Today you’ll meet our new blog writer Hues of Nature. She’ll be sharing this space with me on Fridays so I wanted to take this opportunity to let you get to know her a little better.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and how and when did you get started with arts and crafts?
I am a wife and mother. Until January, 2006, I was also a science teacher and nature photographer. A chronic illness forced me to leave teaching. My art has always provided balance to my life, but played an even more important role when I was too ill to work. I was not able to explore nature physically, but felting and needle felting provided new ways to explore my creativity and share my love of the natural world. It has been wonderful therapy for handling the stress of a long illness. The friends I’ve made on Etsy and in the NaturalKids team have been a wonderful addition to my life and I feel very blessed to be a part of the NaturalKids and Etsy communities.
What is the main thing you make and sell in your store? What else do you make and/or sell?
My lil’ pixies have been very popular. When I was a young girl, my grandmother made two tiny dolls that I still cherish. Each lil’ pixie reminds me of her. I know she would have loved them. My felted animals have been very fun, too.
Who if anyone has been instrumental in helping you hone your craft?
Early inspiration came from a book, Making Wee Felt Folk, by Salley Mavor. I was also intrigued by the work of Nancy Bevins of motleymutton on Etsy. Her animals are amazing! After seeing her work, I bought my first set of felting needles and some delightful roving from a friend’s sheep, Blackberry, and my Blackberry bunnies were born. I instantly became addicted and have developed my own style.
Where do you get your inspiration?
My inspiration comes from the natural world and my daughters’ wonderful imaginations. It feels really great to create magical treasures that are impossible to find on the shelves of the big chain stores. The fabulous wool fibers also provide their own inspiration, both with their varying textures and gorgeous colors.
What are your favorite materials?
I love to work with beautiful wool roving! My favorite materials come from fellow Etsy artists. Joyce Vance, of Elliebelly first introduced me to Etsy. Her roving and yarns are pure pleasures to touch and view. I love supporting our Etsy community and local businesses in my hometown for supplies.
What advice would you give other Etsy sellers and those interested in opening up a shop?
The photography of your items is so important to your sales. You may have the most wonderful product, but if your picture is poor, it will not sell. If you have an item that is not selling and you love it, take a look at your picture. Reshoot it if you need to. You won’t be disappointed that you did.
What advice would you give to beginners in your main craft?
Buy band-aids and prepare to fall in love.
Tell us a little bit about what topics or themes you plan on exploring with your blog posts.
I would love to explore the wonderful people and treasures of our NaturalKids team. Perhaps some articles on effectively photographing your work would be of interest, too?