Etsy Finds : Cart Before the Horse

Happy October! It’s time to get in the Fall and Halloween spirit for sure now. The other day I came across the shop Cart Before the Horse on Etsy and just fell in love with their exquisite work. The shop is run by Dylan and Jo out of Portland Oregon (You should check out their cute profile picture on Etsy—it’s priceless!)

They make incredible contemporary folk art pieces. Though they stock everything from paper dolls to fairies, cute animals (and some truly fun “taxidermy” for your wall), today in the spirit of October I want to share some of their Halloween and Day of the Dead pieces which happen remind me a bit of 1930s style.

Prices range anywhere from $12 – $220 so you can find something to fit your budget, or a truly unique heirloom.

Halloween Black Cat Banner Garland

Tiny Day of the Dead Skeleton Ornament (It’s all hand painted!)

Halloween Pumpkin Jack O Lantern Girl Portrait (Look how it’s multi-dimensional!)

Black Cat Ornament


The Great Earring Giveaway Winner!

Congratulations to Natalie, who was chosen as the winner of the Great Earring Giveaway using the random number generator. Natalie, I’ve sent you a message, so send me your address to receive your prize.

It was a close contest. The sterling twig earrings had an early lead, but the most popular pair of earrings at the end were #4 Minimal Moon Earrings in Brass!

Thanks for the support! This independent buisness is going to keep growing.

Today I want to write a thank you to all my customers, my accounts, and art show jurors who accepted my work.  I probably should add a thank you to my biggest fan, my mother, and my groupie/intern/woodworker-in-a-pinch husband.  Sales have increased, and I think the quality and creativity of designs is representative of me.

It might not be for everyone, but it’s nice to run your own business.  When I started the jewelry designing it was a hobby, but I did intend for it to become a fully fledged business.  For those just starting out with their own companies, be prepared to give it time. I’m still not at the capacity I plan to be some day, but the growth has been incredible the past few months.

It still is lots of hard work bit it is exciting when that work begins to pay off, and it becomes time to juggle a host of professional things like meetings with galleries, e-mails from prospective accounts, and art show acceptance letters.  It’s nice when finally after years of promotion, marketing, and networking that people start to come to YOU, contact YOU, and seek YOUR work out.

Today I need to visit a gallery and bring work samples, I sent off my wholesale sheet to a prospective buyer, am putting another order in the mail to a customer, am paying my sales taxes for the half-year, and probably should make some more pieces as well.

So thank you to those who have been supportive. Thanks to the bloggers, twitterers, facebookers, and others who have helped with marketing along the way. Thank you for those who have purchased. Thanks to customers who left glowing feedback. Thanks to art show patrons who made selling outside in rain, heat and wind a little more fun, and thank you to anyone who believes in and supports small and independent business owners!

Monday Modern Nature: Wendiland

It’s Monday, so time to share a little Monday Modern Nature inspiration. Today I wanted to share a few things from Wendiland, a shop that carries modern home and garden decor design items. If you follow this blog regularly, you’ve noticed I have a special place in my heart for japanese inspired decor, nature, and minimalist design so it’s not surprising I’d be drawn to these items. These would be perfect ways to add some zen style to your home, and peaceful things to put in your environment.
Whimsical Cactus Lost In Zen III, $35, by Wendiland

Marimo Water Terrarium Pet, $21 by Wendiland

Monday Modern Nature: Eclipsed by Nature

It’s Monday, so time to share a little modern nature with you. Right now I’m seriously coveting the gorgeous modern, organic wall art by Eclipsed by Nature.

This one, measuring 48″ by 24″ is made in a rich ebony wood. I love that a photo silhouette was used as the model, since that’s one way my work is inspired. It’s stunning, and reminds me of something you’d find in Crate and Barrel, Arhaus or an even higher end home furnishings store, though it’s handmade! What a great way to give a nod to nature, while keeping the work fresh and simple.

Natural Modern Wall Art, $250, by Eclipsed by Nature

Valerie Tyler 2011 Jewelry Collections Sneak Peek

I’ve been at work in the studio and really pleased with how the results are turning out. I’m super excited about the 2011 collections which will feature lots of mixed metals, unique textures and a minimalistic style.

Enjoy the preview!

Available from Valerie Tyler, prices range from $15-$100

New Year’s Resolution: Buy Handmade

Have you resolved to buy more handmade or local items this year? Here’s re-visiting a video with a few others sharing why they buy handmade

Winter Season Earrings Giveaway

I’m off on holiday, and now that I don’t have to drive to work in the snow every day I can actually enjoy it’s beauty for a few weeks. To celebrate I’m giving away a FREE pair of my rustic snowflake earrings.

To win all you have to do is visit my VALERIE TYLER DESIGNS main shop and tell me which piece you would like to see more of this year or the OUTLET shop and tell me which piece you think is the best deal. Then leave a comment on this post with your e-mail / etsy shop or some way for me to contact you.

I’lll use the random comment generator to pick a winner, and voila! If you want additional entries, you can tweet or facebook this contest and leave a trackback here. Don’t delay though as this is super short contest and ends at noon on December 24, 2010.

Good luck!

Getting Ready for Etsy Craft Day

It’s Etsy Craft Party Day! I offered to host the Cleveland Area / Cleveland Handmade Etsy Craft party at my home and it’s now just a few short hours away.

The decorating is almost done, the kitchen and food preparations are underway, and the guests will arrive in a few hours. Here’s a few party preview photos:

We have a lot of crafting planned, such using collage materials to make wall art, cards, book marks and artist trading cards. We also prizes and samples from Etsy for being one of the top 50 parties! Therefore we’re getting some screen printers and porcelain paints to play with too.

In addition a local craft supply company, Consumer Crafts donated many tote bags and a darice mini craft vacuum for each party attendee.

Sunday Sustainability: Recycled Strand Scarves by EstelleShop

This week I don’t have a particular tip to share, other than to remind you that one of the best ways to take care of our environment is to buy recycled, repurposed and renewable items whenever possible.

What I DO want to share however is a shop I stumbled across on Etsy in my continual search for gorgeous organic, natural and recycled items.

Heather, the creator behind the scarves of Estelle Shop, uses entirely 100% repurposed material. They are eye-catching and comfy looking scarves, that really also could serve as necklaces as well. I love how they are so versatile and can be worn many ways, and additionally have a variety of colors in each, making them very easy to coordinate with different outfits.

I think my favorite is the scarf in shades of gray, maroon and white. Though if another color scheme strikes your fancy you are likely to find one to suit you in the shop as well.

Recycled Strand Scarf by Estelle Shop. $19.00