Friday, February 25, 2011

Meet our Team - Interview with Siana Kelly

This week we meet Siana Kelly from beautiful British Columbia, Canada. 
(My husband Bryan and I on our honeymoon in Paris 2008)
I live on Sulphurous Lake in a mountainous region called the Cariboo, in a log home on 4 acres.

The name of your store   
Random Facts about You?   
Besides weaving I also enjoy making Hand Embroidered cards.  (I am short and loved...giggles)

How long ago have you started weaving?  
I began weaving 10 years ago
What got you started weaving?
Actually, it was by accident.  I'd just moved into a new house on Vancouver Island and was shopping for place mats, couldn't find what I wanted, came home and began talking to my neighbor about it over the fence in the back yard.  Turned out she had a fiber studio and taught Saori Weaving and suggested why not weave my own place mats.  I was hooked!
(threading my loom)

Any particular technique(s) that you enjoy the most? 
I enjoy the Saori way of weaving as there are no boundaries/rules and it gives freedom to be as creative as I want.

What part the process makes you the most passionate?
Being able to combine any materials and play with them on the loom. 
What is your source of inspiration? 
Life and my surroundings here in the wilderness overlooking the lake inspires me, and of course my husband who is also an artist with his own Etsy shop.

(our friend fox waiting for dinner)
(my inspiration)

Where do you sell? 
My Etsy Shop, craft fairs, trade shows, local shops and from home.
Apart from creating things, what do you do?
 I am the secretary for our local Volunteer Firefighters Association, doing their yearly newsletter and maintaining a blog for them.  I am also part of their Quilting Group, getting together once a week hand stitching a quilt to raffle off.   We have been working on this for 3 years.   I also take part in a local summer Craft Fair once a year, taking my loom to demonstrate Saori Weaving and encouraging the public to try weaving, it's very popular.
What first made you want to become an artist? 
I guess I have always been naturally artistic.  My dad was an artist, drawing in ink, but he would never sell his work.  I did draw when I was younger.  My mother taught me to knit when I was 10 , making socks on 4 needles.
Please describe your creative process: how, when, materials, etc....
I don't think I have an actual *process*'s more like a *need* to create something different and unusual that usually strikes me when I am out walking in the forest, daydreaming while looking at the lake , working in the garden or watching my husband draw.  I like using soft natural fine materials like bamboo, silk, cotton, wool, they have a soft natural flow.  I live in a log home and my loom is set up in the loft where I can weave and look out over the lake and mountains.

What handmade possession do you most cherish? 
My most cherished creation is my first Saori Hand Woven wall hanging in black and white.
What advice would you give to artists who are new to Etsy?   
Be patient!  Selling doesn't happen overnight but enjoy what you create and be proud to have the opportunity to share it with the world, you will meet many great artists in the supportive Etsy Community.
What do you like about Etsy?
 The community and interaction with so many diverse talented artists and the ability to showcase your work to the world.
What weaving activities or guilds to you participate in? 
Living in a remote area I don't belong to any weaving guilds, I am so alone here and love it.
Do you have a website, blog, Facebook page, or other online endeavors? 
Yes I have a blog, Facebook, twitter, flickr etc. 

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Wednesday Themed Treasury - "I hear the birds sing..."

Hello all,

We are happy to share our first themed Treasury for your review.
The name of the Treasury was "I hear the birds sing, so sping must be coming..."

The goal was to feature up to 8 Etsy Weavers in this treasury, combined with other theme related listings.
It is up to you to say if the project is to stay and grow...

Please check this treasury out! I hope we get to promote our members in the number of interesting treasuries!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Interview with Sandra Tyler

 Sandra is from Long Island, NY

The name of her store: Sandra’s Fiberworks
 Random Facts about You?
 Published author of two novels; former professor of writing; worked in graphics for years to support my writing.  Now I have two young boys, 5 and 7, who have transformed me creatively, as now I am a weaver!
I'm the author of two novels, “Blue Glass” (A New York Times Notable Book of the Year) and “After Lydia”, both published by Harcourt Brace. You can find them on Amazon. They're literary novels, about mothers and daughters and sisters.
How long ago have you started weaving?
About 5 years ago
What got you started weaving?
 I missed having the project of writing a novel; rather, I missed having that sustained creative outlet, something I could return to daily. With two toddlers, only 17 months apart, it was the first time in my entire life that I did not have the time, focus or energy for anything creative. That void made me anxious and unsettled. I thought about knitting, but knew I would get in knots and wind up abandoning the project – weaving appealed to me, as you can rarely get in knots. You may have to rip something out, but I’ve never abandoned a weaving project, unless I just didn’t like it!
So I ordered a child’s peg tapestry loom. From there, I bought books on tapestry weaving, and began making my own looms, first the standard frame wood loom with nails, and then the Archie Brennan pipe looms – I loved those. Worked on them until I realized I was serious about this, and invested in my beloved Mirrix loom.
Any particular technique(s) that you enjoy the most?
Tapestry weaving is my favorite, as tapestry is closest to painting; alongside the writing, I have always been drawing or painting, and just before I discovered tapestry weaving, I was working in collage (boys’ naptime, I’d retreat to the basement).  Not only do I feel I am painting with yarn, but as well, incorporating collage techniques of combining different textures of yarn or even raw fiber, as well as entirely different mediums – ribbon, string, even torn fabrics, anything that can be woven.

What part the process makes you the most passionate?
Hard question. I love the rhythmic process of weaving. I can’t do it for hours on end, and that’s why I think I moved on to the rigid heddle, for variety. I didn’t think it would interest me as much as the tapestry, but since I started making handbags and scarves, I haven’t touched my Mirrix loom in over six months!
I also love experimenting with different textured and weighted yarns. That’s where I’m really in touch with the side of me that loves drawing, painting and collage: seeing how one color and texture works up against another. As warp meets weft, those color and texture combinations can surprise and excite in the most unexpected ways.
What is your source of inspiration?
I love looking at other fiber artists, but truthfully, as to tapestry anyway, my mother’s paintings inspire me most. She is an abstract expressionist, and has been painting large abstract landscapes her whole life. Subconsciously, my tapestries always wind up as landscapes.  But, as is true to my mother’s painting, my expression is intuitive, never planned. She never has painted from photographs; I never use cartoons behind my tapestries. As to rigid heddle weaving, I still feel in touch with the collage aspect, as I’m less interested in producing something pretty, than interesting and surprising, with nubby highly textures yarns.
Where do you sell?
 Mostly at local craft shows. I’ve been on Etsy for some time, but my New Year’s resolution was to try and really push the online selling – not easy!
Apart from creating things, what do you do?
I’m a full-time mother of our two boys, ages 5 and 7. I’m a 40-something mom, with a whole professional writing career behind me; I’ve met my goals, in that sense. But having children has transformed me creatively – the cerebral of writing appeals less than the tactile. Rather, the tactile has become more accessible. This transformation, is all the subject of my blog, and what has actually gotten me back to writing as well as weaving!

What first made you want to become an artist?
No real decision here. I was always exploring a creative outlet. For some reason it was the writing I pursued, earning my MFA in writing; writing two novels; teaching creative writing on the undergraduate and graduate level for years. Then my life changed when I had children, and so did my priorities.
Please describe your creative process: how, when, materials, etc.:
Well, overhead is pretty cheap, as I look for yarn sales, and beyond that, it’s about weft and warp, ribbon, and sometimes beads. I usually pick the colors I want to experiment with, and then see where it goes. It’s all intuitive, and that’s what finally keeps me moving from one project to the next.
 What handmade possession do you most cherish?
My mother’s paintings that she has given me.
Can you tell us more about those paintings?
I'm not sure how else to elaborate on my mother's painting, except that she paints intuitively, the same way I approach y tapestry; never from photographs. Her paintings are an emotional response to landscape rather than a literal one. You can see her work at:
What advice would you give to artists who are new to Etsy?
That’s a hard one, as I’ve been on Etsy for a couple of years, but feel brand new, as I’m only now really paying attention to my shop (now that both my boys are finally in school!). I would say be sure you have your own website up and running, blog, and Tweet Tweet Tweet. Exhausting, and I can’t swear by any of this advice as I have yet to see an end result, but other than that, it’s depending on craft shows that are also hit or miss. All in all, to pursue the online avenue, on some level you have to enjoy it and think of it as a social as well as creative outlet. To keep yourself coming back again and again!
What weaving activities or guilds to you participate in?
Do you have a website, blog, Facebook page, or other online endeavors?

That was our interview with Sandra. We've learned a lot, but one of the most important things - when we feel love and passion, we are able to go fearlessly through the new experiences, caring gracefully the power of ACHIEVEMENTS! Doesn't matter how they are being measured...

Great job, Sandra!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Wednesday Treasuries - Theme based contest!

Dear Team members!

How about creating Theme-based contests? We can run them every Wednesday!!!!

I would want you to provide 1) suggestions for the Theme, 2) submit your listing (one per person) for this theme.

If you have a listing that fits the Theme - submit it on our Etsy Weavers discussion board!
If you would want to make your item specifically for the Theme - please let the Curator know what you're creating.

Here is an example of such a Theme-Treasury:

Curator: Alvant
Theme: "I hear the birds sing - spring must me coming..."
Colors: earthy colors, blue, green, yellow, sandy...
Elements: birds, music, flowers, nature, awakening...
Limitations: I would want to include up to 8 items of our Etsy Weavers team in this Treasury.
Due date for submiting your listings: February 22.
Due date to claim your participation in this treasury: February 20.

I see this as additional way to Promote our team members!

What do you think?

Friday, February 11, 2011

Meet our Team - Annie MacHale

We are starting our Introduction Series of our team members!

Today it is Annie MacHale.

She is located on the central coast of California, (near Santa Cruz).

The name of your store:

I have two Etsy shops, ASpinnerWeaver and iWeaveShashes

How long ago have you started weaving?

I started weaving in 1976, at the age of 17

What got you started weaving?  

I saw someone weaving on an inkle loom at a craft fair and became entranced with the little portable loom and the very practical items it was able to produce. I then went to the library and got a book, which had a plan for building a loom…

Any particular technique(s) that you enjoy the most?

Although I have tried my hand at tapestry and own a rigid heddle loom, it is inkle weaving that has my heart. 

What part the process makes you the most passionate?

I love playing with color and pattern! Sometimes the color arrangement surprises me once I get weaving; it may not be what I expected. I enjoy seeing pickup patterns form at my fingertips. With inkle weaving, I can finish a project in a day and be on to the next experiment.

What is your source of inspiration?

Everything! Other textiles, tree bark, butterflies, lots of natural things suggest color combinations and patterns to me. And sometimes, especially in my scarves, I’m just playing with combining the yarns I have on hand and consider them a sort of yarn collage. In them, I often mix yarns randomly, creating pebbly patterns.

 Where do you sell?

I really enjoy selling online through my Etsy shops. Many of my customers find me through Google or other search engines, not only from browsing Etsy. I also do a handful of shows a year. Some of the events I sell at are historic re-enactments of the Fur Trade Era. For these I have to dress in period costume and set up shop in a canvas tent. This has been a good niche market for me. (And that’s how I met my husband)
(that is my husband in period costume)

(my son and I)

In the light of upcoming Valentine day, what’s your idea of “romantic”?

Anytime I get time alone with my husband to spend it at our leisure - that is romantic. Going for a walk, watching a movie, holding hands, having tea, reading to each other.

Outside of your weaving business, do you work (or attend school)?

I am employed full time as a retail buyer and manager for 5 small shops in state parks across        Santa Cruz county.

What weaving activities or guilds to you participate in?
I'm a member of the Santa Cruz Handweavers Guild and am active on Weavolution. I regularly attend the Conference of Northern California Handweavers and last year attended Convergence for the first time. I have taught classes both locally, and in New Mexico.

Do you have a website, blog, Facebook page, or other online endeavors?

I write a weaving blog at,
and I am on Facebook at


Thank you, Annie!

For those interested to learn more about our members, check us on

Sunday, February 6, 2011

February 1-6th Treasury Contest!

This is our first week of running Treasury Contest by Etsy Weavers. Seems to be a small step, but here is what it does:
1) helps promoting the Treasury Curators. A good treasury creates exposure, and exposure means - more views and clicks and responses not only to the items you choose, but also to the Curator of a successful treasury. Not to mention the fact that you could be getting closer to being featured on the first page of Treasuries! And that is HUGE! Not necessarily "set for life" type of HUGE, but certainly "made my month" kind of huge ;-)
2) creating a treasury and especially collecting the responses indicates your progress in making VISUAL impression on the audience. It also helps in finding the best possible shots for your collection as well. Photography is the key in internet sales. So, creating and choosing the most desirable shots will guarantee you a long term success online.
3) As we're getting "savvier" with promotions - we are being able to immediately spread the word on the best treasuries across multiple communities like Facebook, Tweeter, Blogger. This can't hurt, right?
4) More importantly, we as a team learn about each other. Mutual recognition creates a collective thought. And for us this thought is - GROWTH and SUCCESS!

So, now to the results - this week's by far the best Treasury was created by ASpinnerWeaver with over 100 views and 29 clicks so far!!!

This week's Treasury

Congratulations! We've been blogging about this Treasury all week and still are bragging about it!

Captain of Etsy Weavers

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Etsy Weavers on Facebook!!!!

We are now on Facebook and proud of it!!/profile.php?id=100001934129139

The best way to self-promote is to grow your exposure and connections. So, the plan for this group is to
1) keep our Team blog going with interesting topics/places to advertise, finds and treasuries that we have created.
2) invite more people to our Team (they have to be weaving), to our Blog (they have to be willing to read and write), to our Facebook (we would want them to follow), to our Team life (we hope that it is buzzing!!)

We will post articles and interviews with our members, share their success stories, educate ourselves and others on different weaving techniques and events. I am always open to your suggestions on the Topics that you would like to learn about.


Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Take quality pictures!!!

We all know that taking quality pictures is the key to being featured on Etsy front page.
Including simple step-by-step instructions on how to take better pictures of your products.
I found this on Etsy Forum today and wanted to share with the group.

If you happen to have good tips and links, please share!

Captain of Etsy Weavers team

January Treasuries by Etsy Weavers

We have a talented team of Weavers. And we're also getting our hands "dirty" with setting up beautiful Treasuries of the items that we adore and cherish.

Here are some of the examples of the Treasuries created by our team in the last week of January:

TheHermitsLoom : Hi everyone :) Here's mine for the team. Go weavers!!

ASpinnerWeaver - Thanks for the nudge to create my first treasury.

Great job, Etsy Weavers!

First Etsy Weavers Blog

Hello the World!

This is our new blog space. We intend to keep it interesting and useful for those who love, appreciate or is ready to learn about weaving and us - Etsy Weavers.

Please check us out at

The team comprises of professional, semi-professional and beginner weavers, as well as those who are ready to experience the passion of weaving.

If you're curious about our logo - it represents PIWKE (Chilean weaving symbol of Mapuche women): geometric figure depicts a heart and is an innovation of the weavers.