Friday, December 6, 2013

Feature Friday Shop

1. What is the name of your Etsy shop and why did you choose that name?
The name of my shop is "KathysHeartCreations" . I chose this name because it reflects how I have crafted since I was little girl ... with my whole heart ... each item I makes has a little piece of me in it.

2. How long have you been on Etsy?
I have only been on Etsy for about 6 weeks ... as buyer and as a seller. I had not heard of Etsy until a couple of months ago.
3. What type of items do you offer? 
Since I opened in October I have focused on Fall/Thanksgiving items and Christmas Ornaments, Table Runners and Canning Jar Bonnets (can't keep these in stock!) But I am hoping after the first of the year to begin to focus on the seasons and other holidays ... Spring, Easter, Summer, Gardening, etc. I have so many ideas and not enough time to implement them.
4. How long have you been crafting?
I have been crafting all my life ... since I was a little girl. But became more involved in it during junior high school ... so I guess you can say I have been crafting for well over 50 years.
5. Who or What inspires you?
Tough question ... I guess what inspires me are the people in my past who are no longer with me ... my grandmother, an aunt, a great aunt ... women who were of the generation where everything was handmade. The area I grew up in ... in Maryland ... was highly influenced in its traditions because of the Pennsylvania Germans who settled in that area. My ancestors were a part of that ... our county was a dairy farming county and handmade/homemade was very common. It is so a part of who I am ... I love homemade! So I guess you can say that the way I grew up inspires me. This is where my love for anything homemade began.

6. What is your favorite item in your shop and why?
My favorite item is one that is sold out at the moment. I am in the process of re-creating several more ... It is the Hand Painted Tole Wood Nativity Heart Christmas Ornament ... It is a heart-shamped ornament depicting Baby Jesus grasping the finger of his father ... God ... The reality ... that Jesus was fully human and yet fully God ... the tenderness with which God loved Him ... and us so much ... that he sent His only son to us ... No one could ever love us more than that ... so that depiction is a very tender one ... 

7. Other places where you can be found?
8. How do you describe your artistic style?
I have a simple, warm, cozy, homespun, cottage, farmhouse feel in all the things that I make. 

9. Do you have set days or times to work on your craft?
Time management has been a bit of a challenge since opening the shop. But I am becoming better disciplined now ... I start my day by focusing on my home and family responsibilities and then later in the day and evening I allow myself to paint and create ... weekends also are free for that.
10. What words of advice would you give others or to someone just starting out?
My advice would be to take your time and research and read everything you can before actually opening a shop. Begin to build up your inventory before opening. I didn't anticipate being successful early on ... so be prepared that sales may begin immediately. Be careful about time management ... Etsy can be addicting! Join teams that will promote your shop ... join teams with like minded crafters ... be active in the forums ... encourage others as much if not more than the encouragement you have received. Be patient about the number of views and sales you are getting. That will ebb and flow inconsistently. Be grateful and thankful for every sale you make. There are no guarantees ... so when you make a sale, be appreciative. 
11. Tell a bit of personal info about yourself.
I love working with my hands and being creative - from cooking and baking to stripping & refinishing furniture, sewing, needlework, cutting things out of wood with my scroll saw, painting, gardening. I like to try to "make-do" with things I already have around the house.
Creating things with my hands has been my "heart" since I was a little girl. 
As I mentioned earlier, I grew up in a rural area in Maryland ... 1/2 hour from the Pennsylvania border ... strongly influenced by my Pennsylvania German heritage ... in a farming community ... this is where my love for anything homemade began.
As a child and having a creative personality, I entertained myself for hours making things from nothing much ... I even used to make my own paper dolls from the people I cut out of the Sears catalog ... creating families ... creating wardrobes for each of them. As I grew older, I became involved in 4-H and won many awards for my sewing and baking in the local county fair, but my most exciting accomplishment was for an award winning birdhouse I made from scraps of lumber and leftover roofing shingles.
I have been married and a homemaker for nearly 41 years and have dabbled quite a bit with DIY projects. From making my own wedding dress in 1973 to creating faux stones out of concrete and making a patio and two sidewalks ... to wall stenciling, and creating a faux stone wall in my laundry room by using drywall mud, a stencil and acrylic paint. My latest project was turning an old cargo furniture base cabinet into a faux fireplace complete with mantel surround. 

You can see some of my handiwork on Pinterest:

I love taking what I already have and making something new out of it. I thank GOD for giving me the talent to create ... it is through Him that makes all of this possible!
Now that I am retired, my "heart" still longs to be creative and now that I have raised a daughter and also helped in the raising of my granddaughter I am giving myself permission to focus my time on what brings me so much joy and contentment ... painting and sewing! You will find my signature "heart" somewhere on each hand-painted piece.

(Kathy's Heart!)

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