Swag #71 - Wristlet from DJStoreRoom

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Three lucky ducks will snag the wristlet or pouch of their choice all the way from Singapore from Artfire Seller JDStoreRoom.  She is including airmail shipping for the many who happen to not live anywhere nearby.  Enter Here before next week!  

Etsy Treasures: Springtime!

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This week I am desperately yearning for some springtime weather. Here are some Etsy picks inspired by my wish for spring. . .

What says more about spring than the chirping of the birds and their busy nest-making? This gorgeous yellow fellow by
amberalexander is resplendent in the glowing light and shadow of this watercolor print. He appears to me to be a thoughtful bird, contemplating the tune of his next warbling song.

I love having lots of living bowls to serve side dishes or appetizers. This little bowl by etsy seller
EmmaLitten is an ideal perfect hostess gift or a springtime gift for yourself! It is Robin’s egg blue that captures the delicate blues of new life and hope. (The best thing is this bowl is dishwasher and microwave safe!)

Wear the joys of spring on your wrist with this stunning bracelet created by
schoolofcharms. It is composed of vintage flowers and European charms. This bracelet captures the spirit of vintage Paris in the springtime – elegant, charming, and oh-so-gorgeous.

This tote bag made by
BStauffdesigns is simply gorgeous. The purity of colors in the brocade shimmers with a pearl-like sheen, creating the feelings of opulence and luxury. I have recently become a big fan of the color combination of blue and brown and this bag captures this elegant look.

Here is a beautiful photographic print of Robin’s eggs by
artofwhimsyphoto. I love the look of the elegant vignette – it perfectly sets off the color of these eggs. Eggs are the perfect symbol of spring: new life, hope, and the joy of nature’s beauties.

This beautiful skein of handspun yarn by
sagefox is made out of merino wool. Perfect for your springtime creation. The pastel colors of this yarn remind me of dying hardboiled Easter eggs as a child. Knit or crochet yourself into spring!

I hope that the warmth of spring's winds have blessed your home wherever you are (and if you're in the Southern hemisphere that you can live vicariously through this collection of Etsy treasures.)

Thanks to the Daily Etsian for this wonderful opportunity to share with you some of my favorite finds, look for my column each week!

A little about me: My name is Hannah and I am currently in my last semester at St. John’s University in Queens, NY working on my undergraduate degree in English. When I am not reading and writing for classes, I create things! I love to paint, draw, do freeform crochet and knitting, as well as work on mixed media projects. I am currently running a little Etsy shop named after my grandmother called
Genevieve’s Legacy. The beauty and pride that comes from working with your hands to make a beautiful object of practicality or simple aesthetics is a joy that I hope to share with you!

Paying for Press - do you?

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"Say money" a painting by Jsandquist 

I am often approached through email by wedding websites and etsy related blogs.  The spiel is usually the same, "We love your work! It's so amazing and perfect for our website!  We would love to feature you . . . the cost is only $20.00 a month."  This is usually where I sigh, close the email and turn to other tasks.  Why do I think that "paying for press" is not only a bad idea, but also kind of, glup, wrong?

First of all let's talk about the guidelines I set for my business way back when when I started up.  I thought long and hard about what I would and wouldn't do, for instance, I won't get involved with a website or business that hasn't launched yet.  I won't pay more than 75.00 for a first year craft show that has no proven attendance.   The list goes on down to the miniscule, but on that list you can find - I won't pay to have anyone write about, or feature, my work.

I firmly believe that press always should be free.  If my work/products are interesting and of a high quality, people will write about it.  They will blog away, I will be featured on the front page and gift guides of etsy, and be "item of the hour" on Artfire,  all without having to do one thing - all which really happened to me.  If your business is based on your art or craft, your main concern really should be just that.  Make amazing things with all your heart, for the sake of it, and the rest falls into place.

Plus, something really rubs be the wrong way about someone writing a phony positive article about me just because I paid them to.   I'm not sure if I would have the stomach to read it.

I suppose it all boils down to one bottom line.  Legit businesses who want to work with you will either be free, or will be paying YOU for your hard work.  If someone is asking you for money, especially online, try to put aside the initial excitement of reading about how wonderful they think your work is and think long and hard about what you would be receiving for your hard earned money.

Either way, I'm sure that a LOT of people don't agree with me, and I'd love to hear from people who received offers like the ones I mentioned and turned them down, as well as ones who went for it.  So, paying for press, would you?

Etsy Developer Community and public API is up!!

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Today the etsy API went public at http://developer.etsy.com!  This is the most exciting feature, for me, that etsy has incorporated since I joined.  There is already a small list of available applications, including the ever beloved etsyhacks , plus some others you might not have heard of.  Check out the new apps here !

Swag #70 - Watercolor tutorial from cat lady Susan Faye

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Susan Faye is not just the "official neighborhood cat lady,"  she is also a watercolor artist and illustrator.  In her etsy shop you can commission a original watercolor portrait of your favorite pet or person, as well as buy ACEO's and prints.

Susan was also kind enough to make a tutorial outlining her personal watercolor techniques , I hope you find it as fascinating as I did.  I've tried to watercolor a few times out of curiosity, and have always ended up with a soggy mess.  Susan makes it seem easy in this step-by-step tutorial,  perhaps I've been inspired to try again! Now all I need to find are some cats . . .

Swag #69: Notebook from dozi

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Part-time Etsian and full-time Californian Wendy Chung is the artist behind Dozi .  Her love of pattern and color is clearly defined in her sets of notebooks that she sells in her etsy shop .  You can snag a free one here , by checking out the lovely interview with wendy on the MustardSeed blog. 

Swag #68: Art by lorikoop

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The artwork, clay pots, and bowls in Lorikoops etsy shop are very tactile and organic.  Each item has a mixture of textures that add color and depth,  resulting in a rustic yet sophisticated style. You can snag the item of your choice from Lorikoops on the SuchCoolStuff blog.  

Tea Party

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If there is one that the British and the English in particular are best known for it is their love of tea. 
Without tea workmen can not work, with tea there is the slimmest chance that after it has worked its restorative magic they might get on with fitting your bathroom or finish demolishing the rest of that wall. 
A year or so ago before my daughter was born I found myself stranded at home, bereft of tea bags awaiting the arrival of the carpet layers who were due to put the carper down in the nursery. With visions of irate workmen and rolls of carpet running through my addled brain I was very relieved when they both expressed a preference for coffee.

So pop on the kettle and have a look at this week's picks, inspired by the humble yet mighty cup (or mug) of tea! 

What a Mug!
This may be a mug, but you won't be one for coveting it! I love everything about this Blue Argile Mug from Mullox; the colour, the shape, the mugginess! What beats me is how I managed to discover this shop before anyone else! There is something very Liberty's about this mug, andit  has a generously sized handle, so bigger hands can hold it and stay warm.

A Paler Shade of Green
If you prefer a cleansing green tea, as opposed to the traditional brew that a spoon could stand in, then this gorgeous handle-less Aqua cup from Bridgeman Studios is the perfect choice. It is a snuggley size, perfect for cupping and a lovely calming aqua green. 

"I know someone who is immensely fond of Strawberry Tarts!"
And I know someone who is immensely fond Strawberry Tea Sets! From The Fancy Footworks Pottery Studios this is a stunning strawberry coloured set, perfect for your own personal tea ceremony. To be honest I am coveting everything in their shop!

Tea for Me!
And for those times when you aren't actually partaking of tea there is this felt brooch from Lupin which will dispel any mystery surrounding your beverage of choice! 

Ah the kettle has boiled so that's all from me this week! 
Everyone change places!


Artfire, Rapid Cart, and Etsy

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I'll be blunt, Artfire hasn't been good for me.  I'm verified but have yet to have a sale, whereas I sell everyday through etsy and my website combined.   However I'm sticking with them, as they keep impressing me with some really neat features rolling out over the last few months.

Some of these features are only available to verified artfire sellers. You can join for 7 a month.

Here's the low down:

1. Rapid Cart.  This is an intriguing idea that is realted to the piece we published yesterday about how to sell your items directly from your blog using paypal.  Turns out that if you have an artfire shop you can do the same thing using RapidCart.  Here is an example from my personal artfire shop:

Like Etsy Mini, you can customize the size and number of items that are included. Unlike etsy mini, you can also choose which specific items show up and in what order. Nice. I also played with the code a bit to move the "Rapid Cart" logo to the bottom. I don't think I'll be implementing this code on my blog, but I can see how this could be slightly more useful than the artfire "shop window" or "etsy mini."

2. Ipromote Studio. View their FAQ here. I'm not signed up for this, nor am I a believer in large online advertising campaigns for small craft businesses. However, partnerships like this are interesting, and show that Artfire is actively thinking about opportunities for sellers to promote their shops.

3. My Market Hub. Now THIS I wish etsy had. A simple graphic interface in your shop that allows users to visit your website, blog, your etsy shop and more. Handy. Plus you get stats of how many visitors have clicked through to each site. Etsy is all about twitter, how I long for a simple twitter button in my etsy shop, or integration of my tweets. Maybe someday. . .

4. The 11-step quick start guide. Friendly and helpful, these tips can apply to any site you are selling on. Download it here, and visit their social media resources section for more helpful tip.

5. Easy to find and view video guides and help guides. So reading a boring PDF isn't your thing. The left sidebar of the "My artfire" section contains every support link you could need, including links to videos and tutorials of common artfire features. A format like this on etsy would send me over the moon, no more spending 10 minutes searching the storque for articles about how to take nice pictures, or find the bannerator link.

We'd love to hear everyone's thoughts on artfire and etsy, which aspects you like of each, and how sales compare. Let us know your thoughts!


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Enter to win the book GOING TOO FAR by Jennifer Echols by commenting on the Women Who Rock Wednesday Interview with Jennifer by 3/24!

Finally! The how to keep using your Gocco tutorial!

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Etsy seller UnlessSomeoneLikeYou was kind enough to share with us her tutorial for an alternate method for making gocco screens.  These screens are washable and reusable.  Perfect for all those gocco fans out there who don't want to let go of their goccos just yet.   Check it out here .

Have a tutorial of your own?  Let us know about it !

Making your home studio lovely with Pink Loves Brown

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I stumbled across this lovely example of a functional home studio when searching for who knows what on google.  I really went red when I realized this beautiful home studio, which puts my rented office to shame, is actually just a few blocks away.  Now I need paint.  And shelves.  And pretty flowered curtains. . . 

Check out the whole studio on Making it Lovely

Swag #66 - Letterpress set from Dingbat Press

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Digbat Press is hosting a giving away for St. Patrick's day of these adorable green veggie recipe cards. I love love letterpress, and Dingbat's simple, minimal style is a great match for the medium. Hurry up and enter here, you only have 1 day left!

Down and Dirty Screenprinting for under $10

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This inventive and involved tutorial gets five stars for ingenuity, but slightly less for practicality. For those who desperately want to screenprint but don't have the $$ or the resources, here's a method to test out!

down and dirty screenprinting for under 10$ - More DIY How To Projects

Swag #65 - Amber Earrings from Genuine Article

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Etsy jeweler Julia A is hosting a giveaway for these lovely amber earrings made by fellow etsian Genuine Article. If only they had little mosquitos in them so I could clone me some dinosaur babies. . .

Um, stop by this blog and enter to snag this swag.

Have a giveaway to share? Let us know about it!

I heart Heartomatic

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I hadn't been over to checkout the ol' Heart-o-matic in a while, and was pleasantly surprised when I found out it's now being hosted by the craft cult and has a pretty new interface. Those of us "seasoned" etsians will remember the heartomatic from the ill-fated EtsyTools site which went up in flames with all kinds of whispered about drama that reportedly included death threats on the creators. Needless to say, after that I didn't visit the heartomatic as much. It changed sites, and I kind of lost track of it for while.

But! It's back, and beautiful, and still as useful as ever. I personally don't keep track of my views on etsy at all, they don't seem to correlate much to sales and the only information I ever really gathered from them were what pictures on my site people seemed to like best. Hearts however, do seem to match up to sales a bit more than views, and can be insightful when thinking about which of my designs to renew, and which to drop.

Check out the heartomatic here and find out how your view to heart ratio on each listing in your shop, plus other fun and interesting stats.

New Etsy Category Pages

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Ok, ok, so at first glance the new category pages don't look like anything special, but when you dig down into them you'll see they contain some subtle changes that are indeed helpful. The update includes a nested subcategory list, bigger better showcases, and a new area for that contains the category info plus a little illustration for all of us right brained visual thinkers out there. Huge changes? Nope. But useful? I think so.

Etsy also said that they are planning on utilizing the unused space below the subcategory list for content related to the category, which is exciting for me. How wonderful would it be to have the handmade wedding series actually ON the wedding category page? Ok, maybe that's one of those things only wedding sellers like me geek out about, but still, it's a wonderful idea, as the storque is a wonderful place that is a little out of the way on the site. Thanks etsy for the hard work, and obviously hard thought out, changes.

So, anyone tempted by the new larger showcases to try to snag a spot? I've still never tried the showcase myself, and the debate seems to rage on in the forums of whether they are worth it or not. hm. I think I sense a new topic for next weeks issue. . .

Do you Etsy Hack?

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I am of the opinion that etsy on the whole is a beautiful and fairly functional site. The basics are all there, as in, it's easy enough to list something to sell for the first time. But as you go through the listing process again, and again (as your shop grows with wild success of course!) you start to realize that you are spending a lot of time on etsy doing the same repetive tasks, and that the interface that seemed so handy at first is really a little cluncky.

And enter etsy hacks into your life.

Etsy hacks is a FREE add-on to the firefox browser that drastically improves the workflow of an average etsy seller. It is easy enough to install. First install Greasemonkey which is the add-on program that lets etsy hacks do it's thing. Then choose from the list of hacks that you'd like to use. The list of hacks range from useful to everyone such as "Copy This Listing," a hack that lets you duplicate any listing with ONE CLICK, to "Forum Wrangler" a hack that adds little improvements for for those who troll the forums, such as a hack that lets you jump to the last read page of any thread, which is handy when you can't remember if you were on page 23 or 32 of the latest out of control thread that you can't stop reading even though you want to.

There are currently over 24 hacks up on the site, and that number is sure to grow now that the etsy API has been released. Follow the etsy hacks blog, dontate for all the hard work put into these lovely hacks, and give your mouse clicking finger a much needed rest!

Swag # 66 - Salt and Pepper set from Pink Kiss Ceramics

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Pink Kiss Ceramics is the type of etsy seller that I love to support, the part time crafter. Shawna Pincus has a full time job teaching and spends her spare hours crafting with clay. Many people join etsy to try to make a quick buck, yet, it's crafters like Shawna who would be spending their spare hours creating, etsy sales or not, that I love to patronize.

Lillyella is offering a Salt & Pepper set giveaway on her blog along with a lovely interview from Pink Kiss. Enter Here!

Swag #65: Zombie Queen of Newbury High

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Another Women Who Rock Wednesday giveaway. Check out the interview with author Amanda Ashby here and leave a comment by 3/24 and you will be entered to win either of her books ZOMBIE QUEEN OF NEWBURY HIGH or YOU HAD ME AT HALO or a zombie survival kit!

Swag #64 - Tatted Giveaway from TotusMel

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Full disclosure, I have purchased a tatted bracelet from TotusMel in the past and was thrilled with it. Tatting has always been so fascinating to me, I could marvel at the intricacy of this delicate art for hours.

The rules of the giveaway are alittle complicated, so I'll had you off to the TotusMel blog for that info. Suffice to say some pretty amazing stuff *might be up for grabs so check it out!!

Swag #63 - Recycled rings from Sypria

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Monday must be jewelry day! Here is another exciting giveaway, the bottlecap ring of your choice from the popular etsy seller Sypria. These ring are recycled from medicine bottle flip caps, um, whatever those really are. Nevertheless these rings are neato. Enter here on the Sweet Greens blog before March 11th.

Swag #62 - Jewelry from Lillyella

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Did you know you don't have to be a newbie to host a giveaway? Etsy seller Lillyella has over 2,600 sales and is still generous enough to host a giveaway with one of our favorite estians Xenotees.

Did I forget to mention that I'm head over heels for Lillyella's jewelry? Why does my bithday have to come only once a year? why!

Enter the giveaway on the Xenotees site here before March 12th at Midnight.

Swag #61 - Earrings of your choice from IndianSummers

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UK based etsy seller IndianSummers is brand spanking new! Help her achieve that first coveted sale and share in the joy of the happy dance that ensues. Giver her shop some love and enter the giveaway on her blog for the earrings of your choice!

Swag #60 - Royalty free fonts that are actually cool!

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We all love fonts, but we don't all have the dosh to fork out the money to use them legally in our work. Often I find myself in love with design I've made, but can't submit my work with a font I don't have the rights to. After I pout and stamp my feet for a while I usually turn to Divide by Zero.

The Divide by Zero font collection was started in 1993 by Tom Murphy VII (Tom7 to his website followers.) Tom is a musician, author, photographer, artist of every medium, guy with a PHD in computer science, and probably the only random person I've ever made a point to check back on his website every few months to see what new. He is also gracious enough to offer his font collection with only a few even handed limitations on them. He also offers something else you almost never get to know about other fonts, what inspired the font or where he was when he first drew them. Although sometimes the name says it all, as it is with one of my favorites, "This boring party."

So stop reading and go directly to the Divide by Zero website. Be sure to click through to Tom7, although beware, you will be sucked into a world of reading about the prolific amount of projects this gentleman has completed or has on the burner.

Too lazy to click to a whole other website? Download my favorites from the Divide by Zero collection here by clicking the images below.

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Swag #59 - Notecard set from Artlife

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Etsy jeweler mustardseed is hosing an interview and giveaway on her blog with another etsian you might have heard of, Artlife. The interview even sneaks in some tips for etsy sellers so be sure to take a peek. Don't forget to enter to win the notecard set pictured above when you visit.

Etsy Bold and Beautiful - Color Cavalcade

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Hi there! Before I start overloading your senses with this week's picks let me first take this opportunity to introduce myself. 

My name is Alice Elizabeth Still and I am the unrepentant beadaholic behind Snapdragon Beads. I was born and raised in Ireland and am now living in the UK in the absurdly named town of Biggleswade. I have always had a love of crafts and was raised by a fabric addict who it seems still doesn't have quite enough fabric.

After a slight detour which saw me graduate from Trinity College in Dublin with degrees in Engineering and Mathematics, I am now devoting my time to passing on my love for all things handmade to my 11 month old daughter Amelia.

I'd like to thank EtsySwag for kindly allowing me to write this feature which I hope in time will become your favorite place to discover daring and colourful items from Etsy, as well as terrible punny subtitles ;-D

And without further ado, let's have a look at my picks for this week.

Resin d'Etre

Resin is very hip and happening at the moment and I am simply awestruck at the fantastic, imaginative pieces being created. What I am especially taken with is how resin artists are using techniques for working other media in addition to mixing media to great advantage and effect.

The marriage of silver with resin produces some stunning results wonderfully showcased by the work of Quercussilver. But as lovely as these pieces are, what bowls me over time and again are her 'Hewn Bangles'; a natural evolution from her Hewn Rings.

This wittling/carving effect forms a link between modern and ancient; somewhat reminiscent of Roman jet bracelets.

Getting Hooked on Crochet
As with knitting, crochet has been enjoying a resurgence in popularity of late; from 100% cotton wash cloths to jewelry, worked in wire and beads.

My next selection is from Canselda, in Turkey. Her crocheted scarflet is delightful and the myriad of colours in the surface embellishment, which remind me very much of fat cabbage roses, means that this will go with any number of different coloured coats. Or even, as modelled, would look stunning with a dead plain black outfit. It brings together the idea of the old-fashioned detachable collar with the newer trend for textural experimentation.

Bowled Over

Another weakness I have inherited from my mother is for pottery and stoneware; she herself is an avid collector of Mosse's pottery and even owns a number of pieces designed and previously owned by the late great Sybill Connelly.

I had to stop and blink, rub my eyes before going "Wow!" when I spotted some ultra colourful plates by AtelierBB on the Front Page a few days back. Today, when I started having a better look around her shop, I just fell in love with the Matt Cotton Biscuit Bowls. I don't think you could by just one. These should be the next big collectables since Feistaware jugs. Made from white stoneware, and imprinted with a lace-motif prior to glazing and firing these bowls are practical as well as a visual treat as they are dishwasher and microwave safe.

I hope you've enjoyed my picks this week and I look forward to sharing more Bold and Beautiful handmade items from Etsy with you!


Swag #58 - Necklace from Nicholas Landon

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Blogger Stepmomextraordinaire is coping with the stresses of being a new step-mom by blogging about etsy artists she loves. It's totally true! You can find a giveaway and interview with Nicholas Landon Jewelry which features freshwater pearls, leather, traditional sailors knots and sterling silver. Arr matey.

Enter here!

Swag #57: Supergirls Speak Out by Liz Funk

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This is Stephanie Kuehnert, Etsy Swag has been cool enough to let me update you about my weekly contests that I hold every Wednesday as part of my blog feature called "Women Who Rock Wednesday." Today's guest is author Liz Funk. You can check out her interview here and if you leave a comment on that blog, you will be entered to win her book Supergirls Speak Out: Inside the Secret Crisis of Overachieving Girls. You have until 3/10 to enter!

Swag #56 - Your favorite Xenotee

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Self confessed MAD SCIENTIST Olive Bites is hosting a giveaway for Xenotees on her blog. It's not too often that you see such a large established seller do a giveaway, so we are quite excited about this one!

Take a quick peek at the Xenotees Etsy shop before you enter and note that for every shirt sold I donate $1 to Flat Iron Wildcats of Philadelphia, and will go towards saving a fuzzy animal friend. Now isn't that just lovely.

Swag #55 - Print by Steppie

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One of our tall time favorite etsians Steppie can't think of a name for her most recent painting. Lend a helping had to this deserving young lady and besides shipping you a free print of the painting she'll throw in a few other surprises as well!

Visit her blog to enter here!

Swag #54 - Easter Bunny from Feltmeup

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Thank FeltMeUp for offering this giveaway by entering here!

A felt maker and fiber artist based in Hull, UK FeltMeUp makes adorable little felt sculptures, often in the shape of birds. In my other life in the wedding industry I've had a few of my brides use felted animals as cake toppers, an idea that is a perfect fit for a lot of indie brides out there. This adorable little bunny is being offered as a giveaway just in time for easter.

Swag #53 - Whipped Soap from OakenstoneHandmade

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Thank spool of plenty for offering up this giveaway, and enter to win here.

This might be the excuse I've been looking for to give whipped soap a try. Although looking at the picture of this Mint Chocolate version from Oakenstone Handmade makes me feel more than a little worried that I might try to eat it, and I'm pretty sure my mom told me not to eat soap. I think.
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