Thursday, March 21, 2013

Mermaid Birthday Party

Here is another adorable Mermaid Birthday Party.  Wanted to share. The picture is a link to this wonderful blog :)

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Etsy Banner-DIY


The first time I made a banner I spent hours figuring out how to make it. Then when I went back to make another one I couldn’t remember how to do it so I spend several more hours figuring it out again.

The program I use to make my banner is Picasa, a free photo editing program. ( link for people to download ......) However these tips should work with any photo program.

Below are simple steps to get you started creating your own customized shop banner!

Step 1: Choosing & Saving Your Photos

Pick the photos you want to use as your main focus or background.
~ Tips: If there is an upcoming holiday, you may want shamrocks, or Easter Eggs, grass , etc. Find a picture that has several of the same images or that will work when you crop it. You can also search the internet to find many free photos.
*Once you find that perfect photo for your background save it to your desktop by right clicking on the image and “save image as” from there you can choose to save to your desktop (or another folder which ever is easiest for you to go back to find it later).
* Now that is is saved go to your desktop and click on that picture. You should have the option to edit this picture in Picasa. Once you are in Picasa, right click on the picture and add to Album, then add a new album. Name the album something easy to remember such as Easter Banner.
*After I have an idea of all the photos to use, I add all of those photos to the same album (in this case Easter Banner). You can save these photos to the same album using the same method as steps 1-3.
~Tips: Its good to have a total of 3 pictures in your folder, one for a background, and 2+ from your shop or other desired photos

Step 2: Creating a Collage Styled Banner

*First, you need to make sure you have the correct size. To make a etsy shop banner the suggested size is 760 x 100. You can get this option by choosing the custom option on the left side of the screen there is an option for page format. From there you choose the option for custom aspect ratio. Enter 760x100.
*Next, click on the second icon from the left that creates a collage. At this point you click on that icon to create a collage with your chosen photos that you have saved in your album.
Choose the background in the collage setting. To do this you click on the picture that you want for my background, then on the left side in the middle there are 2 options to use for backgrounds, solid color or use image. We are using the image in this case although if you choose to use a solid color you could choose that for your background. After you have created the background with the correct ratio you will no longer need that picture. For Picasa, it will set the background, but it will also keep the picture in your collage. So you can delete that picture from collage since it has set as your background.
*Next, with the 2 remaining pictures, you can place them wherever you want. Usually I like to place them on an angle. One tilted one way, the other tilted the opposite direction. After I have finished I save the collage.
*Lastly, you can go back into my collage and add my shop name. Choosing the font actually is the part that now takes me the longest. After you've chosen your font and added your name or sale or whatever you want to say then hit save. Then save the collage to your desktop (that’s the easiest place for me to find it). Then add it to my Etsy shop.

Here is my upcoming Easter banner I made while making this blog post:
Here is my St. Patricks Day Banner:
Valentines Banner (made with a plain colored background):

The best part is you can change it for each holiday or season. I love making my own banners

Please let me know if you have any questions or need any help making any banners :)

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Easter Necklace/ Printable House Box

Made this Easter Necklace today. Thought it turned out so cute.  I love looking at all the new and fun things on Etsy for Easter and Spring. I recently found this cute printable box on Etsy and bought it. 

The picture is a link to her shop. I love printables because after purchases I can print and make as many as I want. Being a mother I love this little box. The one side of the lid opens so you can fill it with a little gift or treats.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Sprouts Press Etsy Feature

-Start by telling the readers a little bit about yourself.

Hello, I’m Carolyn of Sprouts Press. I live and work in Toronto, Ontario out of my home studio. I suppose you could say I’m an artist and also a crafter, a multi disciplinary creator if you will! I do things like bookbinding, papermaking, printmaking, drawing and painting. I love learning new techniques and am always on the lookout for used books to save and repurpose into journals or book art. 

I went to art college here in Toronto and then studied overseas for a year in Italy. While there, I developed a real appreciation and love for hand bound books, fine Florentine papers and the artisans who craft these things by hand, with tools and passion. I returned to Canada knowing that this was the way I wanted to live my life! Since then I’ve been creating and selling my wares online, at brick and mortar shops and various book arts fairs and craft fairs. I also love to teach my craft through workshops and courses, I’d love to start making online tutorials – perhaps in the future!

-Do you have a favorite piece that you have made?

I have a few favourite pieces, all for different reasons. I have favourite venting pieces, aesthetically pleasing pieces and then there’s also My Favourite Piece, I’ll talk about that one. 

It is an Artists Book titled O2, as in oxygen. This was an art college project and it was ‘my baby’. This was the first piece that I crafted entirely out of materials that I made myself. The pages were my handmade paper, the text I had researched and written myself. The images I drew and carved from lino as reduction cuts, reducing the image three times and to make a rich, 3 tone print. The subject matter was scientific and cellular, a fascination of mine, which made the images almost abstract-like, another love of mine. While I love the final product, I feel that this piece is one of my favourites for the fond memories of the process and satisfaction of creating something from scratch. There isn’t really a heartwarming story here, just raw love of craft, maybe that’s heartwarming to some? 

-Describe your workspace... (include a pic if you'd like)

As mentioned earlier, I work out of my home, which is a modest place. I have a little nook in the front with natural light and I try to keep it tidy but find it’s often not.

When you are not working on your crafts, what else do you like to do?

I have my hands in many pots and sometimes find that I’ve bitten off more than I can chew! That being said, I love the mix of activities in my life and find that I learn something everyday. So, to answer your question, when I’m not creating art or crafts this is what my life looks like. I have a part time job, I volunteer and have many, many hobbies. A bit more specifically, I am on the Artists Committee for the Artists Health Alliance, here in Toronto. I also volunteer with various not for profit local urban gardening/gleaning organizations, which leads me to my hobbies. 

I love vegetable gardening, taking photos of my garden and sketching my garden in a handbound sketchbook, of course. I take workshops in canning and preserving vegetables from my garden and love to trade and share my preserves. I suppose the common theme here is doing things the old fashioned way, manually with a bit of elbow grease and a lot of love. That being said, I am also fascinated with technology and it’s possibilities. I don’t claim to be any kind of expert but will admit that I’m kind of a tech-buff wannabe, ha! (Is ‘tech-buff’ even the right term?) 

I also love being outside and enjoy many outdoorsy-type activities like hiking, canoeing, cycling, walking and tennis. 

-Lastly, do you have any advice for fellow crafters/entrepreneurs just
starting out?

For those artists/crafters just starting out who really want to give it their best shot, I really recommend learning as much as you can about being a businessperson. I know, I know – boooring. But, chances are if you’re confident enough in your craft/art to start a business, shouldn’t you also be confident in running a business? This doesn’t mean getting an undergrad in business, just reading up on local laws and policies, learning what taxes you have to charge, getting a vendor’s permit and generally taking yourself and your craft seriously. Even researching other successful crafters or artists in your field is a great way to learn. You could ask them some questions about when they first started or what their tip to newbies would be. And, you’d be starting a network of peers, which is always a handy thing!

-Feel free to include any blog links you have, Facebook, Twitter, etc.

I’d love to connect with you! Find me here: