Thursday, September 17, 2009

Featuring Fab Finds For You

G'day mate!

Okay, do they really say that in Australia? I don't know, but maybe today's first Feature Artist can answer that questions! Sam(antha) is from Down Under aka Australia and makes one of my most favorite things! Pretend Food! It's even better than that! It's made from FELT!

I don't know what it is about felt food but I love it. It makes me happy. warm. fuzzy. My son would really have a hay day with it because he puts everything in his mouth and with this being food....I'm thinking it would be okay! Criky!

Okay, I'm done with the Australian 'lingo' which I don't know how to use correctly. Please fast forward....

Name: Samantha (Sam) McLean

Location: I'm in beautiful Sydney, Australia

Shop name:
Sam McLean Designs:

Facebook: as Samantha McLean,

Etsy groups: DUST (Down Under Street Team) and Etsy Artists Lounge

What is your craft?
My background is in costume design and dressmaking so I have 2 shops on Etsy, one for felt food toys and one for handmade retro-inspired clothing.

How did you start doing what you do?
I began costume design and dressmaking for my dolls as a child. The felt foods came to be after I made some sets for my nieces a few Christmases ago and they loved them so much that I designed some more pieces and they found their way into the Etsy shop.

What part of your work do you most enjoy?
I love the inspiration and the design process especially. I love looking at a 3-d shape and figuring out what shapes I need to cut from the felt to replicate it. I love researching and finding the right felt colors to make the foods too.

What part of your work do you find the hardest?
I think I find making lots of the same thing the hardest, like for a market or if I'm stockpiling items for a rush. I do suffer from RSI so fiddly work takes a toll also.

Where do you get/find your inspiration?
Inspiration comes from exotic recipe books, little patisseries, home-cooked dinners and just general shopping in the supermarket. My children often suggest new ideas for felt foods to me and love seeing their suggestions materialize.

What are the three most favorite items in your store right now?
My favorite items in the felt food shop are:

What is the best advice you have received?

The best advice I have had in regard to Etsy is to keep it fresh - keep creating and listing, especially during slow times. I aim to list or re-list each day to keep in the first few pages of searches. Customer service is a top priority too. Make an effort to have great products, be accomodating, prompt and courteous and watch those customers come back again and again!


Next up we have a lovely collection of jewlery made by Lola {LOVE that name} creator behind

Little Earrings

I love the delicate nature of her earrings and the beautiful colors. And they are priced so reasonably! I can't wait to see more of her wired wrapped earrings!

Name: Lola Cordova

Location: New Mexico, USA

Etsy Address: Little Earrings -

Facebook, Twitter, etc: I need to catch up with all this web stuff

What Etsy teams do you beong to? None

What is your craft?
My craft is silversmithing, but my store currently only features earrings. I want to expand to include my wire wrapped rings (which I LOVE making) and more of my silver wire wrapped earring designs.

How did you start doing what you do?
Around 4 years ago I took my first silver course at the University. I have taken several other courses and many courses outside school to expand on my knowledge, learn new techniques, to have fun. That's the best part of what I do. I get to shop for findings, silver, and beads, then I get to put it all together - it's my break from the real world.

What part of your work do you most enjoy?
I enjoy when something comes out "just right" and as planned. I also like combining colors. I must also admit I like when I get unsolicited compliments when I wear my own creations.

What part of your work do you find the hardest?
Finding time for silver soldering. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to do much of this because I have a 2 year old little girl who wants to "help" and it's just not safe around the fire and chemicals. I've been able to do a few items to submit to local galleries, but I wait for the day when I have an entire weekend to myself and my torch.

Where do you get/find your inspiration?
I find other Etsians very inspiring. I love looking at other people's creations and it makes me want to pull out all my supplies. I also love reading books and magazines, and I like to look to nature for some of my silver pieces.

What are the three most favorite items in your store right now?

Peruvian opals are some of my favs

I personally love cluster type earrings (these are also available in pink)

My husband is Irish, and these are inspired by him

What is the best advice you have received?
My husband is my biggest supporter, and it's not necessarily that he gives me advice, but he lends an ear and will always give an honest opinion. Oh, and advice I've never received but I want to give is: it's OK to take a break. For me, it's not about sales, it's about working on something I truly enjoy.

Thanks for stopping by and we'll see you in 'two and two'.... {name that show}

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