T.E.S.T. Interview: MrHandsomeface

Tuesday, March 29, 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 18th in our series, an interview with Sara of mrhandsomeface.

Tell me where you got your name? I giggle everytime I say Mr. Handsomeface.

I have 2 adorable kitties and I love them to bits! Anybody who is a cat person knows this; sometimes the cuteness of a cat can make you say silly things. I call it Kitten Talk, it's similar to Baby Talk. 'Mr. Handsomeface' is just one of the many nonsensical things that has come out of my mouth in the presence of a kitty.

Have you always been into stationery? Do you do other "crafty" things?

I started to get into stationery and wedding invites about 3 years ago when I made the invitations for my wedding. I also made the programs and thank you cards. I had so much fun doing it that I didn't really want to stop. I bought a couple books on Illustrator, a new printer, an industrial paper cutter and I was on my way! But I've always been a crafty person. I also sew, crochet and cross stich. I'm the type of person with a hundred of half-finished projects in my closest!

Have you been in any local shows or craft fairs? Which was your favourite event?

I haven't actually had much experience with craft shows! I had a table at a Christmas Craft Show this past year. It took place in the head office of the company I work for. It went pretty good, but it was stressful! I'd like to try another one sometime. I hear there's a TESTy show coming up in April!! :)

What is your favourite season; why? :)

Summer! Wedding season! I seriously love weddings. Which is why I think it's awesome when I get to be a small part of someone's wedding with my invites or stationery. It means so much to me when people choose one of my invites for the most important party they will probably ever throw. I also love brides (and grooms!) who are into having a more off-beat wedding. Your big day is supposed to be fun! If being all proper and formal isn't your thing, then you shouldn't have to do that!

Summer is also a great time to take pictures. I'm just getting into photography, very very new in fact, but I love to walk around Toronto on a summer day with my camera around my neck. It's such a beautiful city and I think it really comes alive in the summer.

What advice would you give to someone who has yet to have a sale on Etsy?

I know everyone says this, but just keep at it. Running an Etsy store is an ongoing process. I'm constantly trying to improve my photos, come up with new designs and get more active in the Etsy community. It takes time, but I think the most important thing is that you love what you are selling. If you're really proud of your work, others will see that. Also, make sure you show your buyers the person behind the Etsy store. That's one of the awesome things about buying handmade, you know there's a real person who put a lot of love into what they're making.

Where do you see Mr. Handsomeface in 5 years? What is your "dream" for Mr. Handsomeface?

My absolute dream would be to work on Mr. H full time. I have so many ideas and so many things I want to create and just not enough hours in the day. It would be my dream job to make wedding invitations all day. I know I have a lot more to learn about design before I can turn that dream into reality, but it's always something that's in the back of my head. I'm also trying to keep better track of my sales and expenses. This year I started putting all my numbers into a spreadsheet so I can see where I stand. I gotta tell ya, it's surprising me so far!

Can we see pictures of your cats? :)

I'm glad you asked. Look at those Mr. Handsomefaces!!

You can find more of Sara's work in her etsy shop Mrhandsomeface and you can follow her on twitter. Interviewed by Emma of LandfillDesigns in March, 2011.

Event: Huttonville Spring Craft & Antique Show

Monday, March 28, 2011

Huttonville Spring Craft & Antique Show
Sat. April 2, 2011 & Sun. April 3, 2011
10:00am – 4:30pm
Huttonville Community School
2322 Embleton Road
Brampton, Ontario

Admission $4.00/adult

Featuring over 120 jury selected Ontario Artisans and Antique Dealers. Find that perfect one-of-a-kind gift idea!

Presented by:
Huttonville Lions Club

Find TEST member madebyjacqueline in the gym L-33.

A Pop Up Sale for Japan

Saturday, March 26, 2011

In response to the recent earthquake and tsunami in Japan, Nathalie Roze and Co. are organizing a fundraiser to help support the survivors of these tragic events.

WHAT: A 2-day sale of discounted women's clothing, jewellery & accessories ~ all donated by big-hearted local designers/crafters and shops, plus some vintage clothing, a bake sale & a silent auction of various services (eg. manicures, massages, gift cards for local restos, etc.). There will also be a table of beauty swag donated by local media gals.

Shoppers will save 20% to 70% off a mix of tempting fashion & beauty items, services and edibles, knowing their purchases will benefit an important and time-sensitive cause.

100% of cash raised will benefit the Red Cross' efforts to help survivors of the recent natural disasters in Japan.

WHEN: the weekend of April 2nd & 3rd
Saturday 11am - 6pm & Sunday 12noon - 5pm

If you're a crafter/designer, baker, retailer or have some special vintage items you'd like to contribute (eg. dreses, handbags or shoes), please call the shop at 416-792-1699 or message us.
NOTE: Donations can be dropped off at either Nathalie-Roze & Co. in Leslieville (1015 Queen St East, Leslieville (near Pape Ave.), Toronto, ON) OR at Lilliput Hats on College (W. of Bathurst) in the West-End during regular store hours.

You can also help by posting about our* Pop Up Sale for JAPAN* on Facebook or your own blog, tweeting about it, telling your friends or just coming out to 'Shop for the Cause'.
Hope you'll please help us to help Japan ~ again, all money raised benefits the Red Cross.

Nathalie-Roze, Laura & Anneke ♥

T.E.S.T. Interview: Landfill Designs

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 17th in our series, an interview with Emma of LandfillDesings.

Tell us a bit about yourself. How long have you been making jewelry?

My earliest memory of actually making jewellery was when I was 12 or 13 and I dipped pieces of old spring into my brothers neon yellow model paint and then (when dry) I attached them to two ear wires I’d scavenged. I was so proud of myself and my neon yellow spring earrings. It was the 80’s, and neon was huge in my Jr. High school and I’d just had my ears pierced so very quickly everything I could put on an ear wire became an earring. Lego, candy, Barbie boots, you name it I wore it dangling off my ear. Really nothing much has changed. I’m still focused on found objects, especially if they’re free, and I still like using “strange” components or pieces that other people might not consider.

Where do you find your materials?

I find stuff everywhere. Thrift stores, eBay, antique markets, the beach, and of course bead stores. I think I’m always shopping, pretty sure my boyfriend would agree with that statement! I’ve also been known to buy current “fashion” jewellery and then take it apart for its components. And friends, all my friends now give me pretty glass bottles or all their broken jewellery.

I love that you're making something pretty out of items most people would consider trash! Tell us about why you choose the materials you do.

From an early age I remember going to garage sales with my Grandfather, we’d go early in the morning, 6 or 7AM, and he’d be bargain hunting. Looking for something that was worth more than what it was being sold for, he was a Watchmaker and jeweler and knew a lot about antiques and collectibles. So we all not only absorbed a lot of that knowledge, we also absorbed that bargain hunting gene. Garbage or “trash” truly is another man’s treasure. I’ve gotten furniture, computers, and collectibles, all out of the garbage. Just because someone doesn’t want them anymore doesn’t mean they aren’t good!

How do you promote your work?

I do a lot of blogging, and twittering, and facebooking. I need to do more, and I do plan to do more as this grows, I’m just not sure what that “more” looks like yet. Probably more blogging. I really like blogging. :)

What are your plans and goals for Landfill Designs?

To be honest I don’t have big plans for Landfill. I see Landfill as always remaining a small but very active part of my creative life. I don’t want to create full time, but I’ll always need a venue to allow my creations to get out into the world, but I don’t see Landfill as the main event. There are many other ventures I want to explore, and Landfill will be a part of that, but Landfill won’t be the focus.

Do you have any tips for new Etsy sellers?

Don’t get discouraged if your first sale is a long time in coming! To date I’ve only ever had ONE sale on Etsy, and that was very recently! But that’s not to say that Etsy hasn’t been very successful for me, I sell things because of my items being listed on Etsy just not through Etsy. Oh, and one other thing! If you can, list one thing a day! It keeps your shop fresh, and keeps you “on the top” so to speak! And blog, blog, blog! Blogging is your friend!

You can find more of Emma's work in her etsy shop Landfill Designs and on her blog. Follow her on twitter. One of her other creative outlets is ShopCats. If you don't already know the Wandering craft shows, check out ShopCats - whose mission is showcase local crafters and artists and exhibit their locally-made handicrafts & goods at one of a kind pop-up markets!

Interviewed by Sara of MrHandsomeface in March, 2011.

Vender Calls And Deadlines

Friday, March 18, 2011

From our own membership, in the Toronto Etsy Street Team forums, we have some information on vender calls:

The Clothing Show
Spring 2011 May 27, 28, 29
Fall 2011 Sept 23, 24, 25

Forms are on the website.

An Invitation to Artists & Craftspeople
to enter the Twenty-third Annual
Cabbagetown Art & Crafts Sale

Cabbagetown Art & Crafts Sale dates & hours:
Friday, September 9, 2011, 1.00 - 6.00 p.m.
Saturday, September 10, 2011, 10.00 a.m. - 6.00 p.m.
Sunday, September 11, 2011, 10.00 a.m. - 6.00 p.m.

Early Entry: March 25, 2011. It is to your advantage to apply early as media categories do fill quickly. Second Deadline: May 27, 2011. Submissions after May 28 will be considered if space is available.

T.E.S.T. Interview: MadeByJacqueline

Thursday, March 17, 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 16th in our series, an interview with Jacqueline of MadeByJacqueline.

What got you started in this art-form of card-making?

I got a scrap-booking kit as a gift and took a crop class; soon after I began making handmade cards for family and friends. With the compliments I received I started making more and participating in local craft sales.

How long have you been doing this?

It all started in 2007; however it was not until 2008 that it became a real hobby. Just last month I decided to open my etsy shop to share my handmade creations.

Do you do customized cards?

Yes of course. I actually just completed two custom cards for a fellow TEST member. She wanted a 40th card for someone that likes wine; and a 60th card for someone who enjoys reading.

Beside Etsy how do you sell and advertise your business?

I have my blog which I add to daily with new creations, card challenges and fun giveaways. Recently I have joined twitter (@madebyjacquelin); I participate in local forums and provide updates to my mailing list. I participate in regular craft shows (usually in the spring and fall).

What do you do as a day job?

LOL ... I am in engineering ... far stretch from art; but I love that my crafting is a great escape.

I'd also like to add that besides handmade cards I make a lot of unique paper crafts such as my tile art (see photo), post it holders (see photo) and friendship seeds (see photo).

Find more by Jacqueline in her etsy store, on her blog, or by following her on Twitter. If you check out her blog you can find a code for limited time free shipping sale (til Sunday)! You can also find her at the upcoming Huttonville Spring Craft & Antique Show.

Interviewed by Lady Dylana of dylanadesigns in March, 2011.

T.E.S.T. interview: nanopod

Tuesday, March 15, 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 15th in our series, an interview with Tosca of nanopod.

My first thought while perusing through your shop was Jules Verne meets Darwin. You have this incredible way of creating a magical, whimsical piece that has a scientific backbone. Can you tell us more about the way you merge these two, generally opposing worlds?

I am actually very much interested in the work of Leopold and Rudolf Blashka, who represented the natural world in their glass works as well as the drawings of Ernst Haeckel. I don’t necessarily think of my work as whimsical but perhaps like any scientific theory I may someday be proven wrong. ;)

There is a great deal of biological, anatomical and geological aspects to your art. Where does this come from? Do you have a background in science? And then can you elaborate on how you became an artist?

If we look back in Art History at some of the great masters (I am not saying that I am a master! Or great!), they were virtually inventing the sciences, in aide of accurately depicting the Human form and nature around them. To be an artist has not always been an exclusive pursuit of mine. I do not know how to elaborate on how I became an artist but I’ve always done exactly what it is that I’ve wanted to do!

I understand you have your own studio – is making art your full time job or do you specialize in anything else?

I teach metal + glass workshops and courses out of my studio. I am also a resident artist at the Ontario Science Centre, where I teach monthly workshops. So, yes I suppose I am a full time artist. As far as specializing in anything… Thank you though I'm not sure I've gotten there yet.

Some of your pieces come with a book and CD of music – I am so curious to know what’s in the book and what kind of music goes along with your art! Can you tell us more or is it a surprise for the buyer?

Well, the book & CD are for sale. ;) Andrei’s music is available on iTunes.

There is always music playing at my studio: electronic, ambient soundscapes, techno, classical, etc. Music influences my work; my work influences new musical collaborations. I've been incorporating music/soundscapes into my singular work and installations since the mid 90's.

I created an installation for Digifest 2003, at the Toronto Design Exchange called, Transgenic Morphosis. It was at this point Andrei and I started to collaborate musically together. Andrei understands where I am striving to take viewers, listeners with my work, and the landscapes I hear. For this installation Andrei and I also worked with artists Steve Storz and Lily Yung creating visuals and sound bytes.

The book & CD you reference were created for, An Unnatural History. This work was featured during SOFA, NY09.

The music is synergistic with my work; think of it as a soundtrack.

How on earth do you come up with such unique ideas? Where does your inspiration come from?

Thank you!

It's said, Nothing original exists because every thing has already been done...
Maybe. Though concepts, ideas and inspirations can be reinterpreted, re-imagined. I aspire to bring people into the worlds I see, and sometimes inhabit. Cellular, nanotechnology, biomechanical, String theory, astronomy, lucid dreams, tardigrades, Eno, Klaus Schulze, Max Ernst, Haeckel, movies, books, the crazy world I inhabit is full of constant inspiration.

You’ve been on Etsy for some years now (since 2006) and have been quite successful. Tell us more about your experience with Etsy over the years, and any insider tips that have brought so many buyers to your great shop (i.e.: how do you promote yourself?).

When I first heard about Etsy I recall thinking, "Etsy, what does that mean?" I quickly googled it, went to the site and joined. Back then I think there was something like 20,000 Buyers & Sellers. Initially I viewed it as 'gallery' of sorts. A place to possibly network.

Several months passed and I thought nothing would sell, as my prices were higher than most of the other Sellers. My first item sold for $300+ to a Buyer that has grown into a collector. I gradually added items that sold for under $100, $50, $30
And sales started to increase.

I've found the Showcase a great venue to promote work. Generally the Jewelry category is sold out so I've purchased via ‘mediums used’ or in the Sculpture, Art and Geekery showcases, which rarely seem to fill.

My work started getting blogged in the States, throughout Europe and else where!
Commenting on other people's Treasuries, even when you aren't featured, can often bring new people to your store.

Use an Avatar that will grab people's attention.

Anything you want to share about any up and coming plans?

An installation is in the works for Nuit Blanche. I hope team members
make it over to nanopod: Hybrid Studio to check it out!

You can see more of Tosca's work at the nanopod site, the nanopod etsy store, and on her nanopod: hybrid studio blog.

The Etsy blog, the Storque is featuring the 'Handmade Portrait' short film and a blog post about Tosca and the nanopod: hybrid studio! We include the embedded video below.

Interviewed by DinosDiedOfBoredom in March, 2011.

Handmade Portraits: Nanopod from Etsy on Vimeo.

Blog Feature With DylaniumKnits

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

TESTy Team Member Marissa from the Etsy Shop Sea Flower Studios has featured Dylan from DylaniumKnits on her blog! You can check it out here!

Talented Newbies (Jewelry)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Help these T.E.S.T. members get their first sale or first feedback!

Today, I was looking at T.E.S.T. members under Jewelry and noticed that I Heart Blackbird, JeweLust, Harriet and Georg, Melisma Wirework, MizuDesign, Designs by Liv, and  Armalique are all in need of their first sale and/or first feedback.

So I decided to go each shop and pick my favourite item. Have a look at these talented T.E.S.T. members. Maybe you'll find that item you've been looking for...
Clouded Quartz Necklace
by I heart Blackbird
Silver Embrace Pink Jade Necklace
by JeweLust
Cute Rainbow Baby Bird Magnets
by Harriet and Georg

written by T.E.S.T. Member Jacqueline

Vender Call: Brampton Arts Council 'Art in the Open'

CALL FOR ARTISTS: Art in the Open

The Brampton Arts Council is calling for artists and artisans to participate in our annual event “Art in the Open” featured at the Brampton Farmers’ Market. After 2010’s record-breaking year in attendance and sales, we look forward to the 12th year of Art in the Open. Find out why an estimated 65,000 people attend the Farmers’ Market seasonally.

Operated by the Brampton Arts Council, Art in the Open allows Brampton’s visitors and residents access and exposure to original, hand crafted works of art. Artists and artisans providing this service make our event an authentic community and cultural experience.

Art in the Open begins every Saturday 7am-1pm - rain or shine - from June 18th to October 8th, 2011. It is located in the south portion of Garden Square at the North East corner of Main Street and Queen Street in Brampton, Ontario.

If you are interested in this as a full-time or part-time vendor, please contact our office for an application. If you are interested in this as a full-time or part-time vendor, please contact our office for an
application. After submitting a completed application form, there is an interview process where you will be required to submit or show your work.

The kinds of work we are looking for are listed below. If you have any questions, please contact us.

Stone Works
Metal Works
Knitted Goods
Paper Products
Pet accessories
Fabric/Textile Works
Garden Creations
& Other unique works

T.E.S.T. interview: Dylana Designs

Friday, March 4, 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 14th in our series, an interview with Lady Dylana of dylanadesigns.

How long have you been knitting or crocheting?

I have been crocheting since I was 5 and knitting for 25 years.

In your profile I noticed you have two etsy shops - what makes dylanadesigns different?

Dylana Designs sells knit and crochet designs and The Joy of Knitting (my other shop) retails new yarns, books, magazines, patterns, knitting needles and accessories, plus a few cross stitch kits. Brands like, Aero, Debbie Bliss, Fil Diamond Yarn, Inox, James C Brett, Patons, Sirdar, Stylecraft, Schachenmayr Nomotta, Kertzer, Vogue, to name a few, at excellent prices.

Do you make your own patterns? Where do you get you inspiration from?

I design and make all my own patterns. I get inspired and creative when looking at nature, architecture and colour. Customization is a major part of my business and I get most of my sales this way.

What is your favourite item to make?

I love to knit and crochet everything but my most fun thing to do is one-of-a-kind bags from different materials. I just made a bag from all biodegradable material.

What is your day-job?

I am an Office Manager/Executive Assistant with over 20 years experience.

Other then your etsy shop where else do you sell your items?

I sell at showcases and open houses.

My other business, The Joy of Knitting, is 12 years old.

Find more from Lady Dylana at
dylanadesigns and The Joy of Knitting on Etsy. Follow her on twitter @LadyDylana. Read her blog here. She also has an upcoming website for The Joy of Knitting and a Facebook fanpage The Joy of Knitting on FB.

Interviewed by Jacqueline from madebyjacqueline, in March, 2011.

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