Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Meet CardNotions of Etsy Paper

We have for you today another great member of our Etsy Paper Street Team. Take a load off and learn about Wendy with CardNotions and her creative process.

Tell us a little about yourself.
I grew up in the Midwest in a home with cut flower arrangements that were lovely and captivating, food that was too pretty to dig into, and fun activities like sketching portraits and making origami animals.  My mom added that special artistic touch to everything.  I loved to watch her do sumi painting, arrange pressed flowers, and practice calligraphy.  However, I never really exercised my artistic inclinations until I moved to Oregon with my husband and children a few years ago.  My kids are now grown and doing amazing things out in the world.

After spending many years at jobs focused mainly on design engineering, I started using drafting software for architectural card design and learned how to use graphic design software to create colorful images.  Every year I accumulated more cards and ornaments, that I had designed solely for family and friends.

Last holiday season, I did my first arts/crafts bazaar and was pleasantly surprised with my moderate success.  Shortly after that I opened my online shop and really enjoyed the Etsy culture, which is friendly and supportive.  I have also been very fortunate to get so much encouragement from my family and friends. This continues to be a work in progress for me; I have much to learn and am enjoying the journey.

When did you open your shop on Etsy?
I opened CardNotions on Nov. 7, 2011.  It was just following my first Holiday bazaar. 

Tell us about your shop.
Here is my shop link  http://www.etsy.com/shop/cardnotions.  You will find pop-up greeting cards and invitations, as well as intricately cut cards and wooden ornaments.  All of my art and designs are original.  My fabrication process is so flexible that it allows me to quickly modify my artwork, sentiments and cutting on any item I make.  Therefore, I encourage custom requests and can make and ship most one-of-a-kind items within 24 hrs.  I also offer high-volume, precise duplicates of a single design.

Name top (3-5) items (for crafting purposes) that you cannot live without.
For my pop-up cards, materials that I can not live without include double-sided photo paper, double-sided adhesive tape and ink for my printer.  For my wooden ornaments I need good quality 1/8” wood, ribbon, and gold cord.  I also can not live without great photos and my graphic design software.

What is it about paper that you love?
I love that I can start with a flat sheet of paper, make some cuts and folds and end up with a 3D pop-up.  I also love using lots of colors, cute details and hidden messages whenever I can.  With a 3D card there is a lot more space to fill since you can look behind the pop-up image.

What is it about paper that draws you to create with it?
The paper I use is very resilient, able to spring into 3D after being rolled flat by USPS and able to remember the fold that I gave to it even after sitting open on a shelf or desk.  My technical side loves the mathematics and visualization needed for architectural card design.  My newly rediscovered artsy side enjoys the challenge of artistic design.

What inspires you?
I am inspired by nature and animals and spend much of my free time hiking, backpacking, and trail running.  That’s when I do my best conceptualizing.  I am also inspired, or maybe challenged is a better word, by ideas and suggestions from customers, friends, and family.  I’m quick to brainstorm new or unusual suggestions, treating each as a potential path to new products. It’s great to have my husband to bounce ideas off of.

Do you sell mostly online or at craft shows?
I sell both online and at art/craft shows.  Oregon is a great place for getting involved with art/craft fairs because something is going on every weekend and many tourists visit throughout the summer.  I sell a few items wholesale, and just recently was signed on as a supplier for “Made in Oregon”, which has shops at the Portland International Airport and throughout Oregon.  I am very excited about this new opportunity!

Please list your shop name and link and other places online we can find you.
My Etsy shop: CardNotions
My website: CardNotions
Facebook: CardNotions
Twitter: CnWendy             
My Etsy shop is pretty well kept.  My other online sites have been a bit more challenging, but I have been trying to learn and focus on improving.

Thanks so much Wendy for taking the time for this interview. Your work is amazing and we all wish you great success. You are definitely headed in the right direction!

If you are reading this, head on over to Wendy’s shop, CardNotions, and add her to your circles and as a favorite. I am sure that she would appreciate it.
The Etsy Paper Street Team



Wednesday, August 15, 2012

It's a Whimzy Life!

Today we are showcasing Etsy Paper Team Member Toria from Whimsy Life.

Tell us a little about yourself.
My name is Toria Serviss, I am soon to be 22 years old and I'm from Cortland, NY. I live with Kyle, my boyfriend of almost 3 and a half years, and our cat, Kasumi.
When did you open your shop on Etsy?
I opened Whimzy Life on May 12, 2011. About a year and three months ago!

Tell us about your shop.
I sell decorations for weddings, birthdays, showers, home d├ęcor, etc. My items range from pinwheels, to banners, to poms...anything I can think of, really! My link to Whimzy Life is http://www.etsy.com/shop/WhimzyLife

Name top (3-5) items (for crafting purposes) that you cannot live without.
1.      Without my glue gun, I would get nowhere!
2.      Fun, bright, colorful papers
3.      My Martha Stewart edge punch...because everyone loves frilly edging. :)

What is it about paper that you love?
I love that paper is so versatile, and that it comes in endless prints and colors!

What is it about paper that draws you to create with it?
Paper draws me to create with it because I can really use my imagination while working with it. It can be cut, folded, curved, decoupaged, anything!

What inspires you?
I'm inspired by the happiness, excitement, enthusiasm, and encouragement I get from my friends, family, and wonderful customers. They all challenge me to dream big and work hard!

Do you sell mostly online or at craft shows?
So far I have only sold my items online but the idea of participating in a craft show seems like  a lot of fun. Hopefully I will get to join one sometime soon!

Please list your shop name and link and other places online we can find you.
You can find me on...

Thank you Toria for your time and energy in taking part in our interview. I know that Toria of Whimsy Life would love for you to stop by her shop and follow her online. We, the Etsy Paper Street team, greatly appreciate our followers, too.

Thanks for stopping by. We will be back in a couple of weeks with our next Etsy Paper member spotlight.
Aletha and the Etsy Paper Street Team


Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The Papernaut with Andrea!

Today we would like to introduce you to one of our newer Etsy Paper Street Team members, Papernaut. After you read all about this very talented paper addict, take a hop to Andrea’s Etsy shop.

Tell us a little about yourself.
Hello there! My name is Andrea, I’m from Texas and I have been a teacher, a Soldier in the US Army, a postal carrier, and currently I’m studying my butt off to prepare for Pharmacy school. I just got married last month and when I’m not busy doing all those other things I love to make cards!

When did you open your shop on Etsy?
My shop, Papernaut, just opened in April of this year. So far its going really well and I’m having a blast getting a hang of all the nuances of how to best present and promote my shop. Its definitely a work in progress and I’m always learning something new from fellow artisans or the team threads.

Tell us about your shop.
My shop is called Papernaut, and my motto is designing “hand crafted cards of the nerdy persuasion for every occasion.” We exclusively sell greeting cards, the geekier the better.

Name top (3-5) items (for crafting purposes) that you cannot live without.
Definitely all kinds of scrap-booking paper, my ranger distress ink pads, and my glue sticks! Also music for rocking out while crafting is a must.

What is it about paper that you love?
I think its more that I love greeting cards, and the thought and care that goes into sending a handwritten note by mail, especially nowadays when its so easy to just type “happy birthday” on someone’s Facebook wall without even leaving your homepage. A handmade card in the mail means so much more to the sender and the recipient.

What is it about paper that draws you to create with it?
Its pretty :) Also, I owe a lot of credit to my mom, who was really into Stampin’ Up and started making her own Christmas and Birthday cards for friends every year. I inherited the crafting gene from her. For inspiration I rely pretty heavily on my hardcore nerdiness. We are so fortunate to live in a time where nerds and geeks have infiltrated so far into pop-culture there’s no shortage of amazing books, games, TV shows, and movies to provide material.

What inspires you?
I am very passionate about astronomy and astrophysics (Dr. Neil DeGrasse Tyson is my hero) so the name Papernaut Cards just seemed to fit perfectly. Just picture an astronaut flying around in a paper airplane! I also wanted a big part of my shop to feature more quirky, off-beat, scientifically themed cards so I have a whole section listing titled “For Science!” Each of those cards is dedicated to an inspirational scientist and I try to incorporate pieces of their famous works or discoveries into the design. 

Do you sell mostly online or at craft shows?
Currently my cards are sold exclusively on Etsy, although I am interested in getting more involved in local craft fairs.

Please list your shop name, any other online places where we can find you, and the name of your blog with a link (if you have one).
My Etsy shop name is Papernaut. Also, I am on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Come say hi!

Thank you, Andrea, for taking the time to introduce yourself. I must say you are definitely busy and very talented. You call your shop, Papernaut, a little nerdy and geeky, but I am also getting a little Steampunk vibe in a lot of your little pieces of art. Of course, that is just my opinion. You all take a visit and see what vibes you come up with.

Thanks for stopping by! In a couple of more weeks, we will be spotlighting another Etsy Paper Street Team member.
Aletha and Etsy Paper Street Team