Etsy & Wave Accounting Workshop

Thursday, January 31, 2013

A message from Etsy Canada:
"Etsy & Wave Accounting Workshop

We're excited to partner with Wave for an Accounting for Artists workshop this upcoming Thursday evening at their HQ in Toronto.

We know that accounting can be stressful so join us for a fun evening of accounting talk and snacks. Learn some tips and tricks from the professionals about learn about tools to make your business run smoothly! T'is the season to get organized and motivated!

This is also a great chance to meet fellow Etsians and Etsy Admin if you want to get in a quick shop critique or tell us about your latest project! RSVP quick because space is limited."

Thursday, 7 February 2013 from 6:30 PM to 9:30 PM (EST)

Etsy Canada and Wave present Accounting for Artists
235 Carlaw Ave
Suite 601

Craft events: Valentine's Shopping Spree

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Date: February 2, 2013

Event Time(s): 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM

Costs: Free

Skip the heart shaped chocolates this year and find that one of a kind item that your Valentine will love. L & L Personal Shoppers will be hosting over 25 Vendors including TEST's own bijouxbead, Designs by Nature Gems and Eden Bachleder who are ready, willing and waiting to help you choose the perfect gift for that someone special.

Come for a coffee and stay for the shopping.

All coffee proceeds will be donated to Heart & Stroke Foundation.

Leaside Presbertyrian Church
670 Eglinton Avenue East
Bayview and Eglinton
Map to this event

Public Transit:
Take the subway to Eglington Station. Get off the Northside exit & take the 100 Bus South towards Broadside Station. Get off at the Hanna Rd East (11th stop on the bus). The church will be on the east side.

T.E.S.T. Interview: FoldIt Creations

Friday, January 25, 2013

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 46th in our series with Gavin of FoldItCreations.

Tell us about yourself and FoldIt Creations.

I was born an raised in rural Newfoundland, studied visual arts at Concordia University in Montreal and recently moved to Toronto via South Korea where I was working as an English teacher for a few years.

FoldIT Creations came about fairly serendipitously. While teaching at an elementary school in Seoul, my students would often bring me origami gifts they had made; roses, hearts, cranes, fish and little boxes that opened. I marveled at how tiny they could make them, but never thought I had the patience to do it myself.

In 2011, I travelled to Tokyo to spend Christmas with a friend. As a gift, she gave me my first set of beautifully printed Japanese chiyogami folding papers and I was instantly hooked.

Back at my desk in Korea, I folded obsessively on winter break and posted pics of my creations on my facebook. An auntie of mine from Ghana saw what I was doing and requested that I make her some earrings - just like that FoldIT Creations was born.
FoldIT Creations specializes in handmade wearable paper art using premium quality Japanese chiyogami paper combined with semi-precious stones and metals.

How did you become involved in jewellery making?

One of my best friends is a jeweler and has been doing it in various capacities her entire life. I've spent countless hours with her in her studio watching her work and learning about stones and crystals. I've always had a fascination with what she does, but never saw myself as a jewelry maker. I got into this completely by chance and ended up really loving it.

What inspired you to utilize origami in such a unique way?

As I said previously, it was my auntie who had suggested it to me. I enjoy the process of origami; taking a single piece of paper and folding it into an endless number of possible forms. However, I am also a believer in practicality. I like making things that have some type of practical value, so origami as jewelry gives these paper creations another way of being enjoyed beyond just something pretty to look at.

You've travelled all around the world, how have your travels inspired your designs?

I have always been kind of obsessed with textiles and patterns. When I was in Africa, I would often visit the fabric markets to purchase wax batiks and mud cloth. I never knew why I collected them because I couldn't even use a sewing machine; I just really appreciated the motifs and colors. Later, when at university, I began incorporating patterns and textiles into my drawing and paintings. I think this is why Japanese chiyogami appeals to me so much; the designs and patterns originally come from kimono printing but have been applied to the paper industry in recent years.

How do you find the experience of on-line selling, compared with selling person-to-person?

I feel that selling online is a little more challenging than selling in real life. There is a lot of competition online, especially with origami jewelry, so it is hard to set yourself apart from all the others and really stand out. There is no direct tactile customer experience with your product on Etsy, which I think is important in selling jewelry. People want to know how it looks on them, how it feels and see the quality of the materials used in its construction. With online sales customers have to trust the pictures you provide and if you don't have good pictures, you don't make good sales.

What is your favourite shape to fold?

Oh! That's a tricky one... A lot of my favorite things to fold can't be made into jewelry because they are too complicated and cannot be made on a small scale. In terms of jewelry designs, it changes every week. I learn a new design, fold it obsessively until it is imprinted into my head and I'm sick of it, then move on to a new design. At the moment I am really into modular origami designs; many separate pieces that are cut and folded independently then interlock to make a sturdy geometric shape.

Check out the other items available from Gavin in his Etsy shop! You can find more of his work on his blog and Facebook.

Interviewed by Danielle of BakedSoapCo in January 2013 in Toronto.

T.E.S.T. Interview: Baked Soap Co.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

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 45th in our series with Danielle of BakedSoapCo.

First of all, tell us about your shop.

I started Baked Soap Co. towards the end of last year (2012). The shop carries handmade, artisan soaps inspired by favourite bakery desserts: cupcakes, cake and pie slices, donuts, macarons, meringues, chocolates, petit fours, and whatever else gets dreamed up. Everything is made from 100% pure olive oil which is incredibly moisturising and great for skin.

How did you get into soap making?

I'm presently finishing my PhD in neuroscience and love to exercise my creative side, when time permits. Originally this manifested itself in baking, and over a couple of years I made dozens of wedding cakes and celebration cakes for friends and family. I found myself helping a family friend at her soap shop and fell in love in with it. The baking background has definitely lent well to soaping! Baking and soaping are very similar, they just involve different ingredients and different tools. The decorating is the same across the board, and having had lots of practice piping a real cupcake has made it much easier to do so with soap.

Some of your creations look like they are fresh out of the oven. How do you achieve such a realistic look?

I try to use real baking tools as best I can - bundt pants, cake pans, different piping tips, and sprinkles, for example. I also try to stick to colours and scents you'd find in real bakery products. Lots of chocolates, caramels, and buttercreams for the cake pieces, and more vibrant colours and fragrances for the icings and decorations.

Which of your soaps is your favorite? If you could eat one, which one would you eat? Why?

Donuts! The pink glazed donuts with sprinkle beads are definitely my favourite. I think it's because it reminds me of my favourite strawberry glazed donut, which you can get in the US (the only thing I've ever had from Dunkin' Donuts, which I indulge in any chance I get) but can't seem to find up here. And I would definitely eat this first. While I've made batches and batches of edible treats, donuts have never been one of them.

Do you have any new recipes you are working on? What can we expect from BakedSoapCo in the future?

I've got a few new things that I'm waiting to try out; coconut pie, maple cakes, tropical fruit fragrances; you can certainly expect a début of some fun, vibrant soaps in the near future.

You are fairly new to Etsy. What advice would you give to someone just starting out?

Pay attention to the help and tips Etsy gives to new shop owners; there's so much to learn, and it's really helpful. Take time to showcase your products well, as the image on the screen is the only interaction your shoppers will have with your products until they purchase them. Join teams, follow other shops - get inspired and spread your shop around the site. And have fun with it!

Check out the other items available from Danielle in her Etsy shop! You can find more of her work on her blog and Facebook.

Interviewed by Gavin of FoldItCreations in January 2013 in Toronto.

Worshop and Vendor Call for Paper Artists

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The Gibson House Museum and Zion Schoolhouse Museum are looking to make friends with some paper-artists. What we mean when we say that are the type of artists who enjoy and specialize paper sculptures, origami, paper dolls, paper crafts and the like. We would be interested in seeing you do demonstrations with your chosen medium at our events and to showcase your work to our patrons. Vending opportunities are available as soon as February 18th 2013.

For more information please email Marie Boal at for more information

T.E.S.T. Interview: Bijoux Bead

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 44th in our series with Darlene of BijouxBead.

When did you get started and why?

I launched Bijouxbead in 2007 with all the excitement and fervor of someone who felt she had something truly unique to offer. I have an appreciation of design and art and felt Bijouxbead was a perfect marriage of both my artistic and business sides.

What brought you to Etsy? Where else can we find you?

I joined Etsy in 2008 and spent about a year trying to understand the world of e-commerce. After setting up shop with necklaces, I let it sit fallow for a few years while I concentrated on other aspects of developing this business. It wasn't until 2011 that I returned my attention to my Etsy shop, filling it with an array of necklaces, bracelets and earrings, making them easily accessible both domestic and international customers.

How long does it take you to make a piece?

The length of time it takes to make a piece varies between minutes and hours. An intricate eight stranded necklace probably takes the most amount of time, approximately three hours, sometimes more.

Where do you get your ideas and inspiration?

Most ideas come from my experiences and relationships I've forged in Canada. Very little inspiration comes from fashion or trends. I have an abstract approach to mixing textures colors and materials which probably comes from my experience as a figure skating coach and choreographer. I love natural stone but I also adore sparkle and it is interesting to me to combine the two in an innovative way. As of late I've been concentrating more on metal than glass in my designs and I am enjoying making sterling silver shapes that are currently being featured prominently in my ELEMETAL bracelet collection. The juxtaposition of smooth natural stone and textured silver shapes is intriguing to me.

You've had some pretty amazing people wearing your designs - any star-struck moments/stories you'd like to share?

While I appreciate the notoriety that comes from having recognizable people wear my work, it isn't nearly as important to me as the considerable number of loyal customers who spread the word about my brand. It is those customers who have had the most influence in building my business and that gives me tremendous satisfaction, driving me to continue to push my design boundaries and produce meaningful work.

Check out the other items available from Darlene in her Etsy shop! You can find more of her work on her website, Twitter and Facebook.

Interviewed by Tracy of LoulouJamesCreative in January 2013 in Toronto.

T.E.S.T. Interview: Lively Loops

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

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 43rd in our series with Jackie of LivelyLoops.

Tell us about yourself.

I like to think of myself as a writer, actor, comedian, director, producer, editor, content creator, designer, knitter, photographer, and the "queen" of my own marketing campaigns which is a lot, but I like being in control of my passions and managing my time in such a way where I can continue practicing and developing each skill set. I find more often than not that the skills I learn for one pursuit gives me skills that applies to another.

You have theater/ performance background, and now you just opened an online knitting business. Do you see any link between them? Are you still pursuing your career as a comedian?

I am still pursing my career as a comedian/performer, yes. My writing partner and I are in the process of making an original play that will come out later this year, and we also create video blogs or sketches every week for our Youtube channel.

There are surprisingly a lot of links between knitting and comedy! The improvisational skills I have learned through my comedy training can help me “go with the flow” when designing my products. Sometimes things come out differently than you see it in your head, but the more I embrace it, and work with that change instead of against it, the happier I am with the end result.

There’s also a lot of similarities between marketing my comedic projects and my knitting projects. In both cases I use social media to get the word out, and I’m beginning to translate my knowledge of video making and photo manipulation to create supporting video and collage projects for my upcoming collections. I feel that the more I incorporate who I am into my shop, the more it develops an overall style or flare.

Tell us about your shop. How did you get into this Etsy business?

I began knitting for my friends and family, and noticed that everything Etsy could teach me about creating, selling and marketing would be immensely beneficial to me. The things I create are still things I would give to my friends or family and I make sure that everything in my shop is something that I would wear, and would suit my personal taste. I try to make everything practical, but playful.

It seems that you're also interested in fashion and jewelry items. Are you planning to offer different items other than Knitting related products?

Perhaps in the future, yes. I have a long term goal of learning how to sew, but for now I use that interest to create monthly wardrobe inspiration compilations with a local jewelry artist, Elisha West who runs DaisyViolet Jewelry. We incorporate our products into each theme, and in that sense I feel like I can express my “divalicious side.” The following link is our work so far:

How long does it take to develop a product from start to finish? Can you explain the process?

It varies depending on what I’m making. The items I have in my shop (with the exception of scarves) take 1-3 days to make, but on top of that, there is the designing and mistake making in the process. It all starts in my head, and occasionally makes it to paper before I dive into knitting my concept. I even have ideas for collections I can do next year, but that idea is certainly going to evolve and become different from the idea I initially had.

Do you also do custom made items?

I do make custom items! That is most important to me. I like that feeling of creating for my friends, and when people request something special from me, I like to try to make them feel like they're receiving it from a friend.

The customization isn’t limited to my items either. I love to learn, so if a customer loves something I don’t supply, I’m more than happy to find a similar pattern to what they are looking for and make it to fit their needs.

Check out the other items avaiable from Jackie in her Etsy shop! You can find more of her work on Twitter, Pinterest and YouTube.

Interviewed by Ken of KRokoArt in January 2013 in Toronto.

Vendor Call: Valentine Market

Vendor call for a Vday Market on Feb 2nd! We have a few spots left in handmade toys, hand creams, sculptures, chocolate artists, caramel corn makers, & one jewelry artist spot left. $25 gets you a 6" table. Please message Laura if you are interested.

T.E.S.T. Interview: Ken Roko Art

Sunday, January 20, 2013

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 42nd in our series with Ken of KRokoArt

Tell us about yourself. How does your animation background influence the art in your shop? Do you still animate? What inspires you?

I graduated from Animation program initially and decided to continue to study 3D Visual Art program. After the graduation, I've been working as a 2D/ 3D artist in entertainment industry. Recently I turned into a full-time freelance artist. I am taking various freelance projects and developing my own art work on the side simultaneously.

I have explored various styles and colors from different generations of artists. Especially I love 19th century American painters such as Thomas Eakins and John Singer Sargent.

I primarily work with digital media through 2D and 3D applications, but don't forget to enjoy developing images through traditional media.

I usually get inspired by small daily objects and reading books. I think books can be very interesting inspirations, sometimes books can make you more imaginative visually.

Tell us about your shop. How did you get into this Etsy business?

Although my artworks had been already published through my publisher internationally, I didn't know about Etsy until late 2010. Actually one of my colleague artists recommended Etsy to me, I was fascinated by the fact that you could reach out to your patrons directly.

A lot of your prints seem to be inspired by nature, and the beauty within our environment. How do you choose your subjects?

It's really somewhat a random process, usually I need to wait for the inspirations to visit me. Once I get that hit, it's just a smooth process from there. Waiting period is sometimes really agonizing.

In your shop, your style is defined, yet each piece is unique and made with extraordinary detail. Do you keep your overall style in mind while creating each piece or does it come naturally?

I'm still exploring to find my voice, so to work with different styles and colors are always fun process to me.

What is your vision for the future of Ken Roko Art?

Keep doing what I'm doing I believe.

Do you also do custom made items?

Yes, I've been working on lots of freelance and commissioned projects.

Check out the other items available from Ken in his Etsy Shop! You can find more of his work on Facebook, Tmblr and Twitter.

Interviewed by Jackie of LivelyLoops in Toronto in January 2013.

Vendor Call: Cafes and Closets for Moms and Moms to be

Cafes & Closets for Moms and Moms-to-be is seeking vendors

Location: Playful Grounds Café - 605 College St., Toronto

Time: 2 pm to 5 pm

Interested in being a vendor to SELL your stuff?! Contact us: ASAP!

T.E.S.T. Interview: Loulou James Creative Studio

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

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 41st in our series with Tracy of LoulouJamesCreative

Why PDF maternity patterns on Etsy?

When I was expecting my older son I started sewing a lot again. I was making and modifying clothing for maternity wear, decorating the nursery, and making baby items. I found it frustrating that there were hardly any maternity sewing patterns (let alone nursing wear) and the options for little boys' items in particular were limited. I would just drool over the lovely things on Etsy but there wasn't really anything for me to make, and I knew there were sure to be other crafty types out there with the same dilemma. So the entrepreneurial side of me decided to create and sell my own! I was used to buying traditional printed patterns, but I love the instant gratification of a downloadable PDF - when I want to make something I want to start now!

Tell us a bit about your fashion design background.

I have been making clothes for myself and others for as long as I can remember. I would use store-bought patterns and modify as I wanted. I moved to Toronto almost 20 years ago to study fashion design at Ryerson where I really enjoyed the patternmaking and draping classes - when you can take an idea and draft it up as you like it's quite rewarding as a designer.

In my 'day job' I work in a creative field, not designing clothes, but home fashions. The two industries are so linked today - we study the same trends, have the same inspirations. Working on Loulou James allows me to channel all my apparel ideas that I can't otherwise work into an item like a shower curtain or a soap dish!

What are the advantages of sewing your own maternity clothes?

The advantages are huge! There are certainly a lot more options out there now in maternity wear but the fit can be tough if you are taller, shorter, have longer legs, broader shoulders...we become loyal to brands and stores based on fit and style, but with maternity wear your options are so greatly reduced. When I'm designing a piece I also try to think about it's 'second life' - can it be used for nursing wear? Can it be modified for before and after maternity? I know that moms don't have a lot of time to spare sewing so getting another use out of a design is really helpful.

The presentation of your shop is wonderful. Did you do the illustrations yourself?

Thank you! Yes, these are my own illustrations, and I based them on the style of vintage sewing patterns. I love how the women always look so feminine - the way the hands and are feet are posed, the facial expressions and hair. I've always loved fashion illustration, and it's a great way to keep improving my Illustrator skills.

What is your most popular design to date?

The sleep sacks are all very popular, especially the "Stargaze" style. It's perfect for a new sewist, and best of all, I think, something you can make for a little boy. Having two little boys you realize how few patterns there are out there for them.

For women, it's the Celia wrap top - it's good for maternity and nursing, and so easy to make. You could even reuse pattern later by eliminating the camisole insert and just make a great wrap t-shirt. A lot of people are scared to sew with knits so this gives me hope that there are a lot of creative, confident sewists out there willing to experiment and perhaps challenge themselves!

Would you ever consider selling finished clothes on Etsy?

I've thought about it and had a few requests. I may in the future add a one-of-a-kind 'sample' section since I don't really need any more maternity clothes...

Where do you see your shop in 5 years?

I'd love to expand or set up a separate shop to feature more baby & toddler items, specifically for boys. I have a lot of experience in textile design so it would also be fun to do a few little limited-run collections of printed fabrics to accompany the patterns.

Check out the other items available from Tracy in her Etsy Shop! You can find more of her work on her blog, Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter.

Interviewed by Darlene of BijouxBead in Toronto in January 2013.

Vendor Call: Queen West Art Crawl

Monday, January 14, 2013

Registration is now available for the 2013 Queen West Art Crawl

The application process for the Queen West Art Crawl's Outdoor Art Show & Sale will begin January 3rd, 2013.

Queen West Art Crawl's Outdoor Art Show and Sale will take place in Trinity-Bellwoods Park as part of the 11th annual Queen West Art Crawl.

WHEN - Saturday, September 21 and Sunday, September 22, 2013

WHERE - Trinity-Bellwoods Park, 790 Queen Street West, Toronto, Ontario

Participation Fee:
Early Bird Participation fee is:
$225.00 + $29.25 HST = $254.25

Early Bird Participation Application will open January 3rd, 2013 and close February 15th, 2013.

General Participation fee is:
$275.00 + $35.75 HST = $310.75

Sign up for our Newsletter to get more infomation about the Queen West Art Crawl.

Please review the QWAC Frequently Asked Questions page.

Please note that any artists who are not selected to the Queen West Art Crawl will receive a full refund, minus a $25 administration fee.
Click here to begin your application.
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