Featured Handmade Artist

Handmade Weekend-Series Kickoff!

I'm super excited to share with you a new (old!) blog series-- Handmade Weekend. I used to do a "Featured Handmade Artist" series on the blog a few years ago where I would feature an interview with an etsy artist.

Handmade Weekend- A weekly series of interviews with handmade artists.

Unfortunately, life gets in the way sometimes and I let my blog (and that series) fall to the wayside.  Lately, I've been reevaluating what I truly and passionately believe in and one thing I am super passionate about is the handmade lifestyle and helping handmade artists.  I want to help (in my small way) other artists selling on etsy, other online craft markets, or in craft shows.  One of my little goals is to create a little eBook or a blog posts series about getting better product photos (crap! now it's out there-- IHAVE to follow through!) and I want to start featuring handmade artists on my blog again.

I believe in handmade. I believe in artisans and craftspeople and entrepreneurs and dreamers. I wish we lived in a society where you buy things made by real people-- not machines, and not in sweat shops and you not only get quality items, but you contribute to that person's making a living and following their dreams.

So, I'm starting up my handmade weekend series in hopes that I can help out my fellow artists/crafters/entrepreneurs and dreamers. I would appreciate if you check out their shops and support them too. Fav them, follow them, send them an email telling them you love their stuff, or maybe even pick up a little something for you or your home.

be on the lookout-- a new interview will be up next weekend!
In the meantime, check out some of my past interviews:

BEB Designs

And Wabisabi

Steel Petal Press

Betsy and Bess

Love The Baby

Amy Holton Designs

What. No Mints?

Grace And Light

Nancy Jean Home

Jenny Kim

Kit Lane

Julie B Creative

Veves Handmade

Jane Joss

Becky M

Mae Chevrette

X Moon Bloom

One Late Night

Lia Lane

Allison Book

Green Ribbon Gems

El Dave Photography

Ray of Light Photography

Caffeinated Frenzy

Flawed Perfection Jewelry

Courtney Reckord

AMI Designs

Belle Rose Designs


Are you an artist/crafter/entrepreneur? Do you know of anyone I should interview? Leave a comment below letting me know who I should interview!!!! 


Related posts:

Featured Handmade Artist- Spirit Horse Herbals

Hello! I hope you're having a great week! I'm having a fabulous, but incredibly busy week! Please be patient while I try and catch up! In the meantime, I did have a chance to interview a Featured Handmade Artist this week-- I'd like to introduce you to Kristie from Spirit Horse Herbals! For those of you who know me, you know that I LOVE tea (about as much as I love coffee!) and I'm super excited to feature a woman who's living her dream and makes amazing tea and natural products! 

Kristie also creates organic medicinal herbal products as well, such as pain relieving salves,  balms that aid in decongestion, and all natural botanical lip balms. Here's just a small sampling of what's offered:

Hi Kristie! Can you please tell us a little bit about who are you, where you're from, and what you do?

I'm Kristie Nackord the herbalicious 'Herb Girl' behind Spirit Horse Herbals. I am a passionate and wild-hearted woman who loves plants and horses. Originally from Northern California, I moved to Westcliffe, Colorado to LIVE my dream life. That’s right, live it, not just dream it!  I lovingly grow most of my own organic herbs that I brew into my products. And if I don’t grow it, I buy my ingredients from only reputable organic growers. At 8,300 feet and with less than a 90-day growing season, most things that grow here are potent and strong—qualities I feel are important to bring to any medicine.

In addition to my love of creating and sharing herbal products I also have another passion which is offering marketing consulting services to like-minded and-hearted businesses. Yeah, I'm pretty darn blessed. I live in a small rural town of 600 people in the mountains of Colorado and get to telecommute (and work in my pj's!) for great companies in California and beyond.

What is the first craft project you remember making?

The first time I ever created an herbal anything I was 23. I came home from a very empowering workshop hosted by one of the most amazing herbalists, Kami McBride, where I enjoyed a tea blend of lemon balm, lavender and oatstraw (the inspiration behind my own Dreamtime tea blend). I swooped home like a fiery bandit and went out to my garden and found all of the ingredients myself. It was instant Knowing, like I could feel back into myself over lifetimes and just Know myself as a plant woman. Unwavering Knowing! I also think I pull on the lineage of women in my family. They are all fine Italian cooks who create absolute beautiful madness in the kitchen. I believe I do the same thing, just with the plants! Since my first herbal tea brew I have never looked back~!

What inspires you?

Inspiration is a HUGE part of my walk here on Earth. Not only do I feel inspired but I also hope to inspire. That is why my slogan for Spirit Horse Herbals is ...inspiring you to live your dream life. I can often find inspiration anywhere. It can fly across my computer screen unexpectedly, or be felt from a quick glance up at the mountains. It can be experienced through heartfelt conversations, walks in nature, hangin' with the horses, rollin' in the dirt with the plants, scratching a cat... you get the drift! And the thing about wanting to offer inspiration... well, for so long I didn't believe I could have it all such as living in a dream home, having a dream job, dream guy, etc. The 'cube' was my life. 12 hour work days, 5-6 days a week, with no time for me or for what my Heart yearned for. And then something clicked one day (literally while I was sitting in the cube!) and I set out to find a different truth. That is when I met my teacher who consistently continues to point to the greater and limitless possibilities for all of us. I hope that by walking my walk which is committed, no Devoted, to my own Awakening, that people can see that is possible to LIVE our dream life, not just dream it anymore.

Can you describe some of your creative process?

Creating any of my products takes lots of time and space. Because I grow many of the herbs that go into my products, the creative process begins with the start of the seed in spring--literally! All summer long I tend to the plants caring and nurturing for them. After harvest in the fall, the herbs are then processed in their respective ways, often being steeped in organic oils for another two months for use as the base in my salves and balms. When it is time, the madness in the kitchen begins and the herbs are brewed, blended, and loved into their final creation as oils, salves, balm, or teas! But most importantly I would like to share that  I follow no recipes in my brewing process. I've learned with lots of support to follow my intuition, no matter what. I trust through feel how much of this and how much of that to include in each batch of whatever I brew. Which also means my products are ever changing and that to me just makes sense. How does that old saying go, 'the only thing constant in life is change'...

What is your most prized handmade possession?

A few years ago a dear friend gave to me a beautiful basket he made with his own hands with so much skill and love. It is this basket that has accompanied me on many harvests--and many farmers markets!

If you could give one piece of advice to a new etsy seller, what would it be?

Do what you Love--no matter what! And remember, it's a process.

What are some of the ways you promote yourself and your business?

Thankfully I have the gift of gab. I love to talk and connect with people so I sell at local farmers markets when they are in season as well as online.

Hey, so let's stay connected, find me on Facebook or Twitter and let's chat!




What are the three websites you couldn’t live without?

www.noaa.org ::watching the weather is SO essential to farming as well as when you care for 13 equines in the mountains of Colorado!

www.accuweather.com :: because NOAA isn't always accurate!

www.pandora.com I L.O.V.E. music!

Where do you see yourself in ten years?

WHOA! I will be 42~ I'll probably still be sitting on my porch (with lots of dog, cat, and horse hair all over me!) looking out at the mountains feeling pretty darn Blessed for living here. Maybe I will have some cute little children running around me, too!

If you could have one super power, what would it be and why?

Healing Hands. Since I was a tiny tot I've always wanted to have hands that could spontaneously heal people and animals.

Thank you soooooooooooo much Kristie!!! It's so great to have an opportunity to get to know the two hands who create such amazing natural products!  I hope that everyone has a chance to stop by Kristies shop and check out

Spirit Horse Herbals

If you would like to be considered for my weekly feature, please send me an email or convo– I’d love to hear from you!!!!

Hope you have a wonderful weekend!! 



New! http://www.aprilbernphoto.etsy.com

Featured Handmade Artist- Bebdesigns

Featured Handmade Artist bebdesigns

Hello! Thanks for stopping by today! I am excited to introduce you to a fellow Chicagoan, Bonnie, from bebdesigns! I love her versatile handcrafted beaded jewelry--it fits many different styles from classic to vintage inspired to modern and her bright, beautiful product photography!

Love, love, love this necklace!

Check out some of her other pieces:

Featured Handmade Artist- bebdesigns

Hi Bonnie!! Can you please tell us a little bit about yourself?

My name is Bonnie Bulger. I have lived in the Chicago suburbs all of my life. I am a jewelry designer and a stay at home mom to 2 girls.

What is the first craft project you remember making?

I remember making potholders on a little loom. I recently saw these kits at a craft store. There were all different colors of loops and you would pull them through with a hook.

Where does your inspiration come from?

I have many different inspirations but one of the biggest is probably color. I love working experimenting with different color combinations and am always looking at color. Vintage fashion also inspires me. I love the styles from the 40's and early 50's. I love the elegance, glamor and femininity.

Can you please describe some of your creative process?

I don't have a set creative process but I usually start by playing around with different colors and textures and start laying things out.

What is your most prized handmade possession?

I have to say my most prized handmade possessions are little things my daughters have made me.

If you could give one piece of advice to a new etsy seller, what would it be?

There are so many different facets to Esty but I would have to say your pictures are really important! You really need to take good pictures that really show your product. It takes a lot of trial and error but you can always keep improving them.

Featured Handmade Artist bebdesigns

What are some of the ways you promote your work?

I have a website www.bebdesigns.com

Etsy shop www.bebdesigns.etsy.com

Facebook page www.facebook.com/bebdesigns

and I am currently starting a blog beb-designs.blogspot.com/

What are the three three websites you couldn't live without?

Etsy (I love the time machine), Craftcult and The Weather Channel.

Where do you see yourself in ten years?

In 10 years my girls will be grown and I will continue with my business and see where things go. I would like to expand my jewelry into more boutiques or maybe even have a shop of my own.

If you could have one super power, what would it be and why?

I think being able to get things done with the snap of my fingers. I like things really organized and everything would always be in it's perfect place.

Thanks so much Bonnie for giving us this wonderful opportunity to get to know the artist behind the beautiful creations of Bebdesigns! Its been a pleasure!

Please be sure to check out the rest of Bonnie's gorgeous jewelry!


If you would like to be considered for my weekly features, please send me an email or convo– I’d love to hear from you!!!!

Hope you have a fantastic day!



NEW! www.aprilbernphoto.etsy.com

Featured Handmade Artist- LarkandLillie

Featured Handmade Artist- LarkandLillie

Hello! I'm back! A little late, I know... Its been a crazy busy week between work and Easter preparations. I'm also working on two additional projects. The first one is for the ARTreprenuer site. I'm creating new tutorials (so far, I've made a DIY lightbox, gave my all time top five photography tips, and explained the benefits of the Macro setting...) and have been answering all sorts of photography questions. If you'd like to get in on these posts, be sure to stop by ARTreprenuer and sign up. You won't regret it!

The second project...well... that's a really big surprise! More details will be made available in the next week or so. All I can say is that things are gonna look a little different 'round here in a few weeks...

So this week I'm very happy to introduce you to our Featured Handmade Artist, Holly, from LarkandLillie. I am in love with her fun sewn creations!

Featured Handmade Artist- LarkandLillie

Hi Holly!! Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

My name is Holly Anderson shop owner of

Lark and Lillie

on etsy. I live in Denver Colorado with my wonderful and also artistic husband. I am an art teacher by trade, but my true passion is creating. I love to sew , paint, draw, decorate, and would get a lot more of this done if it wasn’t for my obsessive blog reading.

What is the first craft project you remember making?

I remember my mom cut up a ton of old crayons, and my sister and I created a mosaic type image with them.

Where do you get your inspiration?

As I’ve mentioned I love reading and looking at blogs. I am always inspired by the color palettes that I see, and love to glean ideas from other creative people. I also adore Scandinavian design, with it’s use of bold colors and stylized images. I love the idea of beauty through simplicity, and think Scandinavians do it the best!

Can you please describe some of your creative process?

I would say that my creative process starts with color combinations that I enjoy. I love mixing different patterns , colors, and textures, that aren’t always the most obvious choices. I also love to implement hand sewn details into almost all of my pieces, weather it’s stitched lettering, or an embroidered border.

What is your most prized handmade possession?

I have two handmade quilts that were made by my grandfather...my grandfather! He used to be a doctor, so I guess he traded stitching people up, for stitching quilts.

Featured Handmade Artist- Lark and Lillie

If you could give one piece of advice to a new etsy seller, what would it be?

Try to solidify your style and look, so that your product is distinctive and recognizable. And don’t be afraid to experiment, make mistakes, and keep trying new things...

What are some of the ways you promote your work?

I am in the process of getting better at this. I have my etsy shop, and a link on my facebook. I also involved in local craft shows.

What are three websites you couldn’t live without?

Just three?

Design Sponge

Decor 8


Where do you see yourself in ten years?

My husband and I are planning on selling our house in the burbs and moving into the city. I would love to have a place with a little more space to create. Also I love all of the opportunities for inspiration in the city.

If you could have one super power, what would it be and why?

This may not sound very chivalrous, but I would love to have the super power of flying....I have always wanted to fly...when I was little I always wanted to jump off of our back deck with a sheet (for a parachute) And see if it would break my landing. I always chickened out ...To see the world from up above would be wonderful

Thanks so much, Holly!!!

Please be sure to stop by her shop and check out all of her fabulous sewn creations:


If you would like to be considered for my weekly features, please send me an email or convo– I’d love to hear from you!!!!

Hope you have a wonderful weekend!!



Featured Handmade Artist- andwabisabi

Hello!!! I know, I got off to a late start today, but don't worry-- this week's featured artist is definitely worth the wait! I am so happy to introduce you to Grace from Andwabisabi. Grace sells the cutest, fun and simple-to-make counted cross stitch patterns!

Featured Handmade Artist-Andwabisabi

Seriously, how fun is that? These look easy enough that even I could make them. I'm so not a cross-stitch (or counted-cross stitch) person, but I'm so in love with these fun designs that I'm thinking about trying one...

Check out some of her other cool designs:

Featured Handmade Artist- Andwabisabi

Hi Grace! Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

My name is Grace Kim and I'm the girl behind Andwabisabi Cross Stitch. I live in Southern California with my family and puppy, (my bundle of joy) Mochi! During the day, I work as a Graphic Designer and Product Developer in Wall Decor. Once I'm off the clock I love to cross-stitch, cook and bake. I do love to pick up a random craft during the weekend or spend hours upon hours at craft stores.

What is the first craft project you remember making?

I used to make paper dolls and cut out colorful little outfits and wigs for them. The possibilities were endless and I would churn out little outfits for them all day long!

What inspires you?

My inspiration comes from nature and anything I come across during the day. I am definitely drawn to textures and patterns and love to take snapshots of anything that interests me. Inspiration comes from a color that I've become enamored with, or a conversation I shared with my close friend, or even from the dinner menu. I carry around a little notebook where I jot down these ideas and sketches, which comes in very handy when I'm ready to start designing.

Can you please describe some of your creative process?

I refer to my handy little notebooks. I like to spend some time picking a topic that strikes my chord before I jump into the design aspect. Sometimes I will do a little research on the topic, other times I'll jump right in. I start out with a rough shape in mind and move around the pixels until I settle on the design. After the design is set, it's time to play with color! Often times, I will start out with a certain finish in mind, only to end up with something completely different- I love this process, because it is when I come out with the best designs.

Featured Handmade Artist- Andwabisabi

What is your most prized handmade possession?

I love the hand-knit scarf my grandmother made me some 15 years ago. It's made out of really itchy pink yarn, but it makes me laugh every time I wrap myself in it.

If you could give one piece of advice to a new etsy seller, what would it be?

I would have to say, keep doing what you love. Perseverance is key, keep developing your craft, continuously learn, and soon you will discover your niche.

What are some of the ways you promote your work?

Word of mouth, I'm fortunate to have lovely customers who refer their friends and family to my shop. I also have a flickr and twitter account, as well as a FB page and blog. I spend a lot of time developing new items for the shop and try to upload new product every week.



Flickr -


Twitter -


Facebook -


Blog -


What are three websites you couldn’t live without?

Etsy.com, Craftcult.com, Pandora.com

Where do you see yourself in ten years?

I'd love to be happy and healthy, with some extra wrinkles, surrounded by family and crafty friends! I'd also love to own a little cross-stitch boutique and share the love of cross-stitch with a lot of people.

If you could have one super power, what would it be and why?

I'd love to fly, that way I'd be able to travel all over the world and have the experience of my life.

Thank you so much Grace!!! It was a pleasure to get to know a little bit more about the super creative force behind Andwabisabi. I urge everyone to take some time and check out her shop. There are so many wonderful cross stitch items to chose from (hey! Mother's Day is coming up!!)


If you would like to be considered for my weekly features, please send me an email or convo-- I'd love to hear from you!!!!

Hang in there! It's almost Friday!



Related posts:

Featured Handmade Artist- SteelPetalPress

Hello!!! Welcome to this week's Featured Handmade Artist-- Shayna from SteelPetalPress! Shayna is a fellow Chicagoan (almost a neighbor!) and I'm thrilled to feature her today. I've seen her letterpress cards at the Renegade Craft fair and I can attest to how cool and how well made they are. This is my current favorite card...

Featured Handmade Artist- SteelPetalPress

Seriously? How fun is that? Check out a sample of some of her other products that are for sale. She creates custom wedding invites (how cool!), bound journals and really fun letterpress cards...

Featured Handmade Artist- SteelPetalPress

Hi Shayna! Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

My name is Shayna and I currently live in the Logan Square neighborhood of Chicago by way of San Francisco, New Orleans, Los Angeles, St Louis and Washington DC. I print handmade letterpress greeting cards, custom wedding invitations and make hand bound journals.

What is the first craft project you remember making?

I remember drawing birthday cards for my all my family members starting a very young age, 4 or 5 maybe? I also remember writing stories, illustrating them and turning them into books around the same age.

Where do you get your inspiration from?

I'm inspired by old mechanical tools, vintage objects, collectables and type. The Vandercook and Chandler price presses that i print are from the midcentury and have fascinating cranks and levers and gears. I love the tactility of it all.

Can you describe some of your creative process?

First I have to think up a new idea. This can come at any time and is usually out of the blue: riding the train, while jogging, on a Sunday morning reading the paper, running errands, riding my bike. Then I need to transform the idea into an image or object. This takes some time tinkering with the materials and the images and seeing what looks best. Then there's production mode, in which I just crank out a bunch of work. The last part is much less creative.

What is your most prized handmade possession?

The fingerless mittens a friend knit for me in exchange for a mix CD many years ago. I love them and have managed to not loose them.

If you could give one piece of advice to a new etsy seller, what would it be?

Do what you love and keep working at it. There will be slow times and busy times. Put care into what you do, make beautiful things, stay true to yourself and don't give up.

What are some of the ways you promote your shop?

Word of mouth has been really great for finding people looking for custom work. I also have a facebook page, twitter account, flickr and blog.





Also, I try to renew an item at least once a day. And I sell at local and regional craft fairs. I am a member of the EtsyBRC street team and Ladies of Letterpress on ning.com:

I've also spent some time going door to door presenting my work to stores that might be interested in wholesale.

What are the three websites you couldn’t live without?

Etsy.com - naturally

Facebook.com - is a love hate relationship, but because I've moved around quite a bit, it helps me keep it touch with friends in other states

Lastfm.com - is great for discovering new music

Where do you see yourself in ten years?

I would really love to be living in a house with a large studio where I could keep my own press and store stacks of type and survive entirely off my work.

If you could have one super power, what would it be and why?

I wish I was the type of person that could survive with little to no sleep. Then I would have time to both work and play and I wouldn't have to cut corners in any area of my life.

Thanks so much Shayna!!! I hope to see you at the Renegade Craft Fair this year!

Please be sure you stop by the SteelPetalPress shop and check out all Shayna has to offer!!!


Is there any shop that you think should be featured? Would you like me to feature your shop? Please feel free to send me an email aprilbern at gmail dot com!

Have a great day!



Featured Handmade Artist- LynnMinneyDesigns

Hello again!!! Welcome to another Featured Handmade Artist!!! I'd like to introduce you to Lynn from LynnMinneyDesigns. I am a huge fan of recycled and re-purposed products and Lynn creates lovely bags and accessories from vintage recycled sweaters, jeans, vintage fabrics, ties and buttons!


Check out some of her other wonderful designs:

Featured Handmade Artist-LynnMinneyDesigns

Hi Lynn!!! Can you please tell us a little bit about yourself?

My name is Lynn Minney and I grew up in cow country, Lowville, New York. Honestly there are more cows than people, which I think is a good thing! After going to Syracuse University to study Communications Design, I went back to cow country and then eventually migrated back to the Syracuse area where I met my handsome hubby. We have a 4 year old little girl. Currently, I am a Digital Image Designer. So I'm a wife and mom, designer by day and a crafter by night. I'm sure there is some other things I could throw in there too!

I just got back into sewing about 3 years years ago. I had a pretty wool sweater that no longer fit me and I found a magazine article on making sweater bags. I made one for my sister and I was hooked. It helped me get back into sewing again and I was able to give handmade gifts.

What is the first craft project you remember making?

I started sewing with my Grandma Jennie as a little girl. I don't remember what we sewed, maybe doll pillows? I remember her letting me use her machine all by myself! She would check in on me when she was cooking and occasionally yell at me to not sew over my fingers :)

Where does your inspiration come from?

My mom is an amazing sewer and crocheter. I think she can do both with her eyes closed (but not at the same time... wink, wink). She sewed when sewing wasn't cool. She made my sister & I beautiful clothes and continues to do so.

My daughter influenced me to live a more eco-friendly life. She is sensitive to so many things, so that it forced me to find products that were safer for her. That has really driven me to live green and open my eyes to the wold of upcycling.

My flower garden is another source of inspiration. I love the colors and textures and I try to bring that into everything I make. I love the dense wool and denim in contrast with the soft cotton lining.

Can you please describe some of your creative process?

Process, what process?! It usually begins with me going to the thift store. I let the sweater or denim dictate the style of bag that it will make. Then I bring my treasures home and felt them. After that I shop for lining fabric or use vintage I'm lucky enough to find something. Here's where my phobia comes in. You see, I HATE cutting fabric! So I have tons of sweaters and denim with the lining fabric all ready to go, but I'm a little chicken to get them started. I guess I'm afraid I'll mess up and you can't go back!

What is your most prized handmade possession?

I have a beautiful hand-sewn blue quilt that my grandmother made me. It was on my big antique brass bed as a little girl.

If you could give one piece of advice to a new etsy seller, what would it be?

Be a sponge. If most etsy sellers are like me, they are good at their craft, but new to marketing. Read books, blogs, subscribe to newsletters and post on the etsy discussion boards. I've learned a boat-load of things in the past year because of them. Don't be afraid to ask for others help!

What are some of the ways that you promote your work?

I think word of mouth has been my biggest promoter so far. I make accessories, so I carry one of my own bags (and business cards). When someone asks about it, I ask them if they'd like a card. No one has said no yet!

I just started up a facebook page on.fb.me/lynnminneydesigns which I use to keep people updated on my latest designs and contests.

I've been blogging for about a year, but I'm really working hard at taking it to the next level. I have a purpose and a schedule now. I feel so grownup! LynnMinneyDesign.wordpress.com

And of course there is my etsy store!

What are three websites you couldn’t live without?




Where do you see yourself in ten years?

If you asked this question a few years ago you would've gotten a completely different answer. I'm so thankful that life isn't a straight line! I don't plan that far ahead because it can be a little overwhelming. I dream of sewing more and spending more time with my family. Some of my goals this year are to do my first craft show and develop some new products.

If you could have one super power, what would it be and why?

Since I always joke about using my magic wand (not the one in Photoshop). I think it would be a good choice. A nice all-purpose super power 'cause that's me, so practical!

Thanks so much Lynn!!!!

I hope you enjoyed this interview and getting to know Lynn a bit better-- please stop by her shop, her blog, and her facebook page and give her some love!!!

Featured Handmade Artist- TheBloomingThread

Hello!!! Welcome to this week's Featured Handmade Artist!! Please allow me to introduce you to Ryan, from TheBloomingThread!
I just love the hand-stitched items in her shop! I have a real appreciation for all things stitched and sewn since I've tried to sew, and failed miserably...
One of my most favorite items in Ryan's shop atually not sewn-- it's this lovely little necklace:

Featured Handmade Artist- TheBloomingThread Violet Garden - Tiny Botanical Bottle Necklace w/ Sage Green Vintage Rhinestone

Don't you just love it? I love that there is this teeny tiny dried violet blossom in there. So feminine and pretty... Here are a few other favorites from her shop:

Featured Handmade Artist- TheBloomingThread

Hi Ryan! Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Hi there! My name is Ryan and I'm in love with hand stitching! live next to a small town, in a smaller town that's surrounded by rolling green hills, farm life & vineyards, sunshine and the ocean just north of Santa Barbara, Ca. (Tough, I know!) I'm fortunate to also be surrounded by a creative circle of family and friends. I work for an Energy Resource company doing accounting and date entry reporting that monitors our resource usage. So you can only image how happy I am when 4 o’clock rolls around and I get to scoot home and use the more creative side of my brain!

What is the first craft project you remember making?

Haha, oh man…this is such a great question! Those shoe box dioramas were the first thing that popped into my head! My kindergarten teacher (Mrs. Jarvey!) was so awesome. She always gave us great craft projects and really encouraged us at a very young age to explore being creative. I’ll never forget her. She helped us enter our elementary art shows, and really gave us a sense of freedom to express ourselves in ways past Crayola. We did clay projects and visited a studio space of one of the kids who’s dad was a professional sculpture, created paintings, paper-mache. I remember even making our own crayons! And let me say, this was no art school, or private school by any means! Just a public school teacher with a heart of gold.

Where does your inspiration come from?

Inspiration is everywhere! I’m inspired by the mood of a song, a scene from a movie, the brick detail on local coffee shop around the corner. Really, I know that sounds cliché but it’s so true. Most of my inspiration comes from being outside. There is just something so spectacular about rich color and texture that keeps my creative mind going.

Can you describe some of your creative process?

If it’s forced, it usually doesn’t get far off the ground. I try to keep an open eye and mind for new designs and projects. When something strikes me, I jot it down, sketch it, imagine it…give it the chance to evolve and take root. Then execute! It’s not always a clean, organized process but it translates my ideas pretty well.

What is your most prized handmade possession?

My boyfriend painted me a 3 piece canvas set of flowers from an Arizona Tea can. I know that probably sounds so dorky but they have the most beautiful scenes on their cans! He painted me the “Georgia Peach” design close up. So the flowers fill the frame of each canvas and continue onto the next as they are mounted aligned. This shop actually makes some super cute things from the AZ cans too! www.etsy.com/people/FunkyRecycling

If you could give one piece of advice to a new etsy seller, what would it be?

I’m still very new so the best advice I can give it to stay plugged in with the updates and features happening on Etsy. Etsy always has “Featured Seller” and “Quit your day job” interviews loaded with great artist and creative minds that can give solid pointers on what helped them along the way. I like that old saying of “not having to reinvent the wheel again”. Also, join a team. I’m on ETTEAM and its awesome! They’re so fun and excited about Etsy, it helps really become a part of the “Etsy Community”. It also doesn’t hurt to have the extra promotion and traffic to your store.

What are some of the ways you promote your work?

I try to use and wear my own creations. I have a messenger bag with lots of detailed stitching that’s become my favorite go-to carryall..and I always get asked about it. I also:

Blog: TheBloomingThread.blogspot.com

Facebook: facebook.com/TheBloomingThreadFanpage

Twitter: @BloomingThread

Store: TheBloomingThread.etsy.com

What are three websites you couldn’t live without?

Etsy (duh!), Ebay, and Pandora. The rest are far too many to name.

Where do you see yourself in ten years?

Time goes by way to fast, so I really try to focus on the where I am in my life at the moment and absorb as much as I can. So to answer the question, in 10 years I hope I’m happy, healthy and have a sweet little home with little ones dancing at my feet and absorbing all the blessings I have then too.

If you could have one super power, what would it be and why?

Haha, that’s an easy one. To have a better memory! So, brain power I guess!

Thanks so much Ryan!!! It was a pleasure doing this interview with you!

Please be sure to stop by www.TheBloomingThread.etsy.com and check out the rest of Ryan's awesome designs!!!

Is there any shop that you think should be featured? Would you like me to feature your shop? Please feel free to send me an email aprilbern at gmail dot com!

Hope you have a wonderful day! Hang in there-- only one more day until the weekend!