Thursday, December 13, 2007
Friday, November 9, 2007
Check the right side for the link to Etsy Veg! :) Michele, mvegan5
Friday, November 2, 2007
Saturday, August 18, 2007
Q. Where does the name Zakiyaa come from?
A. Zakiyaa is a female arabic name, it means pure. My name, Kathryn, means pure as well. So that is where the connection was made. I think it is a really original and beautiful name for a label, and I felt that it would stick out and grab people's attention.
Q. Where do you get inspiration for your bag designs? What/Who are some of your influences?
A. I mostly get inspiration from the fabrics I use. I'll buy a fabric and feel that it would look best in a certain type of bag. So I might come up with an entirely new design just for that fabric, and then end up using that design several other times. I am not influenced by any designers or by any one person. I tend to try to make bags that are original - I try to come up with bag designs I haven't seen, and that I know will be practical.
Q. Which comes first...the design for the bag or the fabric for the bag? (Does one influence the other?)
A. As I said above, usually the fabric dictates the design. But I have quite a library of designs as it is already, so sometimes I decide I want to make a certain bag design, and I look through my stash to find just the right fabric for what I have in mind.
Q. I love that you use recycled fabrics. What is the weirdest thing you have used to make a bag?
A. I don't think I have ever used anything that weird. I mainly use pants, like jeans or corduroy bought at thrift stores (or that my husband won't wear anymore haha). My mother in law once gave me a set of table-clothes made of pink corduroy that I made a cute purse out of.
Q. I have a stash of fabric sitting in my closet. I have very basic sewing skills that I never use. For a basic, beginner project what would you recommend? Do you have a good instruction book/website to recommend to beginners?
A. Well, I am a self-taught seamstress. I learned the basics when I was younger, but basically taught myself how to make purses without even looking at pre-made patterns or anything of the sort. And then I also taught myself pattern making (though I would like to take an actual class on pattern making in the future). I feel bad for admitting this, but I have yet to make myself any clothes. I certainly plan to, and I bought an incredible book called Sew-U that is really the ultimate book for someone who is just starting out. It even comes with 3 patterns. That is great for clothes. There is also Craftster.org, which has wonderful message boards where people post lots of fun patterns. I would highly recommend checking it out!
Q. What kind of bag do you carry?
A. I currently carry a white vinyl Liza Purse (similar to this black one [see photo]) but I am about to create a new design with a zippered top closure, and I think I am going to make a prototype for myself with a houndstooth fabric.
Q. Are you a full-time designer/creator? Do you have a "day-job"? If so, what do you do?
A. I do not have a day job. Zakiyaa is my only gig, but it is more of a part time job, in that I do not spend full time hours sewing every week.
Q. How long have you been on Etsy?
A. I joined in February 2006.
Q. Is Etsy a large portion of your business?
A. It is currently the only place I sell my bags. I started making bags as presents for friends and family, and didn't give much thought to selling them. A friend told me I should try to sell them, and directed me to Etsy. I made a few more bags and after a few months realized how much I loved making and selling bags and my business was born!
Q. How addicted are you to Etsy?
A. According to my husband, quite a bit. I browse Etsy a lot, and do visit the forums on a daily basis. But I am not addicted, I swear! haha My husband actually works for Etsy as a computer engineer, so most days it is not uncommon to find us each on our computers doing something Etsy related!
Q. Do you have other crafty/artsy skills?
A. I never considered myself artsy in any way shape of form. Sewing and starting this little business has been a real blessing because I have felt like I needed an artistic outlet for a long time. The only other so-called skills I have would be writing (I used to write a vegan zine actually) and photography.
Q. What would you like to try to make, that you haven't already? What is your dream project?
A. I really want to start making my own clothes. I need to take the time to teach myself, or find someone willing to give me private lessons. Sure, I could buy a pattern and follow it, but I would like to be able to create clothes from scratch. I don't really have a dream project as far as my bag business goes, but I would like to have maybe one person sewing for me one day. I have had a lot of offers for consignment and I find myself unable to keep up. Getting my bags in a couple stores across the country would be really fantastic.
Q. How long have you been vegan/vegetarian?
A. I have been vegan for 7 years, and was vegetarian for one year before that.
Q. What is your favorite vegan/vegetarian store/restaurant/blog/website?
A. One of my favorite websites is VegWeb.com, it has an incredible collection of vegan recipes. I use it all the time, and I even post recipes once in a while. As for restaurants, I have been to some incredible places all over the continent. Here are some of my favorites. In Montreal, Canada, Aux Vivres - all vegan international food. In Boston, Buddha's Delight - all vegan fake meat and other yummy chinese food. In Seattle, Arayas - all vegan thai food, including an all you can eat lunch buffet.. one of my favorite restaurants of all time for sure. Also in Seattle, Mighty-O Donuts - all vegan, all organic delicious donuts.
Friday, July 20, 2007
Sunday, July 15, 2007
First of all, she makes meat pillows. What's not to love about meat pillows? As weird as it may sound to a vegetarian, they are really cool! But she makes veggies, too-mutant carrot dolls!
Q. What inspires your meat pillow and baby monsters?
A. my brother was the inspiration behind the meat pillow. one christmas i made my sister a super sweet pillow. it had a t-shirt transfer of her all bloody and "dead" (from one of the movies that they make with their friends) surrounded by black spider web lace and black satin. it rocked. so i needed a pillow for my brother. he is the only anti-vegetarian in the family so meat pillow was a funny idea and it just kinda took off from there.
the baby monsters came to be when i started needle felting and they just came out of the wool. plus i like really bright colors so monsters seemed better than dogs and cats.
Q. You have a daughter and a son. Do they give you ideas for things to make?
A. my daughter, erahlea is 9 and my son, kai is almost 4. they are a big help when i need an opinion on a new creature. it's hard for me to not give them everything i make. they love it all so much. they are both very creative too. my daughter loves to draw and write and my son loves to sew. he told me one time,"mom, i think i sew better than darth vader."(he's a big star wars fan. can you tell?)
Q. Is etsy a large part of your business? How else do you sell your work?
A. etsy is the largest part of my crafting business. i do craft shows here and there and sell to friends. i am also a massage therapist and a homeschooling mom of two great kids. so i don't have a lot of free time.
Q. Are you an etsy-addict?
Q. Since you are a massage therapist, do people constantly ask for a "rub down"? (My shoulder is sore........hint, hint.......?)
A. yeah, i act dumb though, until they flat out ask for a rub. i love to trade, so if you rub me first i'll rub you.
Q. Any weird collections we should know about? (tiny fairy statues, driftwood, ?)
A. ooo...weird collections? nothing too weird, i guess. every single one of my window sills is covered with stuff. mostly rocks. i love the way the light shines through different things. i have a collection of david hasselhoff pictures (included is one of my favorites). he is considered weird by many. B horror movies is another collection i have. i went to art school so nothing is too weird after that.
Q. Did you teach yourself to sew? Or did someone teach you?
A. my mom taught me to sew when i was little and my grandma taught me how to crochet. i don't REALLY know how to do either the "right" way. i kinda just do it.
Q. What other crafts would you like to try?
A. i've already tried A LOT. glass blowing, wood turning, welding, stone sculpture, all kinds of print making so i guess i would like to make something with a chain saw. that sounds fun. or weaving a bowl with grass or spinning wool. one of those.
Q. Do you set aside time to create, or is just organic (when you have the time and inspiration)?
A. i create when i create. i wish i had more time, but there are only so many hours in the day. and i'm not organized at all.
Q. How long have you been vegan/vegetarian?
A. i have been vegetarian for 8 years and vegan for 5. it all started when i went to see howard f. lyman speak at a vegetarian dinner. he is the author of mad cowboy and also the guy who went on oprah and had the texas cattle ranchers sue the both of them when oprah said she would never eat another hamburger again. he was very cool. my daughter told me one day at dinner when she was 3, "we don't eat meat, we eat food." i thought it was so cute!
Q. Favorite vegan/
vegetarian restaurant/ website/ store?
A. my favorite restaurant is peking gourmet. i'm very sad though cause they are closing in the fall. they have zen sweet and sour chicken and THE BEST tofu chocolate(white and dark) cheesecake i have ever tasted. so if any of you are in cleveland ohio you better go there before it closes! it's sooo worth it and they have the biggest vegetarian menu i have ever seen. mmmm.....now i want some freaking cheesecake!
Q. What do you want to do with yourself in the future?
A. i would like to live a community out in the woods where i can homeschool and garden and have a composting toilet and have wind and solar power and have a biodiesel car and have a strawbale house that is shaped like a giant tree stump. and there has to be a cave. i would also like to go to school to be an herbalist.
Monday, July 9, 2007
McFarland Designs - mention EtsyVeg in the 'Comments to Seller' field during checkout and receive FREE SHIPPING during the rest of July (wait for your revised Paypal invoice to pay).
If any other EtsyVeggers out there have some hot deals to add, email me and I'll add them here!
Saturday, July 7, 2007
Friday, June 15, 2007
Hi all :) Love the new interview, Tashi is soooo cute :)
I wanted to follow up Tamara in saying that 10% of all sales
in my Etsy shop go to different animal charities every month,
for June, 10% will go to Animal Rescue Fund of the Hamptons http://arfhamptons.org
Check out my Animal and Nature inspired Paintings, Cards, Prints, and Jewelry.
Here is my new business card and link to Etsy for Animals: Artists Helping Animals.
Wednesday, June 6, 2007
Sandra is also helping her community deal with the tragic events that took place in April on the Virginia Tech campus. She has donated pieces from her line of Hokie (aka Virginia Tech) jewelry to various fundraisers for the Virginia Tech Memorial Scholarship Fund and will be donating jewelry for a fundraiser on June 16 related to the Hokie Healing Blanket Project.
Q. What inspires your jewelry?
A. In making my jewelry I strive to create things that make women feel good, special, comfortable, that conjure an emotion. I enjoy working with asymmetry, varied texture and color. I find that nature can inspire some very interesting color combinations and enjoy nothing more than knitting or creating jewelry based on something I’ve seen out in the natural world.
Q. How long have you been making jewelry?
A. Well, like lots of other children growing up in the United States, I made the typical jewels with macaroni strung on yarn or embroidery floss bracelets when I was young, so technically speaking I have been making jewelry for many more years that I would care to admit.
In high school, I remember making a pair of purple and orange hip-hugger bell bottom pants (now that ages me) and I needed something to go with it, so I made a coordinating headband and bracelet, from strips of braided fabric that I embellished with seed beads and sequins. That was probably the start of my real fixation with making personal adornments. My first jewelry that I sold professionally was about 16 years ago.
Q. On your blog, you have a list of the treasuries that you have been in for the last week and it is impressive. Clearly, you are getting your name out there. Any advice for other etsy sellers?
A. Mmmm, how to get your name out there….I don’t really know, I’m just trying to be myself. The entire online experience is very new to me. My introduction to the internet really coincided with the opening of my first etsy shop in March 2007. Since I listed my first item on Etsy, I have set up my blog, a myspace acct, opened a shop in Mintd, a destash shop on Etsy and am now in the process of developing my own site, www.sandraeileenjewelry.com. I think my name is out there now, just by virtue of the fact that I post to my blog regularly and read and post comments to other’s blogs (both inside and outside of Etsy) and I do participate in the Etsy forums and have curated 5 treasuries myself.
Q. Is etsy a large part of your business? How else do you sell your work?
A. To date, Etsy is not a large part of my business, but it takes the majority of my time. Which I did not anticipate sell the majority of my jewelry through boutiques or wholesale to other shops.
Q. Are you an etsy addict?
A. I am amazed by the vast variety of products and personalities on Etsy. I have made some nice acquaintances/friends on Etsy, who I now interact with on a daily basis, which I do enjoy. But no, I wouldn’t say I’m an Etsy addict, just a fan.
Q. You just opened a destash store on etsy. Do you find it difficult to maintain 2 sites?
A. Well, Its only difficult now, in that I am still setting up the destash store and now find myself in the middle of establishing my new SandraEileenJewelry store. The main issue I am dealing with changing the name of my jewelry store is just the actual effort involved in relisting each item. Along with that, I am taking the opportunity to retake some photos and rethink the organization of my store. But because neither site is really taking off yet, it has not been all that difficult to maintain. I just periodically log in and out of each site, list new items, etc. When all the sales start rolling in, that all might be another story.
Q. Do you have a day job?
A. I am a jewelry designer full time.
Q. What other crafts do you do?
A. I have always had some sort of creative outlet, watercolor painting, quilting, knitting, sewing, gardening, cooking, baking, jewelry making. I always have something that I am doing or making.
Q. Your blog is nice to read, as are your descriptions on your etsy site. I have always thought that being a writer would pretty much kick-butt. Do you secretly (or not so secretly) want to be an author/writer/journalist?
A. Funny you should mention that, I worked as a lifestyle editor at a county seat newspaper in Ohio for a few years, I am also a published poet and have gone through about 1,000 pages in draft/writing a novel, that is sitting in boxes at the moment.
Q. I saw your post for banana pudding in your blog. My boyfriend will love you forever when I make this. What is your favorite cookbook?
A. My favorite cookbook is Vegan with a Vengence , I can honestly say that I have yet to make a recipe from that book that I did not enjoy. I also enjoy Everyday Vegan, though I generally just use these recipes as a guide, I find Vegan cooking very forgiving and modifiable.
Q. How long have you been vegan/vegetarian?
I decided to avoid all dairy and eggs and become more vegan about a year and a half ago.
It’s very difficult though, to eliminate all animal derived products from ones diet, especially if you like to purchase anything that is already prepared, particularly by a major food processor. Animal products are everywhere. I feel it is a process. I am in the process of becoming vegan.
Q. Tashi, who I imagine to be a real bundle of excitement and energy, is your new puppy. How has being a new puppy-mom changed your routine?
A. Being a new puppy mom has totally changed my routine. Prior to Tashi, I was only answerable to myself so I routinely made visits to boutiques that carry my jewelry, did the displays, worked new designs into the displays and rotated others out. We have now begun to visit together, and the shopkeepers just love Tashi, but he is a handful and difficult to keep an eye on. I feel a sense of responsibility and duty to the little guy, because after all, I brought him into my household. So his needs come first and some days we just stay home.
Since Tashi, I have had little time to sit, uninterrupted and design jewelry, I look forward to the day when he is housebroken and can settle himself down between his bursts of energy and play. For now, I just try to enjoy his exuberance. He has such a sweet and playful disposition and is all dog all the time.
Q. I have to ask...the statue that you use to model your jewelry for your etsy store....what is it and where did it come from?
A. It is from a local gift shop and I purchased him just for his photogenic qualities, for the pics in my Etsy shop. Tashi is quite fond of him.
Tuesday, June 5, 2007
Thursday, May 31, 2007
Strange Giraffe necklace
Art Nouveau Hanging Gardens Necklace
Snuggle Bunny T Shirt Red Youth Medium
Kitty or Small Dog Bowls
Funky Crazy Critters
Measuring Tape Xara Wristlet
Friday, May 18, 2007
How can you not be inspired to create beautiful works of art when this is the view from your front porch?
Tamara lives in Humboldt County, California (northwest California, on the Pacific Coast, near the Redwood Forest), with her husband (Matt), son (Carlos, 18 months) and three dogs, and doesn't plan on leaving soon. Her family is nearby and she loves it. (Why wouldn't she.....just look at that sunset!)
Tamara has been vegan for about 5 years and was vegetarian for 10-12 years prior to that. Check out her blog for some great vegan recipes and photos of Carlos (way cute kid.)
Q. I had GardenBurger (newly vegan! yea!) Breaded Chicken Patties for dinner with steamed broccoli. From your blog, I gather you enjoy cooking. What did you have for dinner?
A. I do enjoy cooking, but time has been in short supply lately so I haven't been cooking as much as I'd like. Tonight we actually took my grandma out to dinner for a belated Mother's Day celebration. We went to a Mexican restaurant and I had a burrito with beans, rice, potatoes, and guacamole.
Q. Do you miss anything that isn't vegetarian/vegan?
A. Until recently, I missed 'real' ice cream, but fortunately, I have *finally* found vegan ice cream that is (I think) just as good as dairy ice cream - I think it's called Purely Decadent. The best flavors are cookie avalanche and mint chip! Yum!!! (Jeanette: Tamara is right. This stuff is awesome, if you haven't tried it you need to....ASAP....my favorite is Cherry Nirvana)
Q. What is your favorite vegetarian restaurant/store/website?
A. We don't have too many veg restaurants here in my rural corner of the world, but when we are in the SF bay area I love to find veg-friendly Ethiopian and Indian restaurants. And Herbivore (in SF) is great. As for stores/websites, I shop at VeganEssentials.com fairly often. They are great people (and they carry some of my jewelry-yay!).
I met Tamara (probably the same way many other etsyVeg-ers did) when she put together a Treasury on etsy for the etsyVeg group. Since then, it seems like every time I go into the treasury she has one. For that alone, I give her props. I can never seem to get one (probably because I have no patience.) But then I learned about everything else Tamara does. Now I give her double props.
Q. How long have you been making jewelry?
A. I've only been seriously making jewelry with intentions of selling it for about a year and a half. But I've always dabbled in different kinds of crafts - sewing, quilting, painting, cross-stitch, knitting, etc.
Q. What/who inspires you in your work?
A. A lot of things and people inspire me... my family, my dogs, my garden, the Pacific Ocean and the redwoods where we live... as far as other jewelry artists who inspire me, I would say definitely Eni Oken, and also Dana Kellin.
Q. How long have you been on etsy?
A. I opened my jewelry shop in the Fall of 2006 and my bead shop just a couple of months ago. I've only been super-active for about the last 3-4 months - before that I would say I just dabbled in Etsy. Now I'm submerged.
Q. You run 2 etsy shops. Be honest. Which is your favorite? I assume it is the one with your jewelry, but maybe you really enjoy the supply aspect.
A. Well, I enjoy them each for different reasons. I get a lot of satisfaction from making jewelry, and from knowing that other people get enjoyment from it, but it can be frustrating not selling as much as I would like. Etsy is a very competitive place for everyone, but especially for jewelry makers. So my jewelry sales are fewer and farther between, but when I do get them, I am especially appreciative and excited. My bead shop, on the other hand, has been open for less than 2 months and I've already sold 200 items... so I enjoy the excitement of more regular sales, and being able to meet more people through my transactions.
Q. You also maintain a blog, a website, a marriage and a friggin' adorable little boy. Is it a challenge?
A. Um, YES. :-) It is very challenging at times, no doubt about it, but my husband has a pretty good work schedule and spends a lot of time with our son, and my mom is local and babysits sometimes. Then there are naptimes and after-bedtimes... I stay up until midnight pretty regularly.
Q. Do you set aside specific times for creating, blogging, etsy-ing?
A. Not really, but I think I might need to start doing that. Sometimes I get sucked into etsy-ing when I really should be creating, organizing, or going outside and playing with Carlos.
Q. Are you a full-time mom, etsyian, blogger, business-owner or do you do all that and have a "straight" job too?
A. Yep, I'm a full-time mom and jewelry maker - no more, no less. :-) Until a little over a year ago, I worked as a bookkeeper/accountant. I did that for about 10 years and finally had my fill. Way more than my fill actually. I don't know how I ended up in that profession - it was stifling! It's a great relief to not do that anymore. We've had to make some lifestyle adjustments, since jewelry making doesn't pay much at this point, but it's been worth it.
Q. Do you do craft shows?
A. Yes, occasionally. I did more before Carlos came home in December (we adopted him from Guatemala; he was born in October 2005 and came home with us in December 2006), but since then I've had to scale back. I just did my first show since Carlos has been home a couple of weeks ago and it went well but it was hard being away from him so much for 2-1/2 days. It will get easier when he's a little older.
Q. Any other crafts you want to share?
A. I do still like to knit but simply haven't had time for anything other than jewelry and finger painting lately.
Q. How addicted are you to etsy?
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
PS - I added several new members today - browse the shops in the sidebar and take a look at all of these talented veg-heads!
Monday, May 14, 2007
Friday, May 11, 2007
I've been busy adding lots of new members; that first treasury really generated a lot of interest. Anyone up for creating another?
Please take a moment to check out all of our awesome member shops in the sidebar!
If anyone else would like to be added as an author on this blog, let me know - Michele taught me how to add extra people - yay!
Take care, all my veggie friends.
(BestBeads & McFarlandDesigns)
PS - I have yummy vegan recipes on my blog!
Wednesday, May 9, 2007
Saturday, May 5, 2007
Friday, April 27, 2007
In the weeks and months to come, we will be featuring various member artists on this blog, so check back soon to get to know your friendly neighborhood artists and craftspeople!
If you are an Etsy seller who would like to join our group, please use the link in the sidebar to contact BestBeads for more information.