Pieces of Home Mosaics Shop

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Meet Karalee Gross Christian Artist!

Happy Saturday!
Ok, I have one of my favorite shops to show you! This shop is inspiration! This shop has Love & Happiness written all over it! 
Get ready to meet Karalee Gross!!
Karalee's shop
ifrog stands for "I fully rely on God" 
This shop is perfect for the Valentine Season!
Christian/Inspiratioanl Magnet
Here we go! Let's find out all about Karalee!
What do you sell?
I hand paint Christian home decor, magnets, signs, wall hangings, etc.
Beauty Tip, Christian/Inspirational
How did you get started with Etsy?
If I remember correctly, my best friend was researching some craft things & read about Etsy. She then sent me the link to the article. I did my own research & the rest, as they say, is history.
When did you get interested in making your Art/Craft?
I come from a creative family. My great grandma taught me how to do stamped embroidery at a very young age. Later on in life, I taught myself counted cross-stitch. My mom sewed & knitted almost all the time. I did try my hand at sewing & did ok, but didn't really liked it. And I tried knitting, as well as crocheting - which her cousin did - be my hands would perspire & I couldn't keep the stitches even. Then one day, I decided to try painting. I figured it was like coloring, only with paint. I've definitely come a long way since then. lol.
Child of God Christian/Inspirational Shelf Sitter
Where does your inspiration come from?
 My inspiration does come from God. Once I realized how blessed I was to have a wonderful husband & getting to work towards my dream of owning my own business, I knew that I had to give God the glory. So I stick with mostly Christian items & have added Americana & Family.
Who taught you or how did you learn your art form?
 I am self taught. I've learned a lot from checking out techniques & finishes at craft shows from other, more experienced painters. And I'm still learning.
Where do you see your Shop in 5 years from now?
5 years from now, I'd like to see my shop known....and know for original, custom work. This year, I am taking my creating painting in a bit of a different direction. By this, I mean that I plan to do more one of a kind work. I will still be a Christian focused shop, that will never change. And items will still be done in a country style, but there will be more involved with each piece.
Everything beautiful...Christian Inspirational Wall Hanging
How do you manage your time between Etsy and the rest of your life?
 Managing my time has been a big struggle to me. But recently, more time has opened up in my weeks, so I am hoping that I will have enough discipline to spend more time in the studio.
How did you come up with the name of your shop?
I was bouncing my ideas of names off my husband one night. He asked me what my email address was. He knew, but he wanted me to think about it. At the time, my email address was ifrog@.... The name ifrogcrafts was born.  ifrog stands for "I fully rely on God" 
Do you make or stock items you love, or what will sell?
Both. I do make what I love, but I also figure that if I like them, someone else will too. I do try to check color trends when I'm stuck for a color combo, but mostly, I ask God for guidance. How does He answer? He doesn't give us gut feeling for nothing!
ASAP - Christian, Inspirational Magnet
Where else can we find you online?
Did you always want to have your own business?
I think for the most part, that I have always wanted to have my own business. I spent many years working in retail stores. And the more time I spent doing that, the more that I realized that most retail corporate big wigs, lack a whole lot of common sense.
Were you over the age of 45 when you started your shop?
Yes I was over 45 when I started my business, about a year later, I opened my Etsy shop.
How do you think your age has helped you in your business?
I think that my age & experience in retail stores, has helped me some in my shop. During my time working in stores, my jobs included pretty much everything from a cashier to a store management. It is a lot different selling on line, but you just need to brush up on the differences.
Key to my heart - Christian/Inspirational Magnet
Christian/Inspirational Wall Hanging/Sign
Wonderful Shop!
I added some of my favorite items to this post! I love the "Flip Flop" one!!
Don't forget if you just click on the photo of each item it will take you right to Karalee's shop!
Karalee, thank you so much for sharing with us today!
Thanks for reading!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Come Meet Valerie!!

Happy Saturday! 
I am so happy it is Saturday, you have no idea! Saturday for me is like that old commercial jiggle "I am going to wash that grey right outta my hair"! Well, I am washing last week right outta my hair!   
Hmmm.. talking about grey... remember I said that I am featuring Etsy Shops that have owners of the ages of 45 years and up???
I think I figured out why. It is a completely selfish reason. I own a preschool and love it. Really, I love it. But, hanging out with 3, 4, and 5 year old people can really mess with you. Some days you feel like a 5 year old! It's Wonderful! Other days.. I feel like that commercial where the woman has fallen down... and she is struggling just to say "I have fallen and cant get up"!!!!! Plus, no one is going to stop me in mid sentence to tell me that they are wearing Batman Undies!
Ok! Here is the real reason why we are here........
Her name is Valerie!
Her Shop is Penguinetta Afghans!
Star Baby Afghan
I just love Valerie's Shop! She has hand knit and crochet items - baby afghans, full size afghans, mittens, hats, scarves! Her work is lovely! And she has these Monkey Hats that make me smile!
Here they are!!
Sock Monkey Hat
Get settled in with your coffee people. Let's learn about Valerie!
How did you get started with Etsy?
I saw etsy on Good Morning America in 2009, I was looking for work while living in my camper at a campground in Kansas. I had always wanted to supplement my income by selling my "stuff" so I thought I would give it a try.
When did you get interested in making your Art/Craft?
My mom taught me to knit when I was about 9 or 10 but it never went anywhere. The boy next door taught me to crochet when I was about 12.  Art was always my favorite class from kindergarten. I took every art class I could in jr. high and high school.
Crochet Valentine Red Scarf

Where does your inspiration come from?

  Inspiration comes from need of an item, things I see on the internet or out and about.
Who taught you or how did you learn your art form?
I learned the basic knit stitch from my mother, single and double crochet from the boy next door.  From there I have been mostly self taught. I have never been afraid to pick up a craft kit or a set of instructions and jump right in.
Where do you see your Shop in 5 years from now?
I would like my shop to be busier, I would like to expand into more areas of creativity but don't know what. I love to bake.....
How do you manage your time between Etsy and the rest of your life?
When I first started my etsy shop I was laid off and looking for work so I would get up at 0500 each morning, get chores done and at 0900 start my job search. I would work on that until noon or there abouts depending on the job postings.  Have lunch and then the afternoons were for crafting.  Evenings have always been for crafting when I have been working - guess that's my reward for getting the supper dishes done and lunches made.
Tartan Plaid Afghan
How did you come up with the name of your shop?
My birth mom nick named me "Penguinetta" because I was always cold.  My nephew's wife who is an artist and high school art teacher drew Penguinetta with her afghan.
Do you make or stock items you love, or what will sell?
I started stocking baby afghans because that's what I had. I traveled during the winter when I would be laid off -- mostly going to my brother's place on the east coast (if we buy you an airplane ticket will you come stay with our kids?). I put a few full size afghans in my shop but they don't sell very quickly. Hat and mittens were requests so I made extra for my shop.
Be my Valentine Pink Mittens
Where else can we find you online?
penguinetta has a face book page
Did you always want to have your own business?
Any other thoughts you want to share with us?
The afghans I make are made to be used -- they are a Hug when you need one. Please don't put them away "for good". 
Crochet Rose Color Baby Afghan
How do you think your age has helped you in your business?
 I am more open to trying something new. I do not have a family living with me so I can devote my time to my crafting -- sometimes I get so wrapped up in something that I don't want to go to bed.... age has given me the courage to try - also the ability not to listen to well meaning family members who can not see past the small town they live in and their small town beliefs (your afghans are nice and they make great gifts but no one would ever pay for one of them -- this one kept me from trying for years)
Valerie, I want to thank you for sharing your "stuff" with us!!! And, I want to thank you for not listening to "well meaning family" anymore!!!!! Your talent is something I envy!
Well, Folks... head on over to Valerie's Shop!!! Click on the photos of her "goodies" and it will take you right where you want to go!!!
Thank you All for stopping in and reading!!


Saturday, January 11, 2014

Etsy's Bonnie Lease & Her Shop!

Hello all!
So, here is the thing.... I love Etsy! I think you all knew that, but I just wanted to say it again! I truly think that Etsy provides an outstanding display of goodies that you just can't find anywhere else! Just nod your head.. you know it is true. Also, I think there are a lot of shop owners over the age of 45 on Etsy. Hmmmmmm, I wonder why?
For a few posts or more....
I want to feature Shops that have Over 45 owners.
Why you ask??? Well, Why Not!
(Plus, I am over 45 and I need the company!)
Our Shop Owner of the Day! Drum roll please.....
 Bonnie Lease.
The owner of Fiber and Bead Boutique!
Alpaca Scarf
Were you over the age of 45 when you started your shop?
  I was well over 45 when I started the shop.
How do you think your age has helped you in your business?
Has my age helped with this adventure? Maybe. Certainly the years I spent teaching beginning computers and beginning internet have helped. Also being retired gives me the time that is needed to devote to the shop
What do you sell?
  Fiber and Bead Boutique is a 3 generation shop. My husband Fred and I make the fiber accessories. Fred weaves beautiful scarves, shawls, tea towels and other items on an 8 harness loom. I weave scarves, belts, bookmarks and other items on Inkle looms and a rigid heddle loom. I also crochet, knit, spin and felt. Handspun yarns and felted items haven't yet made it to the shop, but some of the finished items are from my handspun yarns. My daughter Jen and my granddaughter Emma design and make beaded jewelry. Jen also makes her polymer clay beads. She will soon be adding fused glass to the mix. 
Crochet Cowl

How did you get started with Etsy?
We started on Etsy last November because we were looking for another venue from which to sell. We have a friend who had started a shop and was happy with it. I do the work on the shop.
When did you get interested in making your Art/Craft?
  I have been a fiber junkie for as long as I can remember. I've been spinning for about 15 years. I took a beginning weaving class about 12 years ago, or so. I bought a Baby Wolf loom. Once I was on my own, the Wolf, that was much bigger than the loom I learned on overwhelmed me. Fred was tired of seeing it sit there unused because I was afraid of it. He offered to help me, and the rest is history. It is now his loom and he weaves amazing things. Although Jen grew up with the fiber and can crochet, knit and sew the art material that drew her were beads. She is self-taught and loves to work with beads. Emma has learned at her mother's knee. She is also learning to weave, but has nothing woven on the shop yet.
Knitted Fingerless Mitts

Where does your inspiration come from?
My inspiration comes from the fiber. I love the fiber before it is spun. I have some that may never be spun just so I can pet it sometimes. I love yarn and I love color. The fiber tells me what it wants to be. Fred is drawn to color, pattern, and texture, so I guess you can say that weave structure inspires him. Jen and Emma love color. Emma is drawn to stones.
Purple and Blue Polymer Clay Beaded Necklace
Who taught you or how did you learn your art form?
My grandmother starting teaching me to crochet and to sew about, heaven help me, 60 years ago. Friends taught me to knit and one in particular is my knitting mentor. Workshops through our local yarn shop and weaving and spinning guild offer classes and workshops that I take advantage of. Anything else, comes from books. I am a retired librarian. Fred is self-taught. Jen has taken a few workshops and is teaching Emma.
Tiger's Eye Bracelet
Where do you see your Shop in 5 years from now?
 I don't know where the shop will be in 5 years. I hope it will grow and be successful. By then I may turn over the management of it to Jen or to Emma.
How do you manage your time between Etsy and the rest of your life?
  Time management, now there's a concept. I spend probably too much time on the computer, tweaking the shop, on the teams, and on Facebook groups. I don't go anywhere without a tote bag containing a project, and am generally working on something if I am sitting in conversation or watching TV. Since I am retired, I just juggle whatever has to be done.
How did you come up with the name of your shop?
We tossed around a lot of names. We wanted the shop name to represent what we make, at the same time keeping it general enough that we could expand or revise our products.
Do you make or stock items you love, or what will sell?
 Mostly we make what we love. There have been a few things that came from specific requests or custom orders. But if I didn't love it, I wouldn't make it. 
Where else can we find you online?
I'm on Facebook and Pinterest.
Did you always want to have your own business?
 I want to continue to create. I can only give so much away, so yes, to continue to create, I must have a venue for it.
Any other thoughts you want to share with us?
Other words, let me see. I've met some fun new friends while on Etsy. The community support whether it is on Etsy teams or Facebook groups is wonderful. The view of handicrafts has changed. Years ago Jen and I tried to sell our crocheted and hand sewn stuffed animals at craft shows. The response was underwhelming to say the least. People weren't willing to spend a reasonable amount on such things. That was one reason we decided to try the online route. Now, people go out to craft shows and they appreciate the fiber arts. It is a wonderful change.
I want to thank Bonnie for sharing her shop with us!
Come to think of it, here is the thing about Etsy... people don't really share their shops... they share their Passion! They don't just sell stuff.. they sell a bit of their time, love, and creative mind. Yep, can't get that anywhere else!