Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Featured Seller - Vive La France Design

Kara of "Vive La France Designs" is a fellow team member on the etsy greetings team. She is a graphic designer and artist who enjoys paper-crafting as well. She recently answered a few questions about her experiences as an etsy shop owner and motivations as an artist. Please check out the examples of her work after the interview, and be sure to visit her shop for more great work.

What inspires you?

Nature... the colors and the way lighting affects the colors. I'd have to give my husband some credit too. My love notes are all inspired in some way by my husband, be it creating the perfect card for him or something from a conversation. He's always calling me tenacious--for a variety of reasons.

What are your favorite colors/materials?

Blue has always been my favorite color - in any shade, but I love color in general. I love painting in oils and the diversity it allows in blending and textures. I hope this translates in my art-print notecards. I also love the feel of Japanese paper. It is so thin, but strong and tactile.

How did you get started papercrafting?

I've always loved paper and making cards. I would make my mom cards and leave them under her pillow. Then in college, I took a calligraphy class. It was the first time I made an accordion-fold book. I illustrated my quote with watercolor illustrations and I was hooked. I also started making books using Japanese binding.

What prompted you to open an etsy shop?

I have been painting since I was seven and have a BA in Graphic Design -- I love combining art and design. I really enjoy the hands-on part. I found etsy about a year ago, but flip-flopped because of my health. I have a rare pituitary disease that was elusive for a decade and took away everything that made me me --except my creativity. So anytime I could muster up the energy I would work on a painting or a freelance design project. It eventually led to making scrapbooks for people. Then I had lots of paper......paper makes me happy! So I started making cards again. (I had been making watercolors cards and selling them at local craft fairs but lost interest). I had a pituitary tumor removed 3 years ago on April 19th, and it took a full 2 years to feel any better which = a bit more energy to work on my art. So I finally opened an etsy shop.

Do you sell outside of etsy? If so, where?

I sell a custom line of baby cards, tiny gift cards and thank you sets at 'Addison Marie, A Baby Boutique' in Albquerque, NM,
and I will have my art print notecards and handmade cards at a new brick and mortar shop, 'Queen City Emporium'
in Springfield, MO which is opening in late March.

What advice do you have for other etsy sellers?

Try. You never know what will happen. As for etsy, be a buyer as well as a seller. It makes you trustworthy and part of a community.

Here are a few of my favorites from Kara's shop:

8 Blue Baby Thank Yous by Vive La France on etsy

Torrid Love Note by Vive La France on etsy

Friendship Quote Notecard by Vive La France on etsy

Monday, March 1, 2010

Go Green in March!

Since March's color is green I thought it would make sense to have an eco-friendly gift guide to start off the month. Get it? Green...eco-friendly. Just kidding, I know it's obvious. There are a ton of awesome eco-friendly sellers and items on etsy, but s few in particular caught my eye. Be sure to check out the shops for more green items, and go green in March!

9.5 x 8 inch Junkmail Paper by White Dragon Paper
Made from 100% recycled papers with no added chemicals. The listing is for a set of ten.

Wooden Baby Rattle in Walnut and Purpleheart by The Wood Garden
All of The Wood Garden's toys are made from wood from sustainably harvested hardwood trees. They never use paints, dyes or stains.

Recycled Boylan's Soda Bottle Glasses by Yava Glass
All of Yava Glass's items are made from recycled bottles. They only order bottles when they receive orders to further reduce waste.

Pear and Pearl Mod Lucite Hoop Earrings by Glamourpuss Creations
Each piece of jewelry in Glamourpuss's shop is handcrafted from authentic, uncirculated vintage components. Vintage is the new green!

Headline News Reusable Sandwich Baggie by Bells and Unicorns
This resuable bag with waterproof lining will keep all of those plastic sandwich bags out of the landfills!