Friday, January 30, 2009

A Little Frivolity in the Squawk Box

If you were not around last evening, you really missed all the Frivolity. Sharon, Laura and myself were in the Squawk Box last night. For those of you that do not know what the Squawk Box is, it is the chat feature in our Private Community! I have dubbed it the Squawk Box because I am sure that is what it sounded like last night......a bunch of squawking girls, giggling and having a good time. The next time you sign in to the Inspiration Avenue Community, make sure to look down on the right, all the way towards the bottom and see if anyone is chatting. It is a lot of fun and you don't have to stay and talk forever, (I know we are all busy in our lives) but just pop in to say hello to any fellow team members that may be online. You never know when you might brighten someone's day with a laugh or two :)


Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Our Own Community

Hi Everyone! In follow up to my comment on yesterday's posting I thought we could talk about the idea of setting up a Ning community. Ning is the company behind community sites such as Marmalade Pink and We Love Etsy, just to name a few. Through Ning I have the ability to set up a private team community where we can log in, create our own profile pages and communicate with each other.

The advantages to having a team community is that we would be able to log in at our convenience and communicate with each other about team issues. The community would be private and by invitation only so that only team members can view the pages. This would allow us to conduct team business, such as voting for new members, on a more frequent basis rather than waiting to discuss these issues once a month at a team chat. With out busy schedules and the difference in time zones I thought it would be a great way for all of us to stay involved and still fit within our busy schedules. booyah! ;-)

Let me know if this is something you're interested in having for our community by leaving a comment and we can move forward from there. Hope you're all having a wonderful week!

(and no, I'm not the pretty blond in the image... that would be LuLu) ;-)

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

A Star in Our Midst

Does this creation look familiar? It's the handy work of Catherine, one of our talented team members . Catherine of LaPerle and Coral Seas struck star status today with the news that her creation made the cover of the Spring issue of Step by Step Wire Jewelry magazine.

Never having submitted her work, a while back Catherine took the plunge and sent a photo of one of her creations to Vintaj who immediately included her work in their gallery. In follow up Vintaj sent her the contact information for several publications and encouraged Catherine to submit some of her beautiful pieces. Catherine followed up with a submission to Step by Step Wire Jewelry magazine who was immediately impressed with her gorgeous work. It's no surprise then that this talented artist is now featured on the cover of a national publication with her first magazine submission.

I'm sure I speak for all of us when I say how immensely proud we are of Catherine and this incredible milestone. I can't think of more deserving artist and friend. You were already a star in my book Catherine and we are so proud to share you with the rest of the world.

So a very huge team CONGRATULATIONS to Catherine for her exquisite creations and this huge accomplishment! To purchase a copy of the magazine click here.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Team Blog Badges

If you are a member of Inspiration Avenue Etsy Team, please feel free to post one of our badges on your blog. There are two to choose from.

Simply click on the image you wish to use and copy it to your computer. Then visit your blog and click on the "Customize" feature. From there you can click on "Add A Gadget" and select photo. Name your badge, insert a link to our team blog and upload the image from your computer.

Whalah!! You now have an Inspiration Avenue Etsy Team blog badge on your blog. Thanks so much for helping to support our team!!

Moving Forward

Hi Everyone! It's been a little while since we had our last posting so I thought I would break the ice and give you all an update. Although I'm continuing to send messages to Etsy regarding our team status I still haven't heard back from them. I have noticed when checking the Etsy teams page that the list of teams has grown quiet a bit over the past few weeks so I imagine they have been inundated with requests.

To keep up our team spirit up I thought we could go ahead and post our badges. So below are three badges we use to post or paste on our blogs, websites, telephone polls, whatever strikes our fancy. ;-)

I also wanted to talk about our team keyword for our listings, otherwise known as a "tag" in Etsy terms. In order for others to find our shops under our team title and to help increase the benefits of promoting our shops under our team, we will need to include a team tag when listing new items. Based on the rules we need to include the word "team" along with an abbreviation of our team name. Since our name is longer than the maximum 18 characters I would like to suggest "iaeteam" for Inspiration Avenue Etsy Team. Our tag needs to be unique so including the three first letters pretty well ensures we won't be duplicating another teams tag. I also tried to keep it simple to reduce the chances for typos. We can share our thoughts about this tag by leaving a comment or if anyone thinks of an alternative we would all be comfortable using.

So here's to another update about our team and a "woohoo!" for team spirit while we paaatiently wait for our official approval.

Hope you're all having a wonderful beginning to the new week!

Our team badges:

Thursday, January 22, 2009

A Little Team Update

Hi Everyone! I thought I would update you on the status of our little team. With the "5 - 7 business days" having come and gone and still no word from Etsy on our team status, I sent out an email inquiry to them yesterday. I haven't heard back from them yet but will follow up with another message every other day until we hear something (can we say perseverance?!?). ;-) I know we're all anxious to get going with our team and the poor blog badges have been accumulating cyber dust, so hopefully our spirits won't wain and we can finally "officially" begin our journey together as a team!

While visiting the Etsy team pages I learned a few things which I'd like to pass on to you. First is the chat forum where we will be attending our monthly meetings. It takes a week to schedule a slot so start thinking about a day and time that might work for you and let me know in your comments so that once we're official I can schedule our first chat meeting. ;-)

The next item for thought is whether to open a team shop. If you're interested you can read more about it here. The essence is that we would all share an Etsy shop where we can post some of our creations and sell them. The advantages are that we can raise money together through team shop sales that can then be used for things like advertising if we wish to promote our team on a website such as Craftcult (previously known as Mohaba), Wickedly Chic or any other online communities. We would all share a login and password for the shop and the shop sales would be tied to one PayPal account. We would need to work out all the details to be sure it's something we would all like and feel comfortable with. One thing to keep in mind is the wealth of free promoting we can accomplish just through our own efforts such a Treasuries and blog postings so give it some thought and we can discuss it further at our first chat meeting.

That's it from me for today except to let you know that the moment I hear from Etsy, you will all be the first to know - that's a promise dear teammates!♥

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Meet and Greet - Mana Moon Studios

It is truly my pleasure to introduce the beautiful and fabulously talented Sharon of Mana Moon Studios. This woman is nothing less than one of the most giving souls that I have ever met. I actually met Sharon through Sherry’s Blog not too long ago and just like Sherry, I feel as if I have known her forever. I can’t tell you how many times she’s taken the time out of her day to help me with questions I have had about a little of this and that.

Being a part of the Indie culture, Sharon and her husband Damein (lovingly referred to as “D”, everyone wave to D please!) are the artisans behind Mana Moon Studios. Sharon shares her talents with others through her incredible original woven wire beaded bracelets, key holders and mixing fibers with a variety of other materials to create beautiful necklaces and earrings. Damein shares his talents with other through his wonderful chain maille bracelets. Sharon has been featured in Belle Armoire Jewelry Magazine and has also been featured on both Vintaj and Cuteable Blogs. Sharon and Damien also have their own website and you can see where else to find these lovely creations by clicking here. I am getting good at inserting links!

The colors that Sharon uses in her designs are so varied and beautiful….some very soft and others are very brilliant so there is something to suit everyone with the variety that Sharon has to offer. I personally own two of her bracelets, one pair of earrings and one key holder and I can tell you first hand that her work is gallery quality and full of fabulosity.

Last but not least, if you look up the words love, kindness and generosity in the dictionary, there you will find a picture of Sharon. I am so blessed to call her my friend.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Meet and Greet - Laura Lee's Tasty Treats

Hi Everyone! Today isn't my honor neigh my privilege to introduce you to the illustrious Laura of Laura Lee's Tasty Treats and Any Occasion Boutique. Ah.. where to begin... (stop snickering Laura)... Laura has by far one of the best sense of humors I have ever had the privilege of knowing. She is a side splitting, rip roaring delight of a person who I have the honor of calling friend as well but beyond Laura's delightful whit and charm is an amazingly talented woman.

Laura started her journey on Etsy with her card shop, Any Occasion Boutique. I've had the honor of ordering many of her fabulous cards as well as a slew of custom orders. Laura creates all of my fabulous business related greeting cards and moon tags, all by hand, for which I have received countless compliments from customers and friends alike. The intricate details to attention are everywhere in her work and her devotion, hard work motto, and dedication to customer service show through in every project she approaches.

Laura's talents don't stop with paper creations as she also happens to be an innately gifted baker. Laura's second shop Laura Lee's Tasty Treats offers a selection of homemade freshly baked to order treats and sweets that are absolutely mouth watering. She's even recently added her "U Bake Chocolate Chip Cookies" where customers can purchase the ingredients to make her delicious treats fresh in their own kitchen. I have had the immense pleasure of devouring her delectable treats and they're a huge hit among every member of our family. The best way to describe Laura's treats is to imagine the shrill of my 13 year old son ringing through the house every time a delivery arrives from this talented baker.

I'm delighted that Laura is a part of our team as her whit and humor, her sincerity and honesty of character and her immensely huge heart are all aspects we will appreciate as we move forward toward our successful future together. Oh and check out her blog, she's having an awesome giveaway right now. ;-)

Monday, January 19, 2009

Meet and Greet - Esprit D'Art

Today it is my pleasure to introduce to you the lovely (and not to mention uber talented) Sherry from Esprit D'Art. Sherry is actually one of the first people I "clicked" with on Etsy and Etsy Cottage Style. She is my very dear friend that shares my love of British Comedy and she truly holds a special place in my heart.

Sherry is a mixed media and altered image artist that has a love for all things vintage, shabby chic, English and French cottage style. When I wander into Sherry's Etsy Shoppe, I always think of the words beauty, sweet, love, romantic, soft, grace and unique. Sherry creates the most lovely altered art collages on her one of a kind cards, tags and charms. Her cards are even suitable for framing which is what I am doing with the card pictured aside this paragraph that I purchased from Sherry. How wonderful will this look matted and framed? Perfect :)

I love this tiny collage Sherry created and inserted into this small frame and created a charm out of it. This would look just fabulous on a chain. What a special way to create miniature works of art to be enjoyed and worn as a necklace. The detail that Sherry puts in these tiny collages is just amazing.

Not only is Sherry a mixed media and altered image artist, she is also an extremely talented writer filled with inspiration for others. There is no way to describe her style of writing other than to say she writes from her heart with much love, grace and such eloquence.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Our First Treasury

We interrupt our regularly schedule "Meet and Greet" for a special announcement...

Our resident angel Angie of Artangel has created our first team Treasury on Etsy!! To view this fabulous Treasury click here. Angie did a wonderful job of making seven team members fit into twelve spaces - thanks dear Angie, it's absolutely fabulous!! I'd say you have definitely earned those wings in our banner!♥

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Meet and Greet - Coral Seas

Hi Everyone! I'm a little late with this entry but now have the honor of introducing the lovely and talented Catherine of Coral Seas. Catherine is my dearest friend and the owner of two Etsy shops, Coral Seas and La Perle Jewellery. During this past summer Catherine opened her second Etsy shop, Coral Seas, to offer a more contemporary yet equally elegant selection of handmade jewelry.

I've searched for words to describe Catherine's work and yet continually fall short. Honestly, how do you describe perfection and grace. Each time I visit Catherine's shop I'm immediately taken by the beauty of her creations. She inspires me to reach beyond my comfort zone and experiment with luscious colors, textures and designs. In an instant, upon viewing her creations, you'll experience this same appreciation for her work. Notice the tiny details of swirls at the ends and the intricate wire wrappings around faceted gem stones.

Now I know Catherine doesn't take well to praises and a truer statement was never made than "we are our own worse critics". Yet the numerous magazines who've contacted Catherine to publish her work; that she's been featured on the Vintag blog; the fact that upon submitting her first photograph to Vintaj Catherine's work was added to their gallery of artists and she was immediately referred to three other magazines requesting she submit; these all speak volumes about the innate talent that lay in the hands and creative mind of this incredible artist.

The truth is I could probably write a book about Catherine, I know her so well. She's a rare gem in this world and has brought more joy to my life than she can ever begin to imagine. Always gracious and caring, she fills her jewellery creations with the same beauty and charm so evident in her character.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Meet and Greet - Coastal Sisters

Hi everyone! With our latest "Meet and Greet" it's time to introduce the lovely and talented LuLu of Coastal Sisters. LuLu also happens to be my co-conspirator behind our fabulous Inspiration Avenue Etsy Team and the creator of our wonderful team name!

I've only known LuLu for a short while yet there's a sense of timelessness to our friendship. For anyone who meets LuLu is immediately taken by her charm and grace. This talented artist, with her endearing personality, possesses a genuine quality which flows through all of her work.

LuLu and her sister Lisa are the artisans behind Coastal Sisters. Sharing a life long dream of creative expression and a love for coastline influences, they infuse this energy into their art work.

Visiting LuLu's Etsy shop and scrolling through her one-of-a-kind creations you're immediately struck by the pure charm and beauty of each piece. LuLu specializes in amazingly realistic faux dessert creations. Yet LuLu's delicious decor is only one part of her exquisite collection. Nestled within her shop is an elegant assortment of handmade jewelry featuring vintage finds, natural gem stones and precious metals.

I'm honestly at a loss for how to describe this wonderfully talented artist and her beautiful creations. Suffice to say LuLu not only creates beautiful treasures but is a treasure of a person herself.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Meet and Greet - Artangel

Hi everyone! With yesterday's success we're on to our next "Meet and Greet" with Angie of Artangel. I first came across Angie's work through her Flickr profile and it was love at first sight. Something about her paintings immediately captured my spirit and drew me in. Was it the soft colors and textures she used throughout each painting? Or the gentle graceful lines which brought each piece to life? I really wasn't sure. What I did know is that one day I would have to own one of her gorgeous works of art.

There's a sense of peace in her work, as though you're viewing a magical world through a lightly misted window. Each stroke is apparent and yet you're caught up in the entire presentation of her work. It's no surprise then that Angie's beautiful paintings have been exhibited at several UK locations nor is it a surprise that this talented UK artist had an international following.

Proudly I'm one of her collectors and find each day I am more in love with Angie's two beautiful paintings that hang on our walls. There's almost an eclectic mix to her work; from the folksy hearts collage style of "Caffe Latte Hearts" to the serene and magestic imagery of her "Buddha" painting. I have no doubt this talented artist will go far in her life and it's an honor to introduce her to our wonderful team!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Meet and Greet - Angie Kelly Designs

Hi everyone! I wasn't sure whether I should write our initial "Meet and Greet" or whether we should introduce ourselves in our own postings so I thought I would break the ice and write the first one about Angie of Angie Kelly Designs.

I've admired Angie's work since I first visited her shop. She's a remarkably talented (and surprisingly self taught) jewelry artist. I say surprising because I'm the proud owner of a pair of her gorgeous earrings and her work is perfection.

I loved recently reading her profile again and was reminded how she first got into jewelry designing - nothing better than a purpose driven start. ;-) Angie had broken a beloved necklace and was determined to fix it. What started out as a desire not loose something precious quickly turned into a passion and not surprisingly her coworkers gobbled up her new creations. Angie's work evolved over the four years she's been designing through numerous classes, research and in her own words "practice, practice, practice".

I'm sure you'll all agree with me that Angie's use of colors, textures and designs are absolutely exquisite. From her selection of materials such as crystals and natural gem stones to her use of colored metals, Angie has an innate talent in jewelry arts that makes this designer say "I've got to have those".

Monday, January 12, 2009

Busy Bee

Hi everyone! I've been a busy little bee today creating your shop blog badges which have started to appear in the ride column. Let me know if you want to make any changes and I'll be happy to do so. I simply went with your shop banners and used what was available so if you have other images you'd like me to use feel free to send them to me. If you need my email address just convo me and I'll be happy to send it to you. For those of you with two shops I created one just to get them up and will soon be creating a second.

I have the option of adding your email so you automatically receive any new postings for our blog. Let me know if you'd like me to add you by leaving it in your comment to this posting. It's a cool option for keeping up to date without having to check here all the time.

I'm also going to be starting a "Meet and Greet" series where we can write about the other team members as a way of introducing everyone to the other members of the team. I thought it would be nice to have one posting for each member and when new members join we can simply add a posting about them. It'll be a great way to get to know one another not to mention the fact that Etsy should be visiting our blog sometime soon during their approval process and it'll be nice exposure for our shops should they decide to linger and read a bit. ;-)

That's about it from me for now, hope you're all having a great start to a wonderful week.♥

PS. Like the snazzy signature? I'll gladly make one for each of you so you can "sign" your individual postings when you post on our blog. Just visit www. and choose a font you like. Then convo me the font name and I'll be happy to create one and send it to you. ;-)

Saturday, January 10, 2009


Welcome to the home of the Etsy Inspiration Avenue Team! I'm so thrilled with the concept of creating a new Etsy team with like minded friends who want to inspire and share their work through a positive, uplifting environment.

Before I go any further a very special thanks goes out to LuLu of Coastal Sisters for coming up with such a fabulous name for our team - thank you! I just love how it captures the essence of what I had in mind for this team. LuLu you're the best!

LuLu and I have also been working on a template for the blog and brainstorming on ideas for our banner so bare with us while we set things up.

The Team Statement is nearly completed and here's what we have so far...


Name: Etsy Inspiration Avenue Team

Region: global

Profile: An interest based team wherein we promote, share and encourage each other's creative work through a positive team environment utilizing the goals we set through our monthly team meetings.

Other goals:

a) Monthly team meetings through Etsy Chat;
b) Maintain team blog for promoting new designs, future events, and sharing tips and tricks on how to improve our businesses;
c) Exploring creative opportunities to promote and market our collective shops such as creating team Treasuries, etc.;
c) Supporting charitable foundations through team sales and promotions;
d) Continued recruitment of a diversified selection of team members who sell handmade creations and art;

Contact: manamoon

To Join: Membership is voted on by team members at monthly meetings. For consideration please contact manamoon, team admin.

Links: team blog -
Members: manamoon (manamoonstudios), CoastalSisters, LaPerle (coralseas), artangel, LauraLeesTastyTreats (AnyOccasionBoutique), angiekellydesigns, Espritdart,


Let's face it we all want sales, no doubt about it and there's always something new to learn so what better way to accomplish these than through a team environment where we can promote our own shops and others at the same time.

So thank you for stopping by and off we go...
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