Sunday, December 13, 2009

Spotlight on Queer Team member GREENMANDESIGNS

greenmandesigns interviewed by fauxsure

What sorts of things do you offer in your shop?
Honestly, since I tend to work in a variety of media, there's a wide range of work there! Everything from figurative sculpture (AKA "art dolls"), mixed-media assemblage, altered/customized Barbies (the Ikon series), vinyl and plush to collage, photography and digital works.

In the coming year, once I'm off the road so much (I travel *very* frequently for work, and am away from home for months on end) I plan on adding new items in media such as painting, ACEO's, and whatnot....we'll have to see what comes from keeping my hands busy and out of (too much) trouble!

I'd also like to venture into realms that I have yet to explore a whole lot, such as clothing, fabric/fiber, quilting and the like.

How did you first start selling on etsy? How long have you been selling? Do you sell anywhere else?
I've been on Etsy since 2005, though I haven't focused on it as much as I would like to over the course of those years...see response above regarding work/travel!

To begin with, out of a simple liking of anything hand-made. I'd prefer the ugliest vase (or whatever) made by hand than something mass-produced. I'd rather my money go to an individual than to a corporation. Even better if it's hand-made and NOT ugly, though!

Beyond that, out of a general dislike of Ebay and some of their policies/fees...and not having the time or desire to keep watching the items I want to purchase! I still sell there on occasion, as certain items get a lot more attention there than on Etsy, custom vinyl in particular.

Tell us a little about your typical creative process and how you go about making your work. What kinds of steps do you usually go through?

First step: Clean my work area!
Second step: Start 10 different projects at once.
Third step: Alternate through them willy-nilly. I totally have Creative ADD.
Fourth step: Start back at step one.

I can sometimes get wrapped up in one particular piece for days/weeks, other times I literally rotate through them by the hour...doing a little bit on one thing, setting it aside, then focusing on another. This is partially due to having to allow for drying/setting/curing time and partially the aforementioned ADD.

What are your favorite materials to work with?
Despite having grown up painting (my non-blood "aunt" was a professional watercolorist and taught me very early on) and making a pretty okay living doing it, I've spent most of the past 15 years or so working mainly in the 3D realms.

I guess you could say my current "favorites" are mixed media (yeah, I know....vague) and photography. I like being able to take disparate objects and work them into a cohesive piece....and photography because it allows me to have a completely portable means of expression, and it also makes me pay close attention to details. I'm a huge fan of macro. Some people argue that digital photography doesn't have the validity of "true" photography, because one can take a bajillion photos and not have to worry about technical skill/processing the film/etc. I argue that it's just the frees one up to SEE a bajillion things and have the freedom to capture them....and NOT worry about how much film you have left! Yes, you may discard 3/4's of what you take....or more...but the ones that hit the spot make up for that.

Are there other creative projects you are involved in outside of your work in your etsy shop?
Life. No, really. I'm lucky to live in a rural area that is heavily populated with queer/artist communes, where spontaneous Life Creativity is the norm and encouraged! Fabulous over-the-top costumes, burlesque, performance and the like are regular occurences. I breathe/eat/spin/dance with fire from time to time.

I also knit, though I'm the world's slowest knitter. And I only know how to knit/purl...with a few things like increase/decrease thrown in. I'm a master at long, straight scarves, though!

Besides art/ crafty stuff, what else do you like doing in your free time?

At this point in my life, the majority of my free time is spent working on the home that my partner (Charlie, 14 years and going....woot!) and I are building....entirely by hand, ourselves. While rewarding, it's *definitely* an ongoing, sometimes tedious, process! The benefits are that everything is just how you want it, with no living in a boring plain white box....the not-so-great aspects are that I could happily live the entire rest of my life without ever seeing a sheet of drywall or a level or power tool ever again. Well, until we start on my studio, at least. And the greenhouse/bathhouse. And the porch. And the balcony. And...and....

I also really enjoy gardening...from planning them out, to watching as seeds sprout and eventually bloom.

Does your queer identity come into play in your work?

I'm sure it does to some extent, because that's who I am, but I don't think it does a whole lot, visually/thematically. Very few of my pieces are autobiographical, you could say. A friend once commented on the fact that with my being a gay man, he would have expected my work to be more about the male body...but it's rare that that is the case. Nine times out of ten, my subjects are female. While sexuality/sensuality frequently play roles in my artwork, it's rarely my own.

What are your hopes for the Queer Etsy Street Team? What brought you to join?
I hope to help get an active following of supporters of queer artists going....not just for my own work, but in general! Anyone who supports artists gets a Big Gold Star in my book....and if they happen to support queer artists, all the better!

Folks are welcome to stop by my blog and see what goofiness I may be up to at any given time! I tend to ramble on about just about anything and everything that catches my attention, not just artwork. Though that is a frequent subject!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Win big on Black Friday!

Queer Team is hosting an amazing giveaway at etsy! You could win a whole smorgasbord of gorgeous prizes assembled by many queer team members. Click the link below for the rules and good luck!

You could win ALL of the following:

This lovely photo print by BustedKnuckle: http://www.etsy. com/view_ listing.php? listing_id= 23031066

Beautiful baubles for your hair by FatFemmeLaboratory: http://www.etsy. com/view_ listing.php? listing_id= 23027271

Adorable magnet set by Sbdesign:

A scrumptious monthly subscription to wonderful weekly cookbooks by oakling:

Breathtaking Holiday hair accoutrement by LooksGood: http://www.etsy. com/view_ listing.php? listing_id= 32892067

Super cool Nerd Girl Notecard set and lovely Secret Feather ACEO by tikikiki:

Badass silkscreened notebooks and tote by fauxsure: http://www.etsy. com/view_ listing.php? listing_id= 23270041
http://www.etsy. com/view_ listing.php? listing_id= 32067467

A tiny delicious gift set by Heathen's Hearth (similar to what is seen here):

A phenomenal 5x7" fine art print of YOUR CHOICE from anotherangle:

And finally, a hand painted surprise ceramic gift from the whimsical world of queenofqueens:

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Resin Tutorial from Team Member SB Design

I started working with resin about two years ago, after realizing that a lot of the jewelry I was drawn to used one resin technique or another. I am now officially hooked. I love the versatility resin presents, and how easy it is to make personal, meaningful items. Resin photo pendants make a great gift for anyone. Check out this site for some ideas.

A word about resin: this tutorial uses resin, which is durable, permanent and waterproof. There are lots of resin-type products on the market that aren't actually resin, such as Diamond Glaze or Crystal Lacquer. Be very careful when purchasing something that does not specifically say resin. These products are often water resistant but not waterproof. Either product will work, just be sure you know what you want for your design.

This tutorial will teach you how to make three different items using resin: Pendants, Flat Magnets and Round Magnets.

Materials List
Mod Podge
1" Circle Paper Punch (optional)
Magnet Sheet
Magnet Buttons
Pendant Frames
Mixing Cups
Stir Stick
Resin Dye
Plastic Paint Palette
E6000 Glue

A few notes about materials:
The pendant frames I use are from Becky Nunn at Nunn Designs, part of her Patera Jewelry line. They are the large pendant squares available in antique silver, copper or gold.  Check out her website to find where to buy them.

The resin I use is Envirotex Lite, which can be purchased at Michael's or Joann Fabrics. They also sell the resin dye, if you choose to color the resin. Don't forget to bring your 40% off coupon!

1.  Prepare your workspace.

Resin is sticky...very, very sticky.  The best way to deal with resin spills is to avoid spilling on anything you care about, like your dining room table. Put down a layer of newspaper to protect your work surface. Your resin pieces will take about 24 hours to cure completely. Find a flat, portable surface, like a tray or a book, that you can move to an out of the way place to dry. I use a wooden tray that I cover in wax paper.

2.  Prepare your images.
There are so many incredible images out there. The beauty of resin is you can use anything, from magazine pictures to cards to photos, which allows you to create items that are very personal.  The images I used are from etsy seller Petite Paperie, who has tons of incredible, high quality image sheets. The best part about working with these sheets is you can save them to use again and again. The sheets I chose were 1" x 1" Square Fruit Crate Labels, 1" x 2" Halloween Postcards and .75" square Bright Flowers. Check out her shop for more options.

Pick the specific images you want to use and cut them to size.  Use a paintbrush to coat the images in Mod Podge. Be sure to coat all surfaces, front, back and sides, at least twice and allow to dry completely. You want the image to be completely covered so no resin will seep in and damage your image.

3. Prepare magnets & pendants.

Flat Magnets: Cut the magnet sheet to the size of the image. I keep a very small border of magnet around my image to make sure the resin completely covers the design and adheres to the magnet. Peel away the film to expose the adhesive and apply the image. Trim any excess magnet with scissors.

Pendants: Trim the images to fit inside the pendant frames. Apply a small amount of Mod Podge inside the pendant to glue your images in place. Be sure the outside and corners of the image are firmly stuck to the pendant. This will keep air bubbles from forming.

Round Mangets: Trim the images to fit into the paint palette using scissors or a 1" circle cutter.

4. Prepare the resin.

 These directions are specifically for Envirotex Lite Resin. If you are using a different resin, be sure to follow the directions that come with the product.

Warm the resin. This will prevent air bubbles from forming and make the resin easier to mix. Put a bowl of water in the microwave and heat. Put resin and hardener bottles in warm water for several minutes.

Measure the resin into 2 mixing cups. Envirotex Lite resin is a 1 to 1  mixture, meaning equal parts resin and hardener are used. Be sure you measure each part carefully. If the resin mixture is off, your pieces may not cure correctly or may be sticky.

Pour the resin into the hardener.  Stir with your stir stick slowly to prevent adding air bubbles to the mixture. When you begin to stir, the mixture will become slightly cloudy. Stir for about 2 minutes, or until the mixture becomes clear again.

5.  Apply resin to the pieces.

Flat Magnets: Use your stir stick to slowly drizzle the resin over the magnet sheets. If you apply enough resin it should flow to the outside of the magnet without spilling over. You may need to guide the resin into the corners with the stir stick. If you spill the resin just slide the magnet over a few inches away from the puddle and allow to dry.

Pendants: You can pour the resin into the pendant frames, or drizzle with the stir stick. Fill the resin to the top or allow to dome over slightly, whichever you prefer. Some people like to fill to the top on the first pour and dome with a second layer of resin once the first has dried. Since the pendant frames are not that deep you can dome in the first pour if you choose to, depending on the look you want.

Round Magnets: Pour the resin into the paint palette openings and fill about half way.  Let resin sit for a few minutes so you can get rid of any bubbles that form. Once the bubbles are gone, place images face down in the resin and coat with a thin layer of resin. Be sure to leave enough room in the palette opening (at least 1/8") to add your second layer of colored resin.

6.  Get rid of bubbles.

Bubbles...they happen. Sometimes they happen after a piece has set and you can't do anything about it. Learn to like them. If not like, at least learn to appreciate them. That said, there are a few ways to get rid of bubbles while the resin is still soft.

     - "Huff" on the piece, with short bursts of air. Bubbles are popped by carbon dioxide. Your breathe will bring the bubbles to the surface and pop them. You can also blow gently through a straw.

     - Pass some sort of flame over the piece. You have to be very careful with this - do not get too close or you can mar the surface of the resin or create ripples. It also makes the resin smell horrible. But, it does the job, at least most of the time.

     - Use a needle or toothpick to get the bubbles to the surface, then either pop or remove them.

For more suggestions on getting rid of bubbles, check out Craft Zombie's blog. You have about a 10-15 minute window for removing bubbles. After that point the resin will start the set and you run the risk of ruining your piece.
Bubbles are MUCH easier to remove when the resin is fresh. If you allow the resin to sit for awhile and then try to remove the bubbles it may be too late. Even after following all these suggestions, you may still get bubbles. And to that I say, that's the beauty of handmade! It's not a mistake, it's artistic. Chances are, you will be your worst critic. Most people won't even notice that bubble that you agonized over. what you can but don't worry too much about it.

7.  Add the second resin layer.

This step is only for the round magnets. Anytime after 12 hours the second layer of resin can be applied. Mix another batch of resin and add resin dye. You do not need a lot of dye...a little goes a long way! Start with a few drops and add more as needed. Mix thoroughly.  Pour colored resin over the first layer and fill to the top of the paint palette opening. This layer should be level with or slightly below the surface of the palette rather than domed. Watch for 15-20 minutes to remove any bubbles that form.

Cover paint palette and allow resin to cure.

8.  Add finishing touches.
Pendants: Add necklace cord to pendants.

Flat Magnets: These should be finished! Put on your fridge and enjoy!

Round Magnets: Once the resin pieces are cured, remove them from the paint palette. Put the tray into the freezer for 30-60 seconds to help release the pieces from the mold. Use E6000 to glue magnet buttons to back of the resin design. Allow to dry completely.

That's it! You can now make three different resin creations. Resin is not scary and it is far from rocket science, so don't be afraid to try it out. Have fun and be creative!

★★★★★This tutorial was designed as part of Tutorial Exchange Program from Totally Tutorials. Special thanks to Petite Paperie for the fabulous images! Be sure to check out the Totally Tutorials blog for inspiration for your next project.★★★★★

Monday, November 16, 2009

Queer Team Specials!

Huge sale in QueenofQueens Arts and Crafts Chop Shop! Everything 20-50% off now through Thanksgiving to make way for oodles of magically delicious new stuff. Get it now and get it in time for Chrismahanukwanzasolstice.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Spotlight on Queer Team member SB DESIGN

sbdesign interviewed by fauxsure

What sorts of things do you offer in your shop?
Jewelry, specializing in resin and fine silver designs.

How did you first start selling on etsy? How long have you been selling? Do you sell anywhere else?
I started selling on etsy in September, 2007. My jewelry habit had gone from a pastime to an obsession, so I either had to start selling my pieces or stop making them. Someone mentioned etsy at a jewelry class I was taking, and once I saw it I was hooked. I started posting items that day. I also sell my jewelry at art fairs and a couple boutiques in Minnesota.

Tell us a little about your typical creative process and how you go about making your work. What kinds of steps do you usually go through?
Generally speaking I just sit down and start creating. I get inspired by the things around me and what's going on that day, so I tend to create based on my mood. I sketch designs out all the time but rarely use them. I like to be spontaneous and let the materials dictate what I make.

What are your favorite materials to work with?
resin and Precious Metal Clay (PMC)
PMC is completely addictive. I come from a clay background and loved working with clay, so finding a material that acts like clay and becomes silver is truly amazing. I'm also getting into fused glass. I took a great class at the Bead and Button Conference in Milwaukee this past summer on plaid glass. It's such a unique look and the possibilities are endless! That's definitely something I want to play with more.

Are there other creative projects you are involved in outside of your work in your etsy shop?
I've recently started a blog, which I really enjoy - As far as creating things is concerned, I am always taking classes. I love to learn about anything every remotely related to jewelry. In the last 6 months I've taken classes in stained glass, soldering, glass fusing, and BronzClay. I'm a teacher by day so taking classes really motivates and intrigues me. It's also a great way to make connections with other artists.

Besides art/ crafty stuff, what else do you like doing in your free time?
I'm a librarian, so I love to read. I also love hanging out with my partner and our 2 dogs, walking by the Mississippi River, biking, watching movies, and traveling. I also write. I'm in the process of creating a children's book. I spend my days surrounded by kids and books, so writing my own stories seemed inevitable.

Does your queer identity come into play in your work?
Definitely! I had a booth at the Twin Cities Pride event last year and designed a whole rainbow jewelry line. I have a rainbow necklace that I wear all the time and I love, and I wanted to be able to make something like that for others. My goal was to create something that was fun and elegant at the same time, and that people could wear whether they were out or not. I think having these designs at my non-queer events helps me to connect with queer customers. One day I would like to put together a juried queer art show, to showcase the work of queer artists.

What are your hopes for the Queer Etsy Street Team? What brought you to join?
I really enjoy connecting with artists, and it's so great to find a group of people that you can be completely open with. I've been part of other arts organizations that are more conservative, and for me, art is all about being honest. Being queer is an important part of my identity that I don't want to have to hide. I am so excited that there is this incredibly talented, vibrant group of queer artists on etsy, and that I get to be part of it!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Queer Team Face time and Tweets!

The Queer team now has a Twitter and a Facebook fan page! Please add us to keep updated about team news and snazzy new Queer made art and crafts!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Spotlight on Queer Team member Fauxsure

Interviewed by queenofqueens

Tell us who you are and what the name of your shop is:
i'm keith and my shop is fauxsure

How did you start screen printing?
printmaking was my studio concentration in my undergrad work, and i first worked with screenprinting in '99. i mostly printed on paper (flat prints and also artists' books) and aluminium sheets. i started making t shirts in '02.

Do you work in other mediums besides printing?
How do they compare?
i do a lot of drawing, but that's about it for visual stuff. i dj and produce dance music with my husband( but there's not really a strong connection to my visual work. in our production work, we try to make fun music that references elements of classic dance music but still sounds mondern. our dj mixes vary, but are usually in the synthy disco/ melodic electro vein.

You're located in
Brooklyn. Has the art scene there had an impact upon your work?
i'm definitely influenced by
street art and graffitti. i don't get out to see as much art as i would like, but in my day job i work with artists (managing artist-in-residency programs in nyc public schools and training artists/mfa students to become teaching artists). living in new york is a huge influence on my work in general. i find inspiration all over the place (as cliche as that sounds.)

How does being queer influence your work as an artist?

it's hard to say... there's a definite influence, but it varies and is always changing. in college, my prints dealt a lot with themes around masculinity and masculine archetypes (through superheroes). right now, the "queerest" thing i've done is my "village pigeons" design... pigeons are one of the few forms of wildlife we new yorkers see on a daily basis, so i thought it would be cute/funny to put them in the costumes of the village people. i guess that's pretty gay...

You created the Queer Team logo, what inspired you to use the imagery you chose?

i was inspired by the "purple rhino" logo designed by activist bernie toal from 1974 that was created to help bring attention to gay rights in boston. i thought it would be a fun way to pay tribute to a little-known queer symbol. plus i liked the idea of "charging forward" and the rhino was a fun animal to work with.

What else do you want us to know about you?
i love to cook. i'm disappointed with obama (although i thought i had pretty realistic expectations). i've been with my husband for almost 11 years, and just got married in july. we have an abyssinian cat named sebastian who's super-cute and a little high-maintence. lately i've been reading a lot of zombie-related stuff. i'm a sucker for bad tv. i'm allergic to dairy and beer. i can't stand showtunes. i have an irish temper that pops up every so often. i think the etsy forums are a bit scary. i wonder about the people who buy my stuff and would love to see pictures of them...

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Spotlight on Queer Team member ALTEREDBEAUTY

alteredbeauty interviewed by fauxsure

What sorts of things do you offer in your shop?

Right now I am offering jewelry, but I plan on expanding to altered art items as well. My main focus at the moment is Steampunk jewelry.

For those people not familiar, can you tell us a little more about "Steampunk"?

Sure. Steampunk is very much about steam power, turn of the century technology, victorian style, psuedo-victorian style, and turning modern objects into objects consistent with the victorian era. In creating jewelry, I use vintage watch movements, ephemera, brass, and copper.

How did you first start selling on Etsy? How long have you been selling? Do you sell anywhere else?
I started selling in May. I learned about it online and thought that it would be fun to try! Before that, I primarily made jewelry for friends and family as gifts. I am not currently selling anywhere else, but plan to start selling at craft fairs.

How did you get started making jewelry?

I got started making jewelry when I was working at a domestic violence shelter as a graveyard client advocate. I met a woman (a shelter resident) who was always up late making jewelry. She would come in and talk to me at night, and she eventually taught me the basics of wire wrapping. From then on I taught myself more and more. I started making more things for family, and family friends started asking for things as well. I did all of the jewelry for a co-workers wedding. At that point, I heard about Etsy and decided to get started.

Where do your ideas/ inspiration come from?

They come from all around me. I think a lot of my inspiration comes from the industrial revolution, science, and literature.

Tell us a little about your typical creative process and how you go about making your work. What kinds of steps do you usually go through?

I don't have a very specific creative process; I tend to get inspired by a particular material or item and begin from there.

What are your favorite materials to work with? I love working with old watch parts, vintage ephemera, brass, copper, silver, gemstones, and pearls.

Are there other creative projects you are involved in outside of your work in your Etsy shop?

I am trying to learn needle felting in my spare far I haven't stabbed myself but I did manage to lose the tip of a needle somewhere in my couch.

Besides art/ crafty stuff, what else do you like doing in your free time?
I love spending time with my husband, dog, and reading. I also work full time at a nonprofit organization in addition to running my Etsy shop, so I don't have a whole lot of free time.

How do you make space and time for your creative work amid everything else you've got going on?
I am able to make time for my creative work by using it as an outlet and opportunity for relaxation. My job can be emotionally trying at times, so my creativity allows me to express that when needed and also gives me a way to get away from everything for a few hours.

Does your queer identity come into play in your work?

It does to an extent. Since it is so much a part of me I think it has to, although that may not be visible. I am interested in opening a second shop dedicated to feminist and pride items when I have some more time.

What are your hopes for the Queer Etsy Street Team? What brought you to join?
When I first heard about teams on Etsy I immediately looked for a GLBT team :-D I am hoping to just enjoy the company of other crafty members and become more involved!

Spotlight on Queer Team member SARAHDERAGON

...And we're back with the team interviews...
sarahderagon interviewed by fauxsure

What sorts of things do you offer in your shop?
I offer all kinds of fabulous hair accessories from small flower clips to headbands with brightly colored feathers and of course glitter! I actually just started playing around with creating veils too!

How did you first start selling on etsy? How long have you been selling? Do you sell anywhere else?
I have been selling on etsy for less than a month. I set up my shop because my best friend (emintaos) has had an etsy shop for awhile and was always raving about it. She and I talk a lot about strategy, marketing, photography and building community - so having the shop actually keeps us in constant communication, which is nice because she's a busy stay at home mom. Originally, I came to etsy as a shopper because I'd rather buy handmade and I adore their daily emails - so many wonderful treasures to choose from. As far as selling anywhere else, I recently tabled the craft show at Homo-A-Go-Go and will be doing another show in San Francisco in September. I was also approached to present at the ArtDyke monthly salon in Berkeley in September where I'll talk about how I do what I do - I'm excited.

Where do your ideas/ inspiration come from?
I think that my love of old movies and glamor are my inspiration. Luckily in the queer community I see inspiration around me everyday in the community - I love femmes because you know what, they know how to command attention when walking into a room and I try to put that into each one of my designs. It is actually harder for me to design smaller things vs. the big bright over the top pieces! Editing is a constant struggle in my design process.

Tell us a little about your typical creative process and how you go about making your work. What kinds of steps do you usually go through?
My work process is sporadic - I have spurts of creativity when I can churn out 6 pieces and then there are days when I feel totally bleh about the glue gun and spend my time flipping through magazines or doing research on the internet. Lately, I have been designing in 3's - so I'll go get 3 big flowers or 3 colorful feathers or 3 little sparkly accent pieces and then design with those as the main focus. Some of my pieces have many many steps - take for example my design called "Jingle Bell Rock" - I have to go find the ugly Christmas sweater, cut it up, paint the edged with Fray Stop, let it dry for 24 hours, adhere it to some felt, let that dry for 24 hours, clean up the edges, secure it to a headband, photograph it on a model, shoot it in a lightbox, edit the photos, come up with the blurb, price it and THEN it goes up on etsy. Phew, that is kind of a lot of work, but you know what - I love it!

What are your favorite materials to work with?
Feathers, glitter, flowers, tulle, buttons (with the backs cut off) and felt.

Are there other creative projects you are involved in outside of your work in your etsy shop?
Sometimes I feel like my entire life is a creative project!! I'm surfing the fun-employment wave, so yes, I have lots of different things going on right now.

Besides art/ crafty stuff, what else do you like doing in your free time?
I like spending time with my wonderful partner, walking my pitbull mix named Pork Chop, baking, yoga, hanging out with my friends and I am trying to do more professional photography.

Does your queer identity come into play in your work?
My queer identity is integral to my designs. I don't think that my designs resonate with the hetero community as much because I keep hearing women say, "Oh, I like your stuff, but I'd never wear it" or "I don't want to attract that much attention to myself" and as a femme - I don't even think about that stuff. I am unapologetic in my fabulousness and I think that my designs help point out the fact that yes, I'm a big queer and I have no problem wearing a big feather head piece out to brunch with my friends. My hope is that I can set an example for the straight girls - do it - be out there - attract attention - wear something gorgeous in your hair - you deserve it!

What are your hopes for the Queer Etsy Street Team? What brought you to join?
I adore that there is a Queer Etsy Street Team because when I was at Homo-A-Go-Go I was talking to other queer crafters on etsy and we all talked about how, for us, etsy was lacking a sense of community. I think that this team is important because of the visibility it provides us as artists/designers, but also lets other queers find us, so that they can spend their gay dollars in our shops. I know that when I buy something I'd much rather go support a queer business, so here we are, now support us. There is so much creativity in the queer community and it doesn't surprise me that so many of us perform, make crafts, sing, etc... I think having a hub where we can connect across the country is vital to our survival. My hopes for the Queer Etsy Street Team is that our blog continues to thrive, that we get to know one another during chats and one day that the daily email features all things Queer - cause you know we're amazing!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Team member sarahderagon has been mentioned in tikikiki's adorable blog! Go there now and see all manner of fantastic queer team crafts as well as lot's of yummy other stuff germane to all that is gloriously gay!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

New Team Chat Times!

I'm glad to see that we're growing to the point that we now need regional chats.
Splitting the chats into East and West coast groups is a great idea! If
eventually we need more, we can further subdivide them.

Meanwhile, here's how we'll break it down for the time being:

East coast chat @ 8pm-9pm EST on Tuesdays
West Coast Chat @ 8pm-9pm PST on Tuesdays

I will helm the West Coast chat and The Om Intention will helm the East coast

Important: You do NOT have to live in a specific area to participate in either
chat! Go to whichever one works best for you! We're just trying to create a
bigger window of opportunity so more people can jump in the fray. Queer team
loves cross pollination!

That said, we will be discussing the possibilities for regional events as well
as plans for the entire team. Yay!

Just remember the acronym "C U Next Tuesday" and come gab with us!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

New Team Treasury!

Snagged by Sbdesign! Check it out before it disappears here:

Emerging from our big gay K hole...

The Queer Team is back from herding cats and Summer fun. We've just added a bunch of new queer etsy shops to our shop links and new blogs as well, so please peruse!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Queer Team are Artists Exposed!

The Queer Etsy Street Team has been featured in an Artists Exposed treasury by fabulous etsy seller VickiDiane! Been wondering who some of the faces behind queer team are? Take a look and leave us a comment!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Spotlight on Queer Team Member thickneckarts!

A rousing interview with Queer team member thickneckarts conducted by the spectacular fauxsure:

How did you first start selling on etsy? How long have you been selling? Do you sell anywhere else?
A friend of mine introduced me to Etsy. I was looking for a online site that was relatively inexpensive and low maintenance.

I joined Etsy in May 2008. I haven't branched out to any other sites really. Not for selling anyway.

Where do your ideas/ inspiration come from ?
Colors. Mostly monochromatic systems. I love mixing colors that you wouldn't normally put together and then the bead, or pendant or painting, come out looking super sweet. I'm also a huge advocate for recycling and upcycling. I think people should get more excited about the different ways their "old" stuff can be used rather than buying new stuff to replace it. I rarely throw anything away without first putting it to use for something else, or breaking it down and making something out of its parts.
Tell us a little about your typical creative process and how you go about making your work. What kinds of stages do you usually go through? Is your process varied depending on what materials you're working with?
When it comes to the polymer clay beads, I'll be going about my business and just see 3 or 4 colors in my surroundings (natural or otherwise) and wonder how they would look together. Then I'll tinker with layering them, checkerboarding them, maybe swirling them, until I get the result I like best. Some times the color scheme is good but the shape it ends up in, like a barrel bead or flat pendant, makes it even better.

Right now, I'm really into creating color schemes that excite or fit my mood and the material doesn't really matter. The end results I want are driven by the hues of the world, not necessarily their vehicles.
Your shop is very diverse. How do you decide what to list? Are there more areas you'd like to branch out into in the future?
Right now, I mostly list the second best of my work. My best work tends to go to friends or family. And my partner usually gets the best of the jewelry. lol.

I'd love to branch out into screenprinting as my first love is drawing and sketching. When I was younger I wanted to start a t-shirt printing co. and just make rad t-shirts with crazy designs and stencil pics on them. We'll see...

How did you get started with papermaking?
Their are a couple of entertainment "newspapers" here in town and I used to pick them up at work to look through at lunch. They began accumulating in the back of my truck and I kept forgetting to take them to recycling. One day I was on looking for bookbinding help when I came across a DIY recycled paper instructable. Since then, I've destroyed our blender, 4 or 5 picture frames and dyed our pie spatula red!

Tell us a little about your YouTube channel. How did you get started making videos related to your work?
I've only got a couple of videos on YouTube. One for making a tin and one for making a stencil print. A friend of mine suggested people might dig buying a product they could watch being made. I felt like that fit right in with the handmade crafts genre. What other product can you buy and see the actual work being done to create it? Kinda makes the purchase more personal I think.

What are your favorite materials to work with?
Right now, newspaper. The ending product isn't as durable as I'd like it to be (still working on that) but at then end of the day, it's completely biodegradable. What's better than giving someone a card for a birthday or holiday and know that even if they toss it in the trash instead of recycling, it will still biodegrade?

Do you also buy things on etsy? What sorts of items have you purchased?
I do. Whenever I'm looking for gifts, Etsy is the first place I go. So far I've purchased mostly jewelry.

Are there other creative projects you are involved in outside of your work in your etsy shop?

I write. Mostly poetry but I'm tip-toeing in the short story genre.

Besides art/ crafty stuff, what else do you like doing in your free time?
Composting. Learning how to lessen my impact on the environment. Trying to raise awareness of how easy it really is to lessen your own impact on the environment. It's really just a matter of re-training your thinking about every day habits. That alone can make a huge difference!
Does your queer identity come into play in your work?
If it does, it isn't planned. I mean, I've done a couple of rainbow beads and pendants but that's about it. I am queer but that's not who I am. And I want people to dig my work because they just plain dig it. Not necessarily because we have that one thing in common.

What are your hopes for the Queer Etsy Street Team? What brought you to join?
I would like to see the team grow in numbers. What I hope for any queer group I join is to raise an awareness of differences as commonalities and to create a positive path for younger generations to follow.

Do you have any goals for your shop in 2009?

For 2009, I'd love to perfect recycling paper into giftables, such as cards, scrapbook pages, journal pages or journal covers!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Team Spotlight: Interview with mshalston

Interviewed by fauxsure
How did you come to sell your work on etsy? Do you sell your stuff through any other venues?

I received an e-mail from my husband at the beginning of December saying, "You can sell books through Etsy!" My response was, "But they're not handmade." I was very happy to hear that as long as I had written them, I could sell them. And I have since added my first handmade book to my shop, so that's exciting.
As for selling other places, I have a bookstore section on my website for my novel, my collection of plays, and my comic. My novel, A Girl Named Charlie Lester, is also available through most online bookselling venues and you can order it from any brick and mortar bookstore. But my visual art is only available through Etsy.

What do you hope your buyers will get out of your work? what do you hope to communicate to them through your work?
Mainly, I hope buyers will find my work thought-provoking or, failing that, entertaining. Because I mostly write about people interacting with each other, I feel like there's a universality to my stories. And I hope that the people who read them will experience a connection that is sometimes lacking in "serious" fiction and, truth be told, life.

Where do you get your inspiration?
Oh...everywhere. People I see on the train. Hypothetical conversations that build from a word or two overheard from strangers who are talking too loudly. Sometimes it's music. One of my illustrated poems that's currently in my shop was inspired by the music of Raymond Scott. I don't think he was ever actually the front man of any jazz band in any night club, but I like to pretend that he was.

Are there other art forms/ craft traditions that you think influence your work?
I feel as if my visual art is definitely beholden to the cartoons of Chuck Jones. There's a relief print I'm currently working on that is skewing very sharply in the Dr. Seuss direction. I may get a call from his lawyers. And all of my writing is definitely influenced by my status as a theatregoer. I was introduced to the theatre at a very young age and it influenced every notion I've ever had about what's funny, what's touching, what dialogue should sound like, what's good, and what's not.

What is your typical creative process like? What kinds of stages do you usually go through when making your work?
For writing, I try to finish a first draft before editing. That rarely occurs, but I try. After the first draft is done, I'll go back and revamp or rework scenes, building bridges or adding segue. Sometimes the final product is dramatically different than the initial version. For shorter works, I rarely need more than two or three drafts before it's complete. For a novel, it's closer to six or more. And then I need feedback before I can continue. I'm lucky to be surrounded by smart people who love to read. For visual art, I'm not sure I have a specific set of steps to follow. I had an drawing professor who once told me that she was of the "do whatever works" school of art. And I think that's how I try to attack visual art. I'll draw or paint and if it's not working, I'm fine with drastically altering something. For example, one print I have in my shop was originally a painting. There's sheet music in the background of the piece and when it came out smudgy, rather than pristine, I poured water over it to aggravate it. And when it dried, I was much happier with the outcome.

Tell us a little about your approach to the written word. What's important to you as a writer?
Oddly enough, the most important aspect of writing fiction (for me) is truth. If I'm writing a scene or exposing a character's thoughts, I want them to seem real. I think that stems from a friend advising me while I was writing my first novel. I told him there was a lot of sex in it and I worried that it would distract from the story being told. He told me not to worry, that it would be fine as long as the sex scenes were real. I took that to mean that if they weren't just for titilation, if I could showcase all the awkward moments in sex, the bad and the good, then it would be successful and not at all distracting. Especially considering that I was telling a story about a girl who ages eight years throughout the tale. Of course she has sex. That's only natural.

What sorts of materials do you like to work with?
Words. They're in my writing, of course, but they're also in my visual art. I'm very attracted to a picture that also asks me to read.

Do you also buy things on etsy? What sorts of items appeal to you?
I do! I'm actually planning on buying soap today. I'm also partial to hats (cloches, to be specific), art, books, zines, and little toys! There's a specific plushy friend that I want to purchase as soon as I next get paid...

Are there other creative projects you are involved in outside of your work that can be found on etsy?

I'm currently working on a two-person show, involving a pair of women who represent generations of females all the way back to prehistory. It will highlight how each woman first grasps her imminent mortality. Also, I'm working on my second novel, a satirical piece about the state of literature and the state of entertainment in the US. There are quite a few short stories and a couple of comics. Oh, and I'm the contributing editor of apt, an online literary journal. We just turned three years old and are looking into publishing a print issue or anthology of our best pieces from 2005-2008.

Besides art/ crafty stuff, what else do you like doing in your free time?
I love to travel. I love visiting members of my chosen family. I love singing and acting and laughing.

Does your queer identity come into play in your work?
Most definitely. There are several of my pieces that I like to call "the gay ones." Besides A Girl Named Charlie Lester (which mostly predated all my own same-sex experiences), they're the short stories and poems and plays that are largely about LGBT men and women. I write them because, for me, they're second nature. I have more friends who are gay or who have had a same-sex encounter than who haven't.

What are your hopes for the Queer Etsy Street Team? What brought you to join?
I hope we all form strong bonds with each other. That's what any community should have. Also, I hope we're all able to quit our day jobs. I joined the Queer Etsy team because it felt like a place where I belonged.

See more of mshalston's work at