Saturday, November 29, 2008

Featuring: StrangeChild

Who are you?

I am Jenn. :) I am a graduate of Hampshire College (F93), who settled in the Pioneer Valley instead of going back to NJ. I live in Easthampton with my husband, our dog and my two bearded dragons. By day I am a webmaster for an internet retailer. What is your store name & why did you chose it?

Well, I've got a number of projects running under the name Strange Child Productions, so my Etsy ID is StrangeChild. I created that before I had a store. However as my sculpture line began to take shape, I realized it needed something that described my products. Bright Eyed Creatures came to me as I was driving to work one day.

What do you make?

Currently I make Sun Dragons, Moon Dragons, Imps and a small assortment of jewelry. (My shop also carries a friend's bead spiders, but I cannot take credit for anything by the photography.) All of my creatures are made of polymer clay, and I use a technique called millefiori to give them patterned hide and scales.
Quick description of my creatures:
* Sun Dragons have eyes that light up in the sun.
* Moon Dragons glow in the dark.
* Imps come in a variety of shapes and sizes.

Most of my jewelry is made of leftover bits of millefiori cane that is too cool to put in the junk pile.

How long have you been making it?

I have been making Sun Dragons and jewelry for about 4 years. The Moon Dragons and Imps have only been around for a year of so.

What is your favorite piece and why?

I use images of this guy for my business card. He just looks SOOOOO happy. Unfortunately he's currently in my OOPS section because he took a bump to the head, but he's still awesome.
(Pic below)

What do you love about Western Ma?

I can see and hear cows from my living room window but I only have to drive 15 minutes for fabulous sushi. Plus I can see stars at night -something I never stop taking it for granted. But besides that I feel at home here. I am more likely to meet people I have something in common with during an afternoon in Northampton than I will if I spend a week in NJ. Going to Jersey is only "going home" because my family is there.

Is there any place other then Etsy we can find your work?

Yuppers! I am on...Flickr, DeviantArt, Facebook, and my personal website.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Upcoming Fairs

On Saturday December 6th there are going to be a TON of craft fairs! So, if there is only one day you plan on hitting them THIS IS THE DAY! I personally will be doing my very first craft fair at the JFK Middle School in Northampton on Bridge Street. It is from 9am-3pm. I have no clue what to expect and need to start getting my inventory up!!!

There is also going to be an event that several of our crafters will be at the Bizarrest Little Snowflake Bazaar. For more info please check out: Its from 10am-4pm and is located at: 121 North Pleasant Street, Amherst.

Hope you can join us!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

From everyone here, we wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


Made it into a Treasury! YAY!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Featuring: TruKenCrafts

Who are you?
I’m Ken Gullotti and I live in Springfield, Massachusetts. My shop is called TruKenCrafts.

I should probably tell you where the name came from. Years ago, I moved into an apartment in a house owned by my parents (long story, I’ll try to keep it short) – Well, up in the attic, I found an old Kenmore sewing machine, with lots of attachments and even the user manual! So, I oiled it up, and to see if it worked I started making throw pillows out of scraps of fabric that my mother gave me.

Then I found out that my friend Trudy, who is an exceptional sewist and makes beautiful quilts, loved to teach sewing and quilting. Some time went by and Trudy and I started to get together on a regular basis to create fabric crafts and it was she who taught me the basics (and more) of quilting. I fell in love with making all kinds of fabric items from full size quilts and table runners to banners for church and just about anything I could do with a sewing machine!

In that first year together, in addition to making gift items for my family – birthdays, holidays, anniversaries, etc. – Trudy and I decided that we could have fun by creating an inventory that we could actually sell at craft fairs! And so, when we enjoyed our first craft fair back in 1996, we decided that our little sales adventure needed a name, and TruKenCrafts was born.

What do you make?

Over the next few years, under Trudy’s guidance, I “quilted up a storm” and made bed quilts for just about everyone in my family. The picture at right is a 78” X 78” quilt inspired by the book “Quilts that Sizzle” by Margaret J. Miller. I call it “Snazzle” and it was on display at a Quilters’ Connection show in Arlington Massachusetts in 2002.

Although Trudy isn’t contributing to my Etsy shop at the moment, I hope she will someday soon. When I set up the shop, I configured it as a “collective” (under Etsy Guidelines) so that her beautiful creations will also be for sale at some point.

If you look at my shop, you’ll see what I call an eclectic display of my wares. I just love to create and so you’ll see many of my fabric items and even some crocheted dishcloths (yes I crochet too – many of my family and friends have my afghans across the backs of their sofas!).

But it’s my soaps that have given me the most fun in the past year or so.

How long have you been making it?
I started making soap shortly after I moved to Springfield in 2002. Realizing that I was having many weekend houseguests from my old hometown, and never having had a guest bedroom before, I decided that it would be nice to provide my friends with their own “specialty soap.” Usually it was something that I bought at craft fairs or gift shops. One day, I was doing some websearching and found a site that had a tutorial on soapmaking. I was enthralled by cold process, hot process and even melt and pour. And my creative process started to go crazy!

I started making guest sized soaps with different ingredients that I thought people would like and ended up making enough for my family and I to use, too! I discovered that home made soap does some really great things for this guy’s 50-plus year old skin!

I started making guest sized soaps with different ingredients that I thought people would like and ended up making enough for my family and I to use, too! I discovered that home made soap does some really great things for this guy’s 50-plus year old skin!

And so for that first Christmas, I made up gift baskets for family and friends. I wanted to share what it feels like to wash with “non-commercial” soap, and I must say that my friends and family loved the idea. It was really with their encouragement that I started my Etsy shop in the first place, and so I kept making soap in lots of shapes with several different recipes that I liked. I have to say that I’ve personally “tested” every type of soap in my Etsy store and won’t sell what I don’t like. My women friends love the molded cameo soaps in light fragrances. But it’s my future daughter-in-law who got me into making soap with patchouli and experimenting with multiple fragrances in one recipe.

My “Patchouli Wake-Up Call” soap has been very popular so far and I’m glad I took CJ’s advice on that one.
What is your favorite piece and why?

You know, I’m probably no different than any other crafter in the “my favorites” department. It seems that whatever I’m working on at the time becomes my favorite piece – until I start working on the next one. When I’m in my sewing/craft room, I can make the world disappear. When I’m working on something new, all the troubles in the world are someplace else and I don’t have to think about anything but what I’m working on. And that’s a great feeling. I liken it to being on vacation when you don’t have to think about the activities of day to day life. My “crafting” becomes a passion where I can escape into my own joy of creating. I don’t think I’m unusual in that respect, either. I know other crafters who feel exactly the same. It’s great. And if I can provide someone with something pretty, or something that smells nice and feels good, then that’s even better, don’t you think?

What do you love about Western MA?

Because my “day job” takes me all over the state, when I was looking to buy a house, location wasn’t important. Being a visitor to Western Massachusetts for many years of fall foliage and trips through the small towns in the Berkshires, I focused on this beautiful part of the state and found my dream house here in Springfield. I love the fact that in just a few minutes I can bring my favorite book and drive to a spot where I can sit and wallow in a beautiful vista that just takes my breath away. Although Springfield gives me everything I need in a “big city” it’s so nice to be able to whisk away to the country or the mountains in no time at all. For me, it’s the best of all worlds.

Is there any place other than Etsy we can find your work?

At the moment, Etsy is my only “permanent” venue for sales of my crafts. I have a small catalog that I distribute to friends and I do the occasional craft fair here and there. Unfortunately my “day job” keeps me busy on weekends, and we all know that the most popular craft fairs and shows are on weekends, so unless I’m on vacation, that’s not in the cards at this time. Someday that will change.

For me, right now my crafting is “part time” and that’s ok. I look forward to the day when I can retire from my other work and spend all my time crafting. That would be the best!

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Keep checking back!

B/c again we have another treasury! Remember to search "WMASS TEAM" on Etsy!!!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Another team treasury!

Make sure you check it out! You can do so by clicking here.

Also, here are some other items, not on there:

Check them out!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Additional Dates...

I will continue to post upcoming dates of when our team is out & about. Here are some more that just got emailed to me:

Moon & Sundries-9/7-
9/7- SOWA South End Open Market, Boston MA, 10am- 4pm
9/13- PICNIC Music & Arts Festival, Portland ME, 11am- 6pm
9/14- SOWA South End Open Market, Boston MA, 10am- 4pm
9/21- stART On The Street, Worcester MA, 11am- 5pm
10/5- SOWA South End Open Market, Boston MA 10am-4pm
10/19- SOWA South End Open Market, Boston MA 10am- 4pm

Don't forget about our other team mebers who posted a couple blogs down.
Also remember to search "wmass team" on Etsy!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

We Have a team treasury!

If you'd like to check it please click here.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Featuring Jansjems!

Our featured Western Ma crafter is Jansjems! If you haven't taken a moment to stop by and check out her work, you should! She makes amzing jewelry that has so much attention to detail. She has pieces for every day and for that specail occasion!

Who are you? "I’m Jan Bajgier, I live in So. Deerfield, and my shop is called Jansjems."

What do you make? "I design and create jewelry primarily using genuine gemstones and precious metals. I create jewelry that I would like to wear but can’t find anywhere else. I prefer to make necklaces over anything else and it’s not unusual for me to start making a bracelet and have it become a necklace. My jewelry tends to create itself. And the jewelry in my shop is pretty eclectic partly because my ideas just come from everywhere and partly because my daughters also submit pieces when they can. We have everything from pearls to steampunk in long and short lengths."

How long have you been making it? "I’ve always had an interest in gemstones. I took some classes, read alot and eventually started buying faceted gemstones--some just to have in mycollection, some I actually had set into jewelry. This evolved, with a little encouragement from my daughters, into purchasing gemstone beads and creating our own jewelry. That was probably around 15 years ago. But it wasn’t until 2 years ago that my oldest daughter discovered Etsy and thought it would be a good idea to try to sell our jewelry. We opened our shop in February, 2007. Etsy turned out to be a perfect place to start a small business. It’s user friendly, inexpensive, and provides us with a community where we can ask questions and from whom we can learn."

What is your favorite piece and why? "That’s like asking me which of my children I like best. Each piece is my favorite at the time I’m creating it. My cluster necklaces are the most fun to make—large clusters, small pendant clusters and now charm clustered bracelets. I start with a pile of beads and add and subtract colors, shapes and textures until the pile is balanced and visually pleasing. Then I play with them until a design evolves. Some end up being very symmetrical and neat and others are more like modern art."

What do you love about Western Ma? "Western Mass. is eclectic, diverse, and encourages the arts. There’s always something to do—theater, arts and craft events, and every kind of music. And there are so many cultures are represented."

Is there any place other then Etsy we can find your work? "We have a few pieces on Mintd. But other than that you can see our work at several local craft events and markets this fall. I'll be at the Berkshire Open Market on Rt 7 in Lenox on Aug. 30, Oct. 11 & 25 and Dec. 13, stART on the Street on Park Ave. in Worcester on Sept 21, Roseland Cottage Craft Fair in Woodstock, Ct on Oct. 18 & 19, Shepherd Hill H.S. in Dudley on Nov. 22, and at the Heirloom Artisan Expo Holiday Show at the Tri-County Regional High School in Franklin, MA on Nov. 30 (this is run by some Etsy crafters)."

Friday, August 22, 2008

Upcoming Fairs

I have great news! Many of our members will be vendors in the TWIST fair at the Northampton Center for the Arts Sept. 5-7th. For all info on this fair please go to:

Please make sure to stop by and say hello to them!

Jansjems- she will be out at the Berkshire Open Market on Rt 7 in Lenox on Aug 30, Oct. 11 & 25 and Dec. 13. She'll be at stART on the Street on Park Ave. in Worcester on Sept 21, Roseland Cottage Craft Fair in Woodstock, Ct on Oct. 18 & 19, Shepherd Hill H.S. in Dudley on Nov. 22, and at the Heirloom Artisan Expo Holiday Show at the Tri-County Regional High School in Franklin, MA on Nov. 30.

Oakandacorn- Will be at the Garlic & Arts Festival Sept. 20 & 21st. It will be at Forsters Farm, 60 Chestnut Hill Road, Orange, Massachusetts.
For more info:

Majenta Designs- will be doing the following shows:
9/6/08 @ 3-7pm: Rock n' Roll Yard Sale in Somerville, MA
9/21/08 @ 11-5pm: StART on the Street Fair in Worcester, MA
9/27/08 @ 10-4pm: Faire on the Square in Watertown, MA

Lee Lee's Faux Cakes- we will be in The Original Wedding Expo in Marlborough, Ma on September 7, 2008, Booth #124. Brides and Grooms to be and their guests can go to our Etsy shop ... copy and paste the link they can down load a two for one pass to the Expo !!!

Check back as I will be posting all of our fairs we will be attending!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Welcome to the Western MA Street Team. Here I will do my best to show the best of the best in Western MA. Here are some items listed by our team that I think are great:

Make sure to check out everyone's shop. I think each and every seller has a unique style that turns out great products! I am proud to be a part of this team.