy something that is in mass production, stop and think. So with the holidays right around the corner, and all the rush and fuss, don't forget about the little "gal" or "guy", the shops that are owned by local small business owners. There are so many reasons to shop handmade, I hope I have opened your eyes to just a few.

So this holiday season, shop with our fellow T.E.S.T members or view the list of over 150 handmade artists on my website; Let's shop and support local handmade shops this holiday season.

~ Jacqueline

Vendor call: 27th annual OCADU Book Arts Fair

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

VENDOR CALL: The 27th annual OCADU Book Arts Fair (show: December 3, 2011; deadline: November 25)

The Printmakers of the Ontario College of Art & Design are looking for vendors to participate in this year’s show. Read on for more details, and please contact bookartsfair@gmail.com with any questions and to request an application form.

The 27th annual Book Arts Fair will be held in the GREAT HALL at 100 McCaul St., on Saturday, December 3rd. It will be open to the public from 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m., with the doors open for exhibitors to set up at 8:45 a.m. There will be a $40.00 table fee payable to the college. This year they are offering a limited number of half tables available for only $25.00.

TESTy Survey

Calling all Toronto Etsy Street Team Members!
We want to hear from you.
Please take a moment and fill in this brief survey

Thanks! You're the best.

Vender Call: 19th Annual Beach Studio Tour

19th Annual Beach Studio Tour

NEW DATE: May 4th, 5th & 6th 2012
Application Deadline Thursday December 8th before 2pm

The Beach Studio Tour (BST) seeks artists and artisans with work of professional calibre and who are committed to creative, original expression. We are looking for artists from the Greater Toronto Area and the Beach in particular. We are particularly encouraging applications from artisans and other craft people. The tour is a joint co-operative effort with all participants contributing equally in time and effort. Our aim is to promote arts in the Beach and to build the Beach as an arts destination.

Find the Application Form at this link

Giveaway for Tickets to CRAVE Chat!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Check out this great giveaway! Two tickets for the next CRAVE Toronto Chat on November 21st (a $50 value).

Great opportunity to network with other women entrepreneurs and take part in a business chat that will get new ideas rolling for your business!

For more details visit Handmakers Haven Blog here.

Art Show: Savage

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Check out the Macho Man Savage tribute 'Savage' at the White House Gallery, November 12- 15, 2011.

Event: Toronto Waldorf School's Arts and Crafts Fair

Monday, November 7, 2011

You may recall we had a vender call for this event in June. Comment below if you are a TEST member who will be there!

We are passing on an invitation to Torontonians:

Please join us for the Toronto Waldorf School’s fantastic Arts and Crafts Fair! Visit us on Saturday, November 19th from 9 am until 6 pm. Shop for unique handcrafted items from forty nine juried artisans. Enjoy the Village Market - an organic farmers market which runs from 8:30 am to 1:30 pm. Children's activities also at the Candlelight Fair from 11 am to 4 pm. This is an earth friendly event so please bring your reusable shopping bag and refillable water bottle.

Toronto Waldorf School Arts & Crafts Fair
Saturday, November 19 from 9 am to 6 pm
admission $3.00 children under 12 free
9100 Bathurst Street, Thornhill, ON L4J 8C7

website: www.TorontoWaldorfSchool.com/ArtsCraftsFair (url is case sensitive)
contact details: Leslie Peel, 9058816137, ext 711 or email artscraftsfair@torontowaldorfschool.com

Happy Yellows

Friday, November 4, 2011

I recently joined the T.E.S.T team and decided to browse the team members' shops. I found some amazingly creative and talented artists/artisans in the GTA. Here are some of my favorite finds:

Have a great weekend.


HACE Workshops - Brampton Arts Council

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Nov. 10, 11, 12, & 13 – 12th HACE™ Business of the Arts Workshop Weekend. Brought to you by the Brampton Arts Council. FREE to Bramptonians.

Develop skills, hear experiences and network with other artists. Whethere a crafter or musician, there are workshops for all. Workshops this year include, "FACEBOOK FEARLESSNESS-Building your on-line presence". "Creating a Start-up Financial Plan", "Go Global: It’s Easy as Etsy" and more. BAC is honoured this year to have as one of our featured speakers musician Cindy Church, a creative force in a number of musical groups and Ted Outerbridge’s who talks about his role as a magician in “29 Years of Survival – Magically”. At the Brampton Golf Club (7700 Kennedy Rd. S., Brampton). For more details and/or to register call 905-874-2919, email info@artsbrampton.ca or visit www.artsbrampton.ca/workshops.asp

Happy Hallowe'en!

Monday, October 31, 2011

For our TESTy makers, a very Happy Hallowe'en

Vender calls: Bazaar of the Bizarre Frost Bite

Friday, October 28, 2011

Dear Artist,

Plastik Wrap have decided to organize a winter edition of our popular event: The Bazaar of the Bizarre. As you might now, this popular event runs twice a year and its 4th year.

Plastik Wrap presents: Frost Bite, The Bazaar of the Bizarre, Christmas edition. December 11th, at the Great Hall, 1087 Queen st. West

We would like to invite you to apply to be a part of this fun Christmas event, by filling out the vendor application

The application deadline is October 31st/2011

If you have any additional questions, please let us know.

Adriana and Ryan

T.E.S.T. interview: DinosDiedOfBoredom

We hope to introduce you to all the great etsy sellers to be found right here in Toronto. Here at the T.E.S.T. blog, we plan to interview them all. This is the 23rd in our series, just in time for Hallowe'en, a monster-filled interview with Sheena of Dinos Died of Boredom.

When I first read your shop name, Dinosaurs Died of Boredom it evoked for me a sense of playfulness. Upon seeing your work besides the obvious, that you like to explore interpretations of well known iconic images. I would like to ask;

Describe your process:

I start off by finding a nifty person or monster that would look cool in watercolours. Then I make some tea. I paint said subject while drinking said tea. Wait for it to dry. Photograph the painting and then post on etsy. I will often put a notice on my facebook and tumblr pages about the ‘fresh off the easel’ painting and then probably have another cup of tea. Since I already mentioned the social media outlets, why not do a a bit of shameless plugging?
my dinosdiedofboredom facebook
dinosaurs died of boredom tumblr
Dinosaurs Died of Boredom Blog

What inspires you and draws you to working with iconic imagery?

I have an absolute obsession with retro. It started as a little kid bopping around my living room to Elvis and watching Leave It To Beaver when I came home for lunch. The first two CDs I ever bought were Elvis and The Beach Boys. As a teenager I started wearing vintage clothes and growing more of an appreciation for the cultural significance of the past several decades. I was always watching TV shows from the 50s-80s (loved The Munsters, Brady Bunch, Three’s Company, ALF…). I could always spend hours in a thrift or antique shop. When I was about 16, I read Frankenstein and Dracula and that set me on a path of deep love for monsters (which continues today, as can be seen by my mostly monstrous collection of paintings). Life moves horrifyingly quickly and shows/items/relics/images from an era gone by are like pieces of the past frozen in time.

Do you feel your work is a continuation of the pop art aesthetic of such masters as Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein?

I’m going to go ahead and say yes. I certainly could never compare my pieces to the likes of Warhol and Lichtenstein, but I will attest to the fact that without pioneers such as them, who knows if there’d be a place in the landscape of art for quirky and kitschy paintings like mine. The pop artists of the 50s/60s really helped breakdown the distinction between high and low culture, revolting against what was typically considered fine art. As can be garnered from my lament of all things retro, I’m a big fan of pop culture (mostly from the 20s-80s). I watch a lot of film and TV (my day job is actually in film and TV) so, like Lichtenstein and Warhol, my inspiration is heavily drawn from sources of popular culture in music, movies and television.

What criteria do you use when selecting your images?

First, it has to look good in the style that I paint in (a lot of negative, white space).
Next, the subject matter has to be awesome. I love the classic monsters, so I tend to feature those creatures quite frequently. I also lean towards historic figures who have made my life a little better or more enjoyable in some way, whether it be a scientist, an actor, a musician or an artist.

It seems that you are using 'Dinosaur' as a metaphor for something that is past its time much the way we refer to, "dinosaur rock bands' for example.
How did you arrive at, Dinosaurs died of boredom?

Interesting way of looking at it. I suppose we can harken back to my aforementioned love of retro if we want to create a metaphor with the past. I never quite thought of it that way, but I like it.

“Dinosaurs Died of Boredom” actually came from a book… I have this very old book called “Strange Stories, Amazing Facts” and it is full of just what the title implies. One of those strange stories/amazing facts is the theory of Paleoweltshmerz that expresses a possible explanation for the extinction of dinosaurs. It claims that dinosaurs became so disillusioned with their ancient world that they died of boredom. I think that that is such an interesting and hilarious theory that I use it as a daily philosophy to live my life. Don’t die of boredom.

Please further define Paleoweltschmerz regarding your paintings.

Well, essentially I started painting so that I don’t die of boredom (as the dinosaurs may or may not have).

Biggest artistic influences:

Two influences who I think got to me subconsciously are Basil Gogos and Alex Pardee. It wasn’t until after I opened my etsy shop that I looked back on some of those gentlemen’s art work and I realized how they both, unbeknownst to me, crawled into my head and truly impacted my style. Gogos was an absolute master of monster art. In the 60s and 70s he painted bold portraits of ghastly ghouls, monsters and horror film actors. Most of his work was for the cover art of monster movie magazines. His dazzling use of colour and dramatic lighting create the effect that these creepy creatures are about to crawl out and get ya. He paints these ghouls in vivid colours, creating a neat juxtaposition between macabre images and happy colours, which I tend to do. Alex Pardee is in the new generation of monster artists. He also uses bright, jovial colours for his spooky drawings and there is a terrific sense of humour that comes through his art. The paint dripping off the page is an effect which he frequently employs, as do I. Again, it wasn’t until my shop was up and running for a few months that I looked back on some of Pardee’s work and I was astounded to see that, without consciously realizing it, I most likely swiped that idea from him. That’s part of the thing about pop culture, isn’t it? It’s so invasive; it penetrates your thoughts and ideas without you having any idea that it’s actually happening.

Working on now:

I’m working on a blog that I’ve started up. Seeing what the action is on this crazy blogosphere I’ve been hearing so much about. In terms of upcoming subjects for my paintings, I recently saw an excellent rendition of The Crucible performed by Ryerson University students and it has reminded me of how much I love Arthur Miller, so I think I’ll add him to the roster.

You can find more of Sheena's work at the aforementioned Dinos Died of Boredom Etsy shop, the dinosdiedofboredom facebook, dinosaurs died of boredom tumblr, and the new Dinosaurs Died of Boredom Blog. She was interviewed by Tosca of nanopod, in October, 2011.

Vendor Call 99 Mrkt

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Incase you missed the announcement Sea Flower Studios has created a new blog to focus on Vendor Calls and resources for creative entrepreneurs. Check out the vendor call for 99 Mrkt there. They are a year round market and have added some additional space for this weekend if you're looking for a last minute show!

You can check out the complete listing of upcoming shows and vendor calls on the new blog here.

Win a Pair of Tickets to Crave Chat Mentors Move Mountains

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Sea Flower Studios is offering a contest on her new Handmakers Haven Blog. You can win one of 2 pairs of tickets for the CRAVE Chat Mentors Move Mountains this Thursday ($50 Value).

For more detials check out the blog post here. To enter all you have to do is leave a comment on the blog post! Good Luck!

Made by Hand Show (Upclose and personal)

Monday, October 24, 2011

Let me introduce myself.  My name is Jacqueline and I’m the show manager for the Made by Hand Show.  I have been in the craft business since 2007, and am the creative talent behind “Made by Jacqueline” handmade cards and paper crafts. After participating in dozens of shows over the years, I decided that it time to put my years of experience as a vendor to good use. In May of 2011 “Made by Hand” was launched.  At Made by Hand our goal is to promote handmade artists and artisans.  Earlier this month, all the vendor spaces to the Made by Hand Show were sold-out.

As a vendor have you ever been to a show and been disappointed?  For me, it is just as important that our vendors participating in the show have as good as an experience as the customers do. My biggest pet-peeve from other shows is how poorly many of the shows were advertised and how often once I paid my booth fee, that I never heard from the organizers again.

To make sure that our vendors didn’t have these same complaints, we strive to deliver solid advertising and ensure constant communicate to our vendors. 
We are launching our first show on Saturday November 5th, 2011 at the International Centre.  The “Made by Hand Show” is featured in several local newspapers and 10,000 flyers were distributed through Mississauga News. I even made a TV appearance today, Monday October 24th on Rogers Cable 10 (Mississauga) daytime show. Through Facebook and Twitter, we are keeping everyone in the loop as to what is happening and when.

Where: The Made by Hand Show will be held in Hall 1 at the popular  International Centre (6900 Airport Road, Mississauga, Ontario); Free parking
When: November 5th, 2011 – 11:00am - 7:00pm
Admission: Only $1 each or $2 per family (benefiting Crafting for a Cure)
Artisans: All the 150+ vendors will be there showcasing their unique handmade items, all handcrafted in Canada.

Even more reasons to come:   
  • The 1st one hundred customers will receive a FREE swag bag
  • Door Prizes …. a 50/50 draws and prizes including hotel packages, theatre tickets, gift sets, gift certificates, fine art and more fabulous items donated by sponsors and vendors
  • Bring the kiddies too - face painting and henna artists on-site
For us, it wasn’t enough to just have happy artisans and customers, we wanted to give back too - all the door proceeds from the entire day will go to Crafting for a Cure a not for profit, registered charity that looks for opportunities to insure children are having a positive experience when a hospital visit is necessary.

Check out some of these TESTY members joining the Made by Hand Show: berrysweettreats,  butterflytreeshopchristinemarieford, ElisBodyShop,

So come out, shop and show your support for the handmade artists and make the "Made By Hand Show" an amazing event. For more information please visit us online: www.madebyhandshow.com or email us at madebyhandshow@yahoo.ca

New Vendor Call

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Sea Flower Studios has posted a new vendor call for the Bazaar of the Bizarre Frost Bite Christmas Marketplace. Check it out here.

Hippo Craft Fair is Looking for Vendors

Monday, October 17, 2011

Just posted on Sea Flower Studios Blog....Hippo Craft Fair is looking for vendors! Check out details on the post here.

T.E.S.T. interview: CandiWare

Friday, September 16, 2011

We hope to introduce you to all the great etsy sellers to be found right here in Toronto. Here at the T.E.S.T. blog, we plan to interview them all. This is the 22nd in our series, an interview with CandiWareJewelry of Candiware.

First, tell us a little about you and your shop. What prompted you to open up an Etsy shop?

CandiWare is a one-stop shop for delicious miniature food jewelry that is scented! After making my own jewelry for years, I finally decided to open my own Etsy shop because whenever I went out wearing the jewelry I had made people would always ask me where I bought my fun jewelry. At that point, it was simply a matter of time before I wanted to share my work with the public and bring a sense of fun to their lives.

How did you become interested creating such uniquely crafted jewelry?

As a child, I always loved small toys such as Polly Pockets. In addition, I have always had a knack for crafts. When I began creating my miniature food pieces, it just perfectly fit my style! 

Other than your shop, do you have another occupation or a ‘day job’? If so, what is it? Do you have a background in jewelry design or business? 

Yes, I actually do have a day job, I work as a background painter for a Disney children’s show. I’m lucky because I thoroughly love both my work with Disney as well as my Etsy shop. In terms of my background, I have degree from the advanced animation program at Seneca College.

Through your shop, CandiWare, you offer not only jewelry pieces, but also items for both men & women as well as some seasonal pieces. Do you find that this makes your shop constantly grow & reach diverse markets?

Yes, I do think that having a variety of different items in your shop is a big plus. In terms of seasonal pieces, I find it is very helpful to keep your shop new and fresh! Seasonal items can also draw in buyers and hopefully, keep interested in returning to check out new items or find a new purchase.

I love the whimsical & fun aspect of your designs, why is this an important feature of your shop?

I really believe in what I’m selling! I have found that my pieces are able to provoke laughter and enjoyment from customers or even when I’m out wearing it or at craft shows. I also meet some individuals that think my jewelry is odd or “gaudy”! I actually had a women say that to me at a craft show! I just think people like that don’t know how to have fun!

You mention in your shop’s announcement that your food themed jewelry actually contains scent, which is almost too delicious to resist! Can you describe how you create your jewelry & how they become scented?

When I create my jewelry, I make my pieces called, little minis, out of fimo then I add the scented oils to the clay as it’s baking. Trust me when I say they really do smell good! : D

What is your biggest inspiration for your pieces?

My biggest inspiration for my pieces comes from cookbooks if you can believe it! I have a lot of recipe books that are all about tarts, cakes, cookies, and other sweets. For inspiration, I simply flip though the recipes and find a sweet treat that I would love to make in a miniature form.

Do you have a favourite piece or one you enjoy crafting? If so, which piece?

I do have a lot of favourites! Currently, I am really in love with my teapot necklace. 

In what ways do you, CandiWarejewelry, promote your business? Are they any current promotions on your Etsy shop, CandiWare? Other than your Etsy shop is there anywhere else where readers can find out more about Candychick?

I promote my business through various social networking sites which include Twitter, Facebook, Tumbler as well as my CandyWare Blog. For Etsy promotions, I currently have a big sale going on in my shop in order to make space for my new stock. To visit, go to the “Sale” section in my shop to see the special items on promotion.

To someone considering opening his or her own Etsy shop, do you have any advice for him or her?

My advice to new sellers is to make sure you read the Etsy Seller Handbook and go through all of the Etsy Online Labs too. They are incredibly helpful! My main goal with my shop is to always update whether it be through my blog, Twitter, Tumblr, or Facebook. Just get yourself out there!

You can find more of CandiWareJewelry in her Etsy shop, the Candiware blog, the Candiware Tumblr, the CandiWare Facebook page or follow CandiWare on Twitter. She was interviewed by Meg of FrameBoutique in September, 2011.

Vendor Call: Sale of the Century

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Via the Toronto Craft Alert, a little Vendor Call:

Melissa, the organizer, for Sale of the Century, going down Tuesday September 20 from 7-10pm is hosting a night of shopping, drinking and eating at the west-end gem of a restaurant, Zocalo.

And she wonders if you would also like to offer your wares at this event.

She started out envisioning a vintage sale and it quickly turned into a night of old and new friends peddling our various wares for money, barter, hugs, promises, drinks, etc.

A few of the earliest confirmed participants include:

ADR will offer readings as a Tarot apprentice (for ten dollars per reading).

Janet MacPherson (finally back from her 3 year stint in Ohio) will sell her beautiful ceramics.

She will sell spoils from my vintage (and lightly used clothing) collection.

And it is likely that Barbara Lindenberg will show a dance.

Would you like to join us?

Sale of the Century will occur on Tuesday September 20 from 7-10.
It will cost $5 to secure a table.
She would love to see you all there with your cds, jewellery, health food, paintings, art and crafts, vintage clothing, macrame, baked goods or a song in your heart.

Please email her if you would like to take part (skysdale '@' gmail.com)
Feel free to pass this on to anyone you think might be interested in participating.

T.E.S.T. interview: FrameBoutique

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

We hope to introduce you to all the great etsy sellers to be found right here in Toronto. Here at the T.E.S.T. blog, we plan to interview them all. This is the 21th in our series, an interview with Meg of FrameBoutique.

First, tell us a little bit about yourself & your shop. What prompted you to open up an Etsy shop?

My name is Meg & I’m the exclusive designer & owner of FrameBoutique, which specializes in handmade, vintage-inspired jewelry. After simultaneously completing my master’s degree in English Literature & saying, “I do” to my partner of ten years, Sean, I began teaching at a private high school in Toronto. However, I felt a creative void in my routine so I catapulted headfirst into the burgeoning world of jewelry design. Etsy is a new medium with countless possibilities, “It’s never too late to be what you might have been” (George Eliot).

My infatuation for the written word did not end when I was handed my diploma, rather it infuses my Etsy shop. Whether it is through photographing my jewelry pieces on cherished novels or upcycling tattered books into decorative poms & one-of-a-kind brooches, my literary passion has not diminished. For the majority of my pieces, I use my wedding china with its softly detailed scroll design, which is also as a reminder of my husband’s unvarying support.

When I look through your collection of uniquely crafted jewelry, your work reminds me of 1950s fashion. To be honest, it makes me want to put on one of my 50s style dresses & add one of your Hollywood Regency or cocktail rings! I must ask, what inspires your designs?

Thank you! My inspiration stems from a variety of fashion trends. While I design new pieces or sketch them out, I usually watch classic films from the 30s, 40s & 50s. I love the simple design of women’s suits with bold accents in the 30s. I recently wrote a blog post on how Howard Hawks’ His Girl Friday has influenced some of my more whimsical pieces such as my necktie or moustache necklaces. I love Rosalind Russell's wardrobe choices; she wears typically masculine clothes (suits, hats) & yet, reclaims them as feminine pieces.

Those closest to me know that my primary influence is Audrey Hepburn & her signature minimalist, silhouette style, which she always wore with bold earrings & accessories. In addition to these influences, my design is an eclectic mix of Boho Chic, Neo-Victorian, Parisian Chic, Old World & Shabby Chic styles.

What are the different textures that you love to mix the most? What ‘look’ are you going for with these pieces?

I love working with clean lines, crisp colours as well as soft shades such as blush, cream or beige. Also, floral pieces are central to most of my designs & often, I incorporate vintage items or create vintage-inspired jewelry. A lot of my designs play with the idea of contrast, usually between bold colours such as pairing vivid turquoise & bright red in an elegant pair of earrings. Lately, I’ve been using the soft texture of ribbon or lace trim as a contrast against the delicate metal work of filigree & the vintage-style of cabochon flowers, which has turned out better than I originally imagined. Now I just have to part with those pieces!

Most of my jewelry are statement pieces: über feminine, soft & minimalist. I abide by the ‘everything in moderation’ rule of thumb; with jewelry, you don’t want to over do it. Sometimes wearing one ‘statement’ piece can express more about your personality than a few colourful items. I also don’t wear or create jewelry according to the seasons - I think floral designs can add a touch of warmth in the fall & winter months. With jewelry, my philosophy is not to limit yourself to a season, but rather pick pieces that are timeless, bold.

Do you have any new & exciting designs that we can look forward to in the coming months?

By now, I think I have filled my design notebook to the brim with sketches of new designs! I would love to share a couple of my upcoming projects. One design that I’m quite excited about uses eco-friendly wooden bangles/bracelets. Essentially, I will be incorporating certain designs on paper as well as Japanese origami paper onto the wooden bangles – bright colours & chunky, oversized bangles.

Ideally, I want to create more upcycled, eco-friendly jewelry as it is such an admirable movement. I also have a new design for my upcycled necktie necklaces that reinvents them into a more feminine necklace rather than just a smaller necktie.

Do you have any tips for new Etsy sellers?

Yes! Use social networking sites to promote your brand such as blogs, Twitter or Facebook. This gives potential clients a chance to see beyond the final product & get a glimpse into your style, sense of humour, design process & draw attention to upcoming items. The most useful resource, the Etsy Seller Handbook will improve your Etsy business if you adopt the handbook’s advice. Also, frequently listing new items will increase the chance for buyers to discover your shop. The Shop Stats feature is another fundamental tool that can help you adjust your tags accordingly, which will increase your shop’s search relevancy. Lastly, photography is one of the most important areas to tackle. Browse some successful shops & you might notice a particular aesthetic – bright exposure, clean surfaces & uncluttered backgrounds. For more tips, visit Etsy’s Guide to Photography!

Other than your Etsy shop is there anywhere else where readers can find out more about FrameBoutique?

In addition to Etsy, I have a Facebook page, which has several of the same items as my Etsy shop, but also some different designs. On Facebook, I often post promotions, special sales & contests exclusive to Facebook fans (the last contest was a free pair of earrings from my shop!). I also have a Twitter account as well as a blog that focuses on new & upcoming designs, free DIY tutorials & products as well as Etsy promotions.

You can find more of Meg's designs in her Etsy shop FrameBoutique, her FrameBoutique Facebook page, her blog and you can follow FrameBoutique on twitter. She was interviewed by Candice of Candychick in September, 2011.

Friends of the Arts - Toronto Arts Funding Petition

Via the Toronto Craft Alert:

Please take 30 seconds to add your name to the Friends of the Arts petition!

Toronto City Council is planning to make deep cuts to the city budget, and this puts arts and cultural funding at serious risk. Cutting the arts could be an economic and social catastrophe for Toronto: not only does the city achieve a huge return on a relatively small investment, but our vibrant arts scene is also a big part of what makes Toronto a great place to live, work and visit.

Friends of the Arts* has launched an online petition to let City Councillors know that Torontonians value the arts

By signing the petition you will be sending a message to the Mayor and your local councillor telling them that arts funding should not be cut. Here are a few of the reasons why the arts might be important to you:

*Arts and culture are essential to Toronto’s economy, generating $9 billion every year.

*Arts and culture create jobs. 130,000 people work in the sector – and many more depend on related businesses, including those in hospitality and tourism.

*Torontonians care about the arts. In 2010, there were 20 million visits from every corner of Toronto to city-supported arts events.

*Every dollar Toronto invests in arts organizations attracts $17 more from private and public sources. Arts and culture funding has a great return on investment.

*Great art and artists take years to achieve commercial success; today’s funding enables tomorrow’s art.

*Artists flock to cities that support them – yet Toronto invests less in the arts than other major cities; City Council has been working to change that, and it must stay the course.

Toronto Councillors need to know that their voters value the arts. Please feel free to forward the petition on to your friends and family.

Made by Hand Show - still a few spots left

Sunday, September 4, 2011

We have a few vendor spaces left for the Made by Hand Show.  We are still accepting vendors in the following catagories:  
Candles, Baby/Toys, Wood, Ceremic/Glass, Paper Goods, Decorations/Christmas, Clothing, Art, Pottery and Stain Glass.   
Why exibit with us?  HUGE craft show, GREAT variety of vendors, MASSIVE advertising, EXCELLENT venue, TONS of parking, REASONABLE booth rates, LARGE booth areas.
10'x10' Booth is $160 plus HST.
I really hope you will join us for this fantastic showcase of all things handmade.

Email Us today for an application!

Call for submissions: Do Design

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Do West Do Design Event 2012

Thursday 26th January to Sunday 29th, January 2012
Reception: various venues from 3pm to 8pm Saturday 28th, January 2012
Do Design Guided Tour of Venues: Sunday 29th, January 2012

Via the TCA comes this call for Do Design, a four day design crawl now in its second year which features contemporary furniture, objects, architectural and graphic design on display in storefronts, cafes, walkups & windows from Dundas St West from Bathurst to Grace street. They are seeking submissions for design works. For more details as well as the application form, visit here

T.E.S.T. interview: theDADproject

Thursday, September 1, 2011

We hope to introduce you to all the great etsy sellers to be found right here in Toronto. Here at the T.E.S.T. blog, we plan to interview them all. This is the 20th in our series, an interview with sisters Serena and Emily of theDADproject.

One of the great things about being part of an Etsy Street Team is meeting locals with something in common. Many (possibly most) of us on T.E.S.T. may have our own experiences with cancer in our own families, and would be happy to help raise funds for the Canadian Cancer Society by doing something we love - namely making handmade things. This is what theDADproject is all about. You can follow the discussion thread about the D.A.D. project in our team forum and join other teammates in participating.

First, a little about you. I think you may be our only sister act on T.E.S.T. How did you both become illustrators? Were you competitive growing up, or is this something you enjoyed together?

As kids, we were both constantly drawing and finding ways to be creative but, surprisingly, were never competitive about it. These days, we continue to encourage each other in our separate artistic pursuits — we’ve both been lucky enough to include illustration in our careers. With The D.A.D. Project, we have found a collaborative and creative way for us to work together while dealing with the loss of our father.

You both have a sort of whimsical style, featuring animals, humour and kid-friendly illustration. Why do you think that is?

We both have pretty good senses of humour (or so we’d like to think!) and a love for animals and most things kid-related (maybe because we’re both still young-at-heart). We’re definitely glass-half-full types, and we both enjoy a good play on words.

What are your favorite media for creating?

Emily is a freelance graphic designer and illustrator, and uses her Wacom Cintiq 21UX regularly, most often with Corel Painter. Her specialty when she studied Fine Art at university was printmaking, which she still revisits by silkscreening clothing for her other side business, m chen wears.

Serena does most of her D.A.D. drawings using a Wacom tablet and stylus with Adobe Illustrator; however, when she gets the chance, she still loves using traditional media such as pen and ink, watercolours and pencil crayons.

Do you do illustration full-time?

As a freelancer, about half of Emily’s projects are illustration-based. She’s currently on a break for maternity leave but hopes to get back to the grind by early 2012.

Serena does her illustration work part-time (including drawings for The D.A.D. Project), in the evenings and on weekends, when not at her full-time job.

Congratulations on the new addition to your family!

Tell us about The D.A.D. Project and how you came to collaborate together and with other artists.

We lost our father last October after his year-and-a half battle with metastatic colon cancer. In June 2010, we launched The D.A.D. (Drawing A Day) Project — an ongoing, online, art-based fundraiser for the Canadian Cancer Society (CCS). It’s our way to give back to an organization that was helpful to our father, as well as to others fighting cancer, and a way to do something proactive to deal with our feelings of helplessness.

Every weekday, we take turns doing a Drawing A Day (hence the project’s name), which we then put up for sale in our etsy shop. Ten dollars from every print sold of our drawings is donated to the CCS. In addition to this, we also do a weekly “Feature Friday” post on a different artist or craftsperson who has kindly donated an item of theirs to our cause; all proceeds from these sales are also donated to CCS.

How have you found the experience of using art to fight back against cancer? How have people responded?

The support and encouragement that we have received from the get-go (and that we continue to receive) has been overwhelming and incredibly rewarding. Our first orders came mainly from friends and family who wanted to support our venture. Word has spread about our project and orders now come from friends and strangers alike.

We’ve also been touched by the number of fellow artisans who have donated their work to support our cause.

What are your goals for The D.A.D. Project?

Originally, we told ourselves we would be happy if we could sell one print per week, which would have amounted to $500 in donations in our first year. As it turns out, we raised more than $4,000 through our sales in that first year, and we have also collected $1,200 in direct donations through our Canadian Cancer Society Team website page.

We are looking forward to continuing this tribute to our Dad as long as we can.

How can T.E.S.T. artists help?

We have been fortunate enough to have had a few fellow T.E.S.T. members already make donations of their wares to The D.A.D. Project (thank you for all those who have participated!), and there are a couple more in the works.

As part of being one of our “Feature Friday” participants, we list the donation in our etsy shop and include a write-up of the artist in a related blog post including photo(s) and links to their shop/sites. We also post the donation and links on our facebook page.

For anyone who is interested in making a creative donation, please let us know (through etsy or our blog) and we would be more than happy to coordinate with you.

You can find more of The D.A.D. project work and news on the D.A.D. project website, in theDADproject Etsy shop, theDADproject Facebook page, and you can follow theDADproject on twitter. You can follow their fundraising or donate directly at their Canadian Cancer Society Team page.

Serena's artwork website can be found here. Emily has her freelance art and illustration website and a second mchenwears website and Etsy shop for screenprinted teeshirts.

Interviewed by minouette in August, 2011.

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