Etsy Crafting in Color Team


It’s Etsy Team Game Day again!   Today my Oregon Duckies don’t play ’til evening, and we’re going to have a crowd of people over to watch, so i’m typing to the sounds of Oklahoma State v. Kansas State.  I’ve missed the past two Saturdays of posting because I’ve basically been sick for a month.  This is NOT an auspicious start to the winter season, especially since my 9 year old’s been home from school sick for this entire past week.  Talk about a drain on a crafter’s creative energies….  It’s a miracle I’m still coherent.

Anyway, enough about that.  I’m fine now, and I’m excited to be back in the saddle again…  with a feature on my Crafting in Color Teammate Mouse Market—maker of miniature dollhouse food and jewelry!

Now, before I get started, a little background.  Those of you reading who know me, know that I have a secret passion for dollhouses.  In fact, my very first post on Facebook was to narrate the progress of a dollhouse I was building, allegedly for my daughter.

This dollhouse was a meaningful project.  Dollhouses and miniatures were loves that i had always shared with my EXTREMELY CRAFTY Mother, who I always describe as “the Martha Stewart before Martha Stewart.”

For years we talked about making one, but we never did, and soon I was grown and gone from the house and our chance was past.  At least, until I had my own daughter.  When Miyako turned one year old, my mother bought a really nice dollhouse kit for us to build together for her.  But, I lived in Oregon, my mother in Pittsburgh!  And I was a new assistant professor, scrambling to get tenure.  The dollhouse was not built, and not built, and soon 10 years had passed.

But when Miyako was 10, our family moved into a historic old Victorian in Illinois that we started renovating, and somehow the Grand Dame, as we called that lovely house, inspired me to get out the dollhouse kit, and build it.

My daughter greeted the project with total indifference.  She’d never once spent a minute willingly with a doll in her life.  She’s a paper and pen girl.  But I loved that dollhouse with a passion.

The kit was an old-school one, that included an enormous quantity of real wood detailing that all had to be hand-cut and sanded, and then sealed, and painted, and then finished.  It took about 2 weeks of Paper Demon-level obsessive work.  I sewed tiny curtains, of course.

Naturally, when finished, I became even more obsessed with finding tiny objects to fill it.  And this is where my true love of miniatures came out. Fortunately, we lived in the midwest at the time, and went to the farm estate auctions weekly.  What a grand source of lovely old pieces for a dollhouse!  Even a little family of cornhusk dolls to move in and tiny kittens as pets and squirrels for the rooftop!

However.  It was my son who came to love the dollhouse.  As quasi Deathstar for his Lego Storm Troopers….  Sigh….

Lego Clone Troopers take over the house and use the facilities

I decorated the dollhouse for Christmas, but soon the overall indifference of my children and the quizzical looks of my partner, as well as our upcoming move back to Oregon, put paid to my dollhouse obsession.  And I never got to indulge myself in what I REALLY wanted to buy, which was MINIATURE FOOD FOR MY DOLLHOUSE FAMILY.

And this, dear patient readers, is where Mouse Market comes in.  Mouse Market is an Etsy shop dedicated to handmade dollhouse miniatures and jewelry, all made from polymer clay.  Now, there are PLENTY of miniature polymer clay food makers out there…..  but trust me, none of them are in the ballpark of Mo Tipton of Mouse Market.

Mo Tipton, Creative Genius behind Mouse Market

Mo explains that she combines

my love of miniatures with my training as a pastry chef and a graphic designer to create detailed, realistic foods in 1/12 scale…

But, she’s too modest.   “Detailed,” and “realistic” doesn’t do her pieces justice.  Because they go beyond realism to encompass a whimsical wit and a sweet affection for food itself in all its homey glory.  In other words, it’s not just her technical skill in reproducing food in clay, but her sense of which foods to feature, and why.  Take her matzoh ball soup, for example. 

Or her breakfast in bed tray.

These are the foods of love and comfort, lovingly recreated to make a tiny home within a home.

I was taken with her sweet Halloween-themed items, like her skull cookies displayed on a plate of glitter.

But my greatest joy, prompting me to call my partner away from her beloved football to come to the computer, was her tiny package of fresh atlantic salmon.  We buy fresh salmon every week (to be fair–we don’t buy atlantic, only fresh pacific!), and any self-respecting dollhouse of mine will need to have this in its tiny refrigerator.

For those who are dollhouse-deprived, rest assured that Mo also makes the most delightful jewelry ever.  She’s currently featuring these Rainbow Layer Cake Earrings, which I want to point out, are just perfect for October, Gay Pride Month.

One of the things I love best about her work is that she gives it a backstory.  For example, she doesn’t just make Broccoli Earrings, but *Organic* Broccoli Earrings (in a *Spicy* Cheddar Sauce).

When my dollhouse comes out of the shipping cube, and gets set up in our new house,  just in time for Christmas, I am going to lay out a minituare Christmas dinner spread the highlight of which is going to be her STUFFED TURKEY WITH SQUASH RINGS, SWEET POTATOES WITH MARSHMALLOWS, and her CHRISTMAS COOKIE TRAY.

And my little cornhusk dolls from the prairie are going to be SO happy…

Find Mouse Market at these places:

On Etsy: http://www.etsy.com/shop/mousemarket

At her blog: http://themousemarket.com

On Twitter:  http://twitter.com/themousemarket

On Flckr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/themousemarket/

It’s Game Day!  Etsy Team Game Day, that is.  The day each week that I will devote to sharing the fabulous artists on my Etsy Teams:  Queer Etsy Street Team and the Etsy Crafting in Color Team.

I said it before, and I’ll say it again:  I love my teams.  They are unbelievably supportive and enthusiastic and generous and motivational.   I am so grateful for the different angles on creativity they’ve opened my eyes to, whether it’s a love of glorious, vibrant color, or a fierce and fabulous belief in expressing yourself no matter what.  They’ve inspired me, and they’ve made giant, impersonal Etsy feel a little bit more like home.

I’ll be alternating teams:  last week it was Queer Etsy Street Team.  This week it’s Crafting in Color Team.  So suit up, Crafting in Color Team, and let’s go!

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There are different kinds of shops on Etsy.  There are those that are totally focused, have a single item or type of item, create that one thing perfectly, and sell it steadily.

And then there are shops that are a little crazier, that reveal the presence of a curious and restless creative spirit, someone who’s willing to experiment with new materials and different ideas.

You probably can guess that I am partial to the latter.  If you didn’t know that, you haven’t visited my PaperDemon Jewelry shop yet.

And that’s why I love Glamasaurus

This is a shop that I appreciate on a human as well as an artistic level.  The artist, Andreanna Kostantas, is an American expat living in Switzerland, and she’s clearly someone with a sense of humor.  From her motto– “so sweet it will give you cavities” –to her unpretentious list of preferred materials –“polymer clay, plastic, glue, pixie dust” — she’s a person who just doesn’t take herself and her art too seriously.  And on Etsy, which definitely has a  lot of the “artiste” attitude going on, that is refreshing indeed.

Whether it’s her Lego earrings, her polymer clay donut, cookie, and cupcake jewelry, or her mysterious and charming shrubbery, Andreanna  makes things that make you smile.

Surely you need a set of yarn shrubs that have been, in Andreanna’s words, “carefully shaped using my keen shrubber’s sense.”

And for those of you looking for Hello Kitty gauged studs, her shop is certainly the place to go.

I appreciate artists who are willing to be goofy and willing to admit mistakes.  I like seeing that she still listed the goofy Domokun Cupcake necklace above, even though she “iced it kind of lopsided” (so it’s on sale!).

And it goes without saying that I like her Japanese-inspired aesthetic!  As her shop description reads, “Kawaii Harajuku Sweets Deco Kitsch Jewelry Accessories”  From Domokun, to her Hello Kitty studs, to her recent “kamikaze guitar pick bracelet,”  she definitely has a thing for Japan.

And, I also appreciate artists who help other artists out.   Andreanna does major work on behalf of the Crafting in Color Team.  She’s one of the main CIC Team Leaders, and definitely keeps the trains running on time.

For someone as utterly disorganized and random as me, this kind of contribution is astounding.   How does she do it?  I don’t know.  But  I am so grateful.

Check out Glamasaurus over the web:

http://blog.glamasaurus.com
http://www.flickr.com/photos/mommysaurus
http://www.twitter.com/glamasaurus
http://www.myspace.com/glamasaurus
http://www.facebook.com/Glamasaurusshop

It’s Game Day!  Etsy Team Game Day, that is.  The day each week that I will devote to sharing the fabulous artists on my Etsy Teams:  Queer Etsy STreet Team and the Etsy Crafting in Color Team.

I love my teams.  They are unbelievably supportive and enthusiastic and generous and motivational.   I am so grateful for the different angles on creativity they’ve opened my eyes to, whether it’s a love of glorious, vibrant color, or a fierce and fabulous belief in expressing yourself no matter what.  They’ve inspired me, and they’ve made giant, impersonal Etsy feel a little bit more like home.

I’m going to alternate teams:  this weeks it’s Crafting in Color; next week it’s Queer Etsy Street Team.  So suit up, CIC team, and let’s go!

This past week I’ve had the chance to get to know Miranda Zelenka Isenberg, the creative powerhouse behind the hugely successful brand new Etsy shop, MandeeFranee.  Miranda invented the kind of product that Etsy sellers dream of…. a handmade item that PEOPLE CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT!

This item is her LensPet.  The LensPets, soon to be trademarked, are totally cute animal scrunchies that go around your camera lens, and grab your subjects’ attention and, and with their sheer adorableness, make them look directly into the camera and smile!

Anyone who’s struggled to get a recalcitrant child to sit still for the camera knows how priceless this item is.  It obviously fills a niche that desperately needed filling! Almost all of MandeeFranee’s items are custom-made, and they’re so popular there’s a 6-8 week wait time for delivery!  But that’s not stopping her customers!   Her shop’s success has allowed Miranda, a single mom, to  stay home with her 3 growing boys.

MandeeFranee has seasonal LensPets, and mini LensPets for your little digital zoom cameras too!

Halloween Bat LensPet

Mini LensPet (any resemblance to Mr. Crabs completely coincidental)

Being a point and shoot user (and a passionate fan of Spongebob), I am inordinately fond of her Mini LensPet Mr. Crabs.

I don’t think I need to tell you what great stocking stuffers or office party gifts these would make!  But order soon if you want to get yours for Christmas!

MandeeFranee: Home of the LensPets:

Artist and Designer:  Miranda Zelenka Isenberg

Find her on Etsy at: http://www.etsy.com/shop/mandeefranee

Find her on Facebook at:  http://www.facebook.com/pages/MandeeFranee-Designs/151819848179248?v=desc

And check out her cool, gorgeous blog at: http://mandeefranee.blogspot.com/