Joyfully Crafted: My name is Tammy and I am the designer of the business. Joyfully Crafted offers meaningful jewelry as well as everyday designs. Special messages and family photos can be used to create a jewelry keepsake.
What I like most about my job is creating for others. Don’t you just love giving gifts with all the excitement you feel getting something so perfect for them and when you see their joy of receiving it? Well I get to enjoy this through all my wonderful customers. On the creation side of making jewelry I am always trying to learn new skills. Working with metal has been so much fun and the most rewarding.
My clay table. I do all my clay work on this old workbench.
shelves for greenware & bisque
My little painting area… (thank goodness for folding tables)
Fold away card table. Perfect glazing table (and for paintings too)
My beading space, with my magnifier light. Everything’s within reach.
My front yard…lots of my inspirations are found here (especially in the summer).
I’ve been doing ceramics as a hobby off & on, for over 20 years. Basically, I’ve only sold enough to buy my equipment & supplies.
Just last year my husband put up a wall in the garage, and a furnace on my side of it, so I can have an actual studio!
I tend to make a lot of one-of-a-kind pieces. Although I started doing ceramics from store-bought greenware (& I do have some moulds,) I rarely use them anymore, preferring to build my own pieces from a lump of clay.
My favourite thing to do is painting (& glazing.) I love to work with bright colours and shiny finishes.
I have a family & day job, that keep me busy too, but now that my kids are young adults, I have more time for painting, or making jewelry, or working with clay.
Since I started my etsy shop (Nov 08) I’ve spent a lot of time on the computer, learning to edit photos, blog, twitter, facebook…etc.
There’s always so much to learn, and try. I never get bored.
There are so many talented artists out there creating beautiful, functional works of art from re-purposed and recycled materials. One of my favorite trends right now is the application of old re-purposed barn wood into projects like the ones shown in this post.
The handmade owl rack shown above is available at HappyAcresArtworks. It is made from re-purposed barn wood and has been hand painted to give a natural, worn-in look. The artist from HappyAcresArtworks was raised on a 150 acre dairy farm in rural Chester County Pennsylvania and credits her upbringing for her desire to take inspiration from nature in her work. Use this owl rack to organize and hang your treasures in any room. The color scheme of her items are especially well-suited for a nursery or young child’s room.
TrueConnection is another wonderful shop specializing in one of a kind pieces made from reclaimed wood. From their wedding decor to their home decor, each piece is beautifully crafted and has it’s own unique character. The wood used for the items at TrueConnection comes natural with nail holes, knots, and a natural wood grain variation. The farm house entry table shown above is rustic and charming. Use it to keep your shoes off of the floor and out of the doorway and to keep your everyday items like keys, mail, or even your umbrella neatly placed at your home’s entry for easy access.
Last but not least, check out this simple, adorable earring holder from ParadiseHillDesigns. Keep your earrings neatly and artfully organized with this rustic, yet refined handmade frame. The weathered pine used to create this piece was gathered from the side of an old cabin and has been carefully sanded, but otherwise has its natural beauty shining through. The interesting character of each piece of wood is what makes projects like these so beautiful. The artists at ParadiseHillDesigns create many other earth friendly products such as picture frames, decorative boxes, home decor, desk accessories, and more.
Have an item that you created from reclaimed wood?
We’d love to see it! Link to your projects in the comments.
Allison Taylor’s story as a crafter begins in a familiar way: she first learned to crochet at her grandmother’s knee at the tender age of six.
Despite her grandmother’s considerable skill as a fiber artist, not to mention her infinite patience, crocheting didn’t quite stick with Allison that first time around. Six year olds aren’t famous for their attention spans, so it’s not really that surprising!
It wasn’t until much later when Allison was a college student that she picked up crochet hooks and some yarn again. Although she had never gotten into the knitting, crocheting, sewing, and other fiber arts that her grandmother had mastered, Allison had always admired her grandmother’s talent and skill with needles, yarn, and fabric.
When her grandmother became ill and was no longer physically able to craft, due to side effects of a stroke, Allison was inspired once again to take up the craft she had not been able to master as a little girl.
She made her grandmother a blanket, to show her how much she appreciated her, and how impressed she had always been with her fiber skills. Blankets are still Allison’s favorite thing to make, and friends and family can count on one for a gift whenever there’s a wedding or baby on the way.
Allison was “hooked” on crochet from then on, and turned her hobby into a side business with her Etsy shop that opened in 2008. Although she has a day job unrelated to crafting, it in no way diminishes her fierce love for making.
The best part for Allison is having strangers own something she made with her own hands: “It’s a way of sharing something tangible with people across long spaces, which is so rare,” she says. “It’s really exciting and touching, and I never get over it.”
She also feels a connection to her grandmother every time she picks up her crochet hook, another feeling many crafters can relate to. The emotional connection associated with creating and sharing handmade goods is probably one of the big reasons handmade is so popular these days.
The most popular item in Allison’s shop is the best friends beanie, which also happens to be her favorite thing to make for the shop! Customers also respond well to her continuum scarves and continuum collars, with their unusual shape.
Like most of her creations, Allison let the continuum scarf emerge on its own, without too much planning ahead from her. Her general technique is to pick up her crochet hook and yarn, and experiment with different stitches until something she loves emerges.
You can find Allison’s crocheted gems in her online shop. If you see something you like but are fixated on a certain color, don’t worry because Allison loves to do custom work!
Tish Maguire of Artish has no pets, which is understandable when you learn she has two girls, Poppy and Daisy, four and two respectively. Plus! By not having pets, she eliminates a whole aisle at the supermarket! Tish and her husband, Nigel, live in Hunter Valley, in New South Wales, Australia.
Tish traveled around a fair bit growing up; living in Papua New Guinea, the USA, and London, and visiting lots of other places. She lives in the country, about an hour or two north of Sydney. She likes being close to the vineyards and the mountains, not far from a myriad of beautiful beaches, and close to the city.
When/how/why did you start crocheting?
My mother taught me to crochet (and knit) a long time ago – but I didn’t ever really do anything with it for quite a while. My mother and I now live in different countries – so when I became interested in fiber again, I bought a book to refresh my memory. I’ve been making scarves and beanies randomly over the last 10 years, but mostly just for myself to wear – because I could never find what I wanted in shops, and because I like fashion to be personal, not mass produced. Then friends and family started asking me to make things for them, and I started giving my creations as gifts because the house was getting too crowded.
Aside from these reasons, I also had two babies, and needed something that was indoor-friendly and didn’t need to be put too far out of reach of little hands.
How do you figure out the color combinations?
My process is fairly random, and often accidental. When I do have a plan, it usually starts with an idea that requires hunting for the right fiber to create it. But most of the time I start with one ball of yarn that I love and then add colours or textures that just look or feel ‘right’ to me. If I find I can’t create anything and have Knitters Block, I will generally start with two yarns that I think DON’T go together, and I’m often pleasantly surprised by the results.
Where do you find your yarn?
My yarn comes from everywhere! Local shops, on the internet, on Etsy, from friends (I’ve even recently been offered the wool from a friend who has become the owner of a sheep!), and from re-purposed items that I unravel and reuse. I love the internet, and could (in fact, I probably do!) spend hours on there browsing yarn stores.
Do you have a favorite kind of yarn?
Not really. They each have their pros and cons. And it varies from season to season, and it depends on what I want to use it for.
Is this your day job or your side job?
This is my day job now. It started off as a hobby since I have two girls aged 2 and 4, who keep me very busy. It’s now become quite consuming, and is fast on it’s way to being a full time job.
Do you do other kinds of arts/crafts?
My first loves are painting and drawing. I found it difficult to paint when my girls were born, so I started turning to other creative things that I could do indoors, and could leave out without it being a hazard for the girls. Now it seems to have taken over, but I would like to get back to my art one day. I also love to sew, take photos, and play around with web design.
What is your best selling item?
Scarves are absolutely the best sellers. They are so versatile, and appeal to women, men, and children. After scarves, I’d have to say that wrist warmers are the biggest sellers.
Do you have a workspace or workroom? What does it look like?
I have a workroom. It is not ideal! It’s too dark and too small. It consists of some lovely square pigeon-hole-type shelving for my wool, and a desk where my sewing machine and other various bits and bobs live. I also have some shelves and big rectangular tubs for storage of completed and abandoned
projects. My scarves all hang on racks. Every now and then I am inspired to give it a thorough Spring Clean…. then it slowly ends up in chaos again as I create things!