Local Handmade Sellers – Austin, Texas

Local Handmade Sellers – Austin, Texas

What is it about living in Austin, TX?

I am a native Texan.  I have lived in Austin, since the late 1980s.  It is a beautiful place to live, music, poets, and lots of makers.  There are many fairs and selling spots for the handmade seller.  There are many universities and of course The University of Texas~I happen to be a graduate of Saint Edward’s University. Austin is the State Capital of Texas and very photographic.  One of my favorite pictures is that of my daughter and her now husband.

leah-brad-engagment pics-tiffany-campbell

Downtown Austin, Texas by Tiffany Campbell Photography

Normally I focus on Etsy Sellers for my Blogging here on WordPress.  Today, I am focusing on a few things that are happening in the Local Central Texas Area.  We locals are very proud of our City and readying for the Holiday Season!

The Pecan Street Festival  is one of the largest, and longest-running, arts, crafts and music festivals in the nation presented by The Pecan Street Association (which is a 501(c)4 nonprofit organization). The festival has been produced by Special Events Live since 2006. The Pecan Steet Festival runs this year September 24th (11AM – 10PM) & September 25th (11AM – 8PM). The Festival is located between East 7th Street and East 6th Street in Downtown Austin, TX.  You will see many vendors on East 6th Street and the Music areas spill over to 7th Street.  (Please note: I tried a number of the links on the Pecan Street Festival page and they are broken or take you to a site that is not the local artist).  If you want to see an artist’s work, I suggest looking them up in a Google Search.  

A friend of mine Jennie M. Bennett is a beautiful jewelry artist who will have a booth at the festival will be Booth number 99 if looking at the Pecan Street Festival Webpage or walking the Festival she will be located on the North side of 6th Street between Trinity and Nueces.  Be sure to look Jennie up, as she is an amazing artist!  She handcrafts her Sterling Silver jewelry here in Austin, using jewelry tools for her art! She is a fantastic human, artist and is very down to earth. I really enjoy knowing her. Jennie gives a nod to the South Congress Bridge with her Sterling Silver Bat Jewelry.  She also makes jewelry she can customize just for you. Do check her out at the Pecan Street Festival, or on the 23rd Artists’ Market  and on online at Etsy   Examples of Jennie’s work below. Click the image and go to her Etsy Shop!




One of my favorite people in the world is Brenda Armistead, she is not only an imaginative artist, human being and a really great friend of mine.  She not only works in clay, she paints, sews and does machine embroidery. She is very creative and makes a variety of art. Her Etsy Shop is called Grannygoodfish.  Below are a couple of examples of Brenda’s work:



A number of Artists or Makers create Bat items as Austin has a bridge where bats live during the summer,  it is a great outing to see the bats emerge on South Congress, in downtown Austin.

Brenda Armistead’s smooth, hand-thrown porcelain yarn bowls will be featured during the Hill Country Yarn Crawl at A Sheep at the Wheel Yarn Company, stop #12 on the Yarn Crawl Map.  A Sheep at the Wheel is full of beautiful, top quality fiber and supplies, and is located at 3010 Williams Dr. Ste 162 in Georgetown, Texas.  Store hours during the event dates of October 7 –15 are 8am – 6pm, and 8am – 5pm October 16.  I will be adding more about A Sheep at the Wheel Yarn Company later in the Blog~

I had Brenda give me a write up on on why she loves working in the Austin, Area. She told me that she was never that kid parked in front of the Television, she was outside playing in the dirt under the home’s porch in the dirt. Now, she is a studio potter and a proud grandmother of 4 “brilliant grandkids.” She told me that she loves making and selling in the Austin area as it is a highly creative, rich market scene, and the great variety support for the arts. Brenda states, “the breadth of the Austin market allows me to reach, artistically, in any direction I want. I make a lot of functional wheel-thrown porcelain ware, but I also love sculpture, sewing, and machine embroidery.” To hone Brenda’s skills she attends classes and workshops as time permits her and she funds her continued education through participation in local pop-up market sales and online at her market online. Brenda will be a part of the 2016 Hill Country Yarn Crawl and she has her Yarn Bowls at a Brick and Mortar Store in Georgetown, TX called A Sheep At the Wheel.



A Sheep at the Wheel is a brick and mortar store in Georgetown, Texas about 30-40 minutes North of Austin. It is a great town and has a lot of markets for the handmade seller to sell at.


Susan Moses is the owner of the establishment, she states that Central Texas is such a wonderfully creative area, it has a long history of talented artisans. I asked Susan to answer why they love owning a yarn store? She said that having so many beautiful colors and textures around unleashes the creative spirit. The residents in Central Texas love to create, and Sheep at the Wheel enjoy helping creatives in accomplishing artful activities. Susan’s family has lived in Georgetown for over 20 years. Opening the store helped her fulfill her dreams. Susan states that their customers are fabulous. Plus they enjoy meeting and socializing with other fiber enthusiasts.  Sheep at the Wheel features locally thrown yarn bowls from Austin’s Brenda Armistead of Granny Goodfish, hand dyed yarn from Arelene Ottoviano of Bronotta also from Austin.  The shop also has their own lines of hand dyed yarns dyed by Georgetown’s own Suzanne Correira of Fireant Ranch and they have other makers for dyed yarns too. The shop carries a wide range of domestic and international brands that made using fair trade.The shop will be joining in the Hill Country Yarn Crawl that runs from October 7 – 16th.  

Shop Address & Hours 3010 Williams Drive #162,  Georgetown, Texas 78628. Regular store hours:  Mon -Sat 10 am – 5 pm & Knit night Wednesday’s 7-9 pm

Yarn Crawl Hours:

Oct. 7-15 8 am – 6 pm
Oct. 16     8 am – 5 pm

Cara Morgan of Spoiled Cats Crochet


My third and final person to blog today is  Cara Morgan  of Spoiled Cats Crochet. Cara Morgan states that crafting and peddling my wares are in my blood as both her parents are artisans.  She can remember when she was young her parents packing everything up to go to a market to sell their wares so she comes from good artisan stock! While she remembers seeing crochet hooks and yarn being around the house, “I didn’t really start crocheting until after college. It was actually a good friend who knits that got me interested in fiber arts.” Cara stated. “Once I got a good grasp on reading patterns and LOTS of practice, crochet became a way to not only create, but also relax and relieve stress.” She is a gal after my own heart as I use creating to relax too.


Cara has a shop on StoreEnvy, she is crocheting such sweet things for the Fall holidays! Spoiled Cats Crochet creates small to mid-sized fiber art for every day or the current season. Each item is handmade in a home studio in Austin, Texas. Cara likes to make fun/silly crochet…”weird things.” Crochet is so much more than tea cozies, doilies, and afghans. She states that her top seller is my 100% cotton Cat Butt Coaster. She is currently working on a pepperoni pizza scarf. Austin appreciates “weird things.” This is one of the main reasons why she loves selling in Austin. The city takes pride in local craftsmanship. Whether it be beer, music, arts, or food, more people in Austin appreciate local handmade goods. Becoming part of the craft community has been such an amazing experience. Cara states that “I’ve met so many other great artists that I admire.” Cara opened a shop to help keep up with her hobby and bring herself more joy learning harder and harder patterns.

Let me know if you have any stories or Craft Fairs you would like me to share!  You can reach me at Objectsandoddities on Facebook or http://www.Objectsandoddities.com.  I would be happy to write about your Local show~



ne bottalico

Aka~musingsilence~© 2016






Artistic Methods and Tools For the Fall Season

Artistic Methods and Tools For the Fall Season


Are you ready for Halloween, Fall, Thanksgiving?

Hi, how are you this week?  I have been busy coming up with designs for the Fall and Winter Season. I am doing my best to design, make, photograph and write product descriptions for my items while getting participants for features for the blog.


I have asked questions of each of the participants.  The questions are  “what are some of your daily essentials to create your work, tools, and workspace?”  I am pretty open to what the blog participants choose to share with me and want to use what they share. 

For me, I am all over the place with what I use to make items as I design and am a maker of many varied items. Even though I sell online, some may call me a “Hobbyist,” as I have not settled on what I create. Although this may be true, I am an artist clear to my bones….and I do sell my creations online. 

I use many tools for my jewelry design, creating jewelry pieces to making my small boxes. For jewelry, I use pencil and paper, pliers, metal cutters, a torch,and metal. I use three workstations depending on the type of work I am utilizing. For making small boxes, I use paint, different of fixatives, papers, glitter, saws, and a Dremel — really so many more items I have to create my art. 

You know if you have read me for a while, I am really interested in Niche Markets, whether that is a handmade maker or a small startup company. I especially love it when women whatever age, they are starting a business (or continuing a growing business). 

First up is my friend, Lynn Esteban‘s Creations are jut marvelous!



Lynn Esteban

I  adore Lynn’s work.  She makes me smile with her creations and I love what she does with a toy everyone loves. Lynn talked a little about her tools for her work and told me that her planner is essential.  She says she was not always a planner person, “…I’d buy new ones and they wouldn’t stick. But  “Tools 4 Life planner” has been amazing.” Just like Lynn, I bought this planner for myself and fell in love. I love it as it is so positive and gets you to make real purposeful goals. Lynn told me that she cannot believe she still using it, but it really helps her keep the big picture of her life and her business in mind, to set big goals and to break them into manageable chunks. She is able to stay on track and reevaluate what needs to happen in her business each month. She highly recommends it and really so do I! (I added a link to Amazon for you to look!).

Lynn lives in New York and it is hard for her to see Fall is coming so fast. Her children do not start back to school until September 8th so it does not feel like Fall for her just yet. However, for the Small Business owner, one needs to be prepared. Fall is a busy time for Lynn and her family, there are local street fairs and fall festivals she participates in and the kiddos have the Back to School fun & madness in early September. It is all an adjustment for the family to everyone’s new schedules.

Lynn says she loves the Hudson Valley in the fall. Now Fall can be felt in the area as the weather is perfect, the leaves start to change, the apples ripen and there are all sorts of festivals. Lynn’s husband is Canadian, so they celebrate Canadian Thanksgiving in early October. They love having a whole house full of all their “expat friends over for that celebration. Several years ago we didn’t feel like making the whole turkey and stuffing affair, so we made sushi instead.” Once the family made sushi, it was a hit so now the Canadian Thanksgiving Tradition is sushi. Lynn told me that her family also has a “funny tradition for American Thanksgiving.” Since they live several states away from Lynn’s family, each year Lynn’s parents come to town for the week of Thanksgiving. they found that is was surprisingly affordable to have the whole affair catered (Traditional Turkey Dinner). 


Brick&Button Packaging — love it!

The Esteban Family enjoys Black Friday for buying a real Christmas tree, wrapping presents, having  decorating our Christmas tree.  After the tree is decorated, gifts wrapped, time is spent with “Grandma and Grandpa” exchanging and opening Christmas presents. Lynn says it is a “whirlwind of a week but it’s incredibly fun!” Since Lynn is busy with the local markets she easily has handcrafted gifts for her parents (Grandma and Grandpa to the kiddos). “It does result in me scrambling to finish some of my shopping for my folks. Luckily I can easily buy them local handmade goods since I’m at local markets in the weeks before!” Lynn told me most joyfully that Fall is her very favorite season. She stated that “she puts a lot of effort in so she does not become stressed as there is so much to do with a family and her business Brickandbutton on Etsy. She enjoys the kiddos new school routine, the crisp air going hiking with “our plaid shirts on, hayrides and apple picking, watching the leaves change, and best of all, spending lots of time eating with family and friends!” Lynn exudes Joy. I am enjoying getting to know her!

Next up is Nona!

                                                                             Nona Englund  boho-cloth-sign


Nona Englund is originally from Finland and has lived in the Netherlands for the past 15 years where life took her on a grand adventure. She states that her home, which she shares with her daughter of 12 isn’t a big one, however, what it lacks in size it makes up in coziness, creative interior solutions, and a warm Scandinavian charm. (My own heart flutters as I love that kind of charm!). Nona dreams of one day living in her “dream home” with a stand-alone creative design studio, but for now, her living room is where all her creative magic takes place. When she’s in her creative mode, her living room is transformed into a design studio.

Nona makes fabric canvas signs which may look quite simple, yet there’s a lot of time, effort, and love going into each one. The essentials she uses to create are different fabrics, canvas boards, twine, burlap, scissors, stamps, ink pads, various glues and varnishes, paint brushes, acrylic paints, fabric markers, pens, wood parts, fabric and washi tapes etc. needed to create the signs are all neatly tucked away in specially designated cupboards, drawers, and decorative wooden chests, and are taken out of hiding when her creative process begins.

Nona states due to the time-consuming nature of creating the canvas signs, and because there are so many phases to creating them especially the 3D beach decor ones, most of them are made to order. Working on the signs while listening to uplifting music or while watching a good movie turns the whole creative process into a wonderfully relaxing and almost meditative experience.

Next up is Anne S. Helsen:



Anne S. Helsen owns IshasCuteStuffs

“Oh, by the way, I started my shop after I gave birth to my daughter. I really want to dress up and have made plenty of headbands and hair accessories because she is so cute! From my daughter’s birth, my own business was born.  My daughter’s name is Akeisha’s so I called my business, Isha’s Cute Stuffs.”

Anne like many creatives has what I call a crazy creative brain that has ideas or designs that just pop into her head while she is working on something else. The design for the “Spooky Headband” Anne did not want something over the top fluffy but something unique for Halloween. She came up with a process, utilizing felt, thread, needles, and a headband. Anne really likes the result and so do I! I have a grandson so I would need to find something more boyish for him, but I love this headband!

Most of Anne’s creations like her headbands are hand sewn and she utilizes her trusty glue gun to seal it all up. Also, some of Anne’s creations are crochet, she has made crochet hair ties with added charms. Anne uses a sewing machine (Birthday gift from Hubby!) for some items. At this point in her business, she is even wanting to grow into a Cameo3! This is a perfect example of how these small businesses begin to bloom! 

Most of Anne’s creations come to fruition on the dining room table as she has two small children 16-month-old who is a bit cheeky and a 3-year-old, both she needs to keep an eye on while she works! She loves it with all “…the screams, laughter, falling  and flying toys (don’t worry those flying toys are the soft ones) around because they are my inspirations.”  She like all WAHM gets tired like all the creatives with small children.  She finds time for a little chocolate milk, during nap time and she is back to business. She is not saying it is easy but she loves what she does.

Next is  Elizabeth Taylor, what a name to be blessed with.  Just look at this precious baby outfit:



Elizabeth Taylor lives in Asheville, North Carolina and she owns BabyMajestic.etsy.com.  She says that she has a craft room that is “exploding!” Since she sews baby clothes, stuffed toys and paper mobiles, she requires a ton of options to view to assist in inspiration!  She says “of course, my Singer and Scissors are mandatory, but my fabric selection and boxes full of colorful cardstock make me smile, feel free and inspired. I buy fabric in 2-3 yard amounts, so my items are always changing.  I take great joy in being invited to share my creations with my clients.”


WOW, what wonderful Etsy.com creatives! All these items I have shown would be perfect for your Holiday Season and these women, work very hard on their craft and small businesses.  I am so glad and proud to be part of the The Joyful Entrepreneur Handmade Community I am involved with that they are also members. I have a new line of jewelry coming up and I will show in the next blog!  I am beyond excited, I hope you are too.

Please click like, star and comment on the blog, feel free to share the blog on your social media.

Peace & love

Nike Bottalico

Aka~musingsilence~© 2016

* My Website uses Cookies as I am an “Affiliate Blogger,” and I receive a small fee for some of the content I share. You do not pay this fee, it is paid by the companies. I am only paid if you click and purchase from the link in my blog. If you support the product as well as myself do purchase from the click off my blog. Everyone or every item I blog about do not receive compensation for I just love the product.  I want you to know that I do support persons or brands on my Lifestyle blog because I love what they do or what they sell without any compensation whatsoever. Please feel free to contact me if you ever have any questions as I am happy to answer!

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Artistic Creatives Getting Ready for the Fall, Autumn, Halloween, and Thanksgiving Season – Part III

Artistic Creatives Getting Ready for the Fall, Autumn, Halloween, and Thanksgiving Season – Part III


Objectsandoddities is my store on Etsy and I love this time of year getting ready for the gift giving season. I also make small art boxes that are really great for Halloween and Christmastime. Some years I also make Holiday Ornaments for the tree. Please not only check out my shop but the Creatives I have highlighted for your shopping needs!

Handmade Necklace by https://www.etsy.com/shop/Objectsandoddities
Handmade Necklace Objectsandoddities    (coming soon)


Kim Ringenbach live in Alabama and is the owner of Heirloom Candles


Kim Ringenbach Handcrafted Harvest Candle
Kim Ringenbach Handcrafted Harvest Candle

Kim says that “I love all of the fall holidays.” My favorite would have to be Halloween! “Thanksgiving is fun because of all the food and joy of cooking things we only eat once or twice a year. Our family is very small so it usually isn’t a big deal.” The only goals Kim is preparing my fall/winter candles she needs to have listed for sale by the first of August. She is usually tired of the Summer heat and the fall scents make her a little happier and calm for the Season to come. 



Mary O’Malley CountryCutieBagDolls looks at Fall as the beginning of the year. She loves Fall in the Northeast as all the leaves change colors. Also at the end of September, she and her husband fo on a vacation together. She loves Pumpkins, Halloween, and Thanksgiving.




Marilu O’Malley CountryCutieBagDolls

Mary loves spending time with all of her family and says she has a huge family. She loves Fun-Days spending time with family.  Mary has been creating her design for a number of years at craft shows and has actually copyrighted her design doll back in 1995 under the official name became Country Cutie Bag Dispenser ©). She uses  floral designs, homespun, and solid fabrics to make the dresses and other items of adornment for these very pretty useful dolls!


Nadine Lorgeoux Jalem lives in Florida now. For Nadine’s shop on Etsy Shop Love2quilt and her tagline for her shop is Handmade Textiles Gifts & Home decor. She starts designing and creating for Fall and Halloween Decor items as early as July. She creates new items for Halloween and Fall home decor in July. For Christmas Decor items, Nadine starts designing for Christmas and creating Christmas items in August so she is able to get them listed on Etsy early enough for her customers.

Nadine Lorgeoux Jalem Love2quilt
Nadine Lorgeoux Jalem Love2quilt



This week she is creating and stitching Holidays/Christmas themed items, she may make some changes to what she is doing and make small gifts for any occasion to list in her shop to give more variation. She may find she needs to go to the supplies store and pick up new blades for her rotary cutting tool or get new ribbons. Nadine stated that “We have been living in different countries for a long time and now settle down  in the States  but traveling to France regularly to visit family.” 


Coming Soon to the Blog

Joanna Bartoszewicz of Painted with Buttons Tagline is High-Quality Button Art and Giclee Art Prints.  She makes beautiful art with Buttons and adorned with Swarovski Rhinestone Crystals. She gives you a range of prices for her Bespoke Art.

Joanna Bartoszewicz of Painted with Buttons
Joanna Bartoszewicz of Painted with Buttons

Joanna stated that she is Polish by birth. Many people from Poland find Autumn as a more of a solemn time of the year with the main holiday being All Saints Day when they honor their dead. I relate to people who look toward the Tradition of honoring those people who have come before us. Living in Texas and looking at the wonderful history of the Mexican people who celebrate Day of the Dead of Día de Muertos  (some call the Holiday Día de Los Muertos) and my own Irish Catholic background whose family would also look to All Souls Day and the deep abiding of those who came before us. I make small art that honors how I feel about Day of the Dead remembrances and celebrations.

Joanna also said that living in the United States, she and her family celebrate Halloween and Thanksgiving Holidays. Joanna stated that Fall is her favorite time of the year, she loves the changing leaf colors, the cooler temperatures and the feelings she gets with Winter coming.

Joanna is a collector of vintage Buttons and now only has the shop Painted with Buttons but she and her husband own a Jewelry Supply shop on Etsy too called OnestopJewelrySupply.

Joanna’s story is like many Creative’s need to collect beautiful items. Her art came to life from the need to control the never stopping flow of vintage buttons, findings, and all things sparkly. Since Joanna was a little girl she has been collecting beads, buttons and old jewelry pieces. She fell in love with Czech beads and buttons. She needs to control some of her space being taken over by all the items. Out of that need grew a Supply Store and her art. Joanna said that when people purchase my button art, they don’t only receive a beautifully created art, but also a piece of history, as each of my art pieces contains several of gorgeous buttons from my personal collection. Each piece also includes Swarovski rhinestones that add beautiful sparkle and elegance to each piece. I love her Art and I know you will also! Be sure to click on the photograph which will take you to her shop!

Thank you so much for reading these crazy fast blogs. I am going to slow down a little as I need to make my own Autumn, Fall, Halloween and eeekkkk Christmas items. Are you making items, if so tell me what in the comments! I am really excited to get busy creating again.

Happy Fall

Creative Commons.org










Nike Bottalico

Aka~musingsilence~© 2016





* My Website uses Cookies as I am an “Affiliate Blogger,” and I receive a small fee for some of the content I share.  You do not pay this fee, it is paid by the companies. I am only paid if you click and purchase from the link in my blog. If you support the product as well as myself do purchase from the click off my blog.  I want you to know that I do support persons or brands on my Lifestyle blog because I love what they do or what they sell without any compensation whatsoever. Please feel free to contact me if you ever have any questions as I am happy to answer!

* Users of your website will also need to give you their consent to your website’s use of Cookies. This includes Cookies you use or place on our behalf.

Artistic Creatives Getting Ready for the Fall, Autumn, Halloween, and Thanksgiving Season – Part II

Artistic Creatives Getting Ready for the Fall, Autumn, Halloween, and Thanksgiving Season – Part II

I have been writing about Sellers on Etsy.com which is teaming with Creative people who make items with their own hands and their own designs! I have the unique experience collaboration with so many of these sellers by being a member of the Joyful Entrepreneur and Flourish. I am able to see so many other artists and creative  business owners. I am honored to be among all these talented people!

Vintage Postcard
Vintage Postcard

I have been interviewing Creative Artists about how they get ready for the Autumn Season in preparation for Fall, Autumn, Halloween, and Thanksgiving (and really, the Christmas Season). There is a lot of work that goes into getting ready for the Holidays when you own your own business. Creative Artists usually are a “one person  show,” designing and making the creations for you.

Amanda Hollis shop SewBlondeStudio and her tagline is “Handmade things with a farmhouse style!” She loves making handmade farmhouse chic items that have a classy sophisticated, and modern rustic feel! She is living in Historic Tennessee. Amanda says “I am getting ready for the fall season, especially Thanksgiving, by thinking about what I love most about that holiday and time of year in general – family, togetherness, beautiful colors, and, of course, food!” Amanda finds getting together with family and the holiday season really assists her in designing and her inspiration for the Fall Signs she has in her shop. Personal tradition for her and family is to have a Traditional Family dinner at her parent’s home. When dinner is finished, she and her sisters scour the sales ads for any “must have sales.”  sting-pumpkin-by-amanda-2


Amanda Hollis’ Art Work

Carlin Donart lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Carlin’s shop LoveAcrossTheMiles. She is the owner and sole creative for her shop. Carlin Donart’s tagline for her shop is “Making long distance [relationships] happier, one step at a time. With all the news about the flooding in Louisiana, we wish her well as well as all the Louisianians well and really good positive thoughts for the safety of people affected by the flooding.


Carlin is not only a Creative but she is also an Engineer (immediately my social work “hat” goes on… Carlin is able to use the right and left sides of her brain… Oh my, she has really balanced brain function, I have a little brain envy [not in a negative way] as I know she is much more organized than my spazzy creative brain).  

Carlin’s shop is geared toward persons who are involved in long distance relationships. You are able to tell Carlin has thought hard about “long distance relationships.” She notes that the definition for her in long distance is best friends who attend different colleges or universities or best friends who graduate college and go off to first jobs that are across the country, to our nation’s military, one deployed and the other in the US or young couples separated by a distance in miles only for the time being. Carlin has been able to make the leap  and connection that many businesses do not make early on, that you need to make an experience between yourself (the creative) and your buyer or customer. Carlin has tapped into that notion very well.

Carlin believes in having her seasonal items up early in the year for her shop. She had her significant other (boyfriend) in mind when she made some of her items. “The fall-themed wooden sign is my favorite piece of decor I have, and I can’t wait for the weather to cool down to hang it up!” Currently, Carlin is working on a Thanksgiving sign and a Halloween sign, so she is focusing on the general season coming up. Carlin enjoys Fall for football season, time with her family and friends, NFL games and her younger siblings. Carlin’s younger siblings will often paint with her while she visits home.  

Marybeth Mullen of Beastiebabies is Ready for Pumpkin Seasons — just look at this Baby Bib with Pumpkins all over it!  It gives Joy just looking at it!


Marybeth Mullen lives in a historic town Oregon, Ohio and the town is near Lake Erie. Marybeth says that her favorite time of year is the fall. Marybeth says that her items are “unique and made with plenty of love.” She actually begins to get ready for Fall in July (like many of the supply stores will begin to show Fall, Halloween, Thanksgiving even Christmas items in July)!  As buyers, many of us want to be ready for the “best Season of the year so it is great these sellers are ready for you!  She says “hooray,” for Fall!” Marybeth will have items available for you for the upcoming season and she welcomes custom items. 

Marybeth says that she loves picking out all the fabrics for Fall and loves making bibs for babies and little girl skirts. She designs new bibs for Halloween, Fall Harvest and a designs a new Thanksgivings skirt each year. Marybeth has customers who return each year to purchase the “new annual designed skirt,” for their girls. Marybeth will also complete custom children’s clothing. Do go to her shop and send her an Etsy Conversation.

Fall is also the time of year when Marybeth has her traditional vacation “up north.” She meets with good friends, goes shopping, eats good food and enjoys plenty of fun kayaking on the river. Marybeth also enjoys fishing with friends. She says that the fall colors are the best this time of year and is her favorite. Fall colors are her favorites and she leaves the colors up year round. It does not matter to Marybeth that they are pumpkins and leaves. She loves them! Marybeth also loves to get new fabrics! I

It was wonderful to get know to each of these sellers more personally. We all are in a group together and I love knowing them better than before.

Coming Soon to the Blog-Autumn

I have more Etsy Sellers and other handmade / handcrafted sellers coming up. I do hope you will share with your friends and let me know if you would like a feature!

You will see next Nadine Lorgeoux Jalem  who lives in FloridaKim Ringenbach who lives in Alabama and  Marilu O’Malley of CountryCuteBagDolls.  I am also waiting on a couple others to get back with me answering my questions~  I really hope you will join us. If you are an Etsy Seller and would like a showcase –please write me and we can figure it out~

Nike Bottalico

aka~musingsilence~© 2016



* My Website uses Cookies as I am an “Affiliate Blogger,” and I receive a small fee for some of the content I share.  You do not pay this fee, it is paid by the companies. I am only paid if you click and purchase from the link in my blog. If you support the product as well as myself do purchase from the click off my blog. I want you to know that I do support persons or brands on my Lifestyle blog because I love what they do or what they sell without any compensation whatsoever. Please feel free to contact me if you ever have any questions as I am happy to answer!

* Users of your website will also need to give you their consent to your website’s use of Cookies. This includes Cookies you use or place on our behalf.

Creatives Getting Ready for the Autumn Season

Creatives Getting Ready for the Autumn Season

What are you doing to get ready for Fall?  Have your children all gone back to school? Do you have specific ways you prepare for the Holiday Season that is just coming around the corner?  I have contacted and curated a number of different Etsy Sellers that I will feature together in the Blog so you see some beautiful Fall, Autumn and Halloween.

As it nears to Christmas, and time goes ticking by, I will be preparing several different blogs leading up to the Christmas Season.  Some if this is a nod to how we all feel when we go into Michael’s right after July 4th and see OHMYgoodness…. Have you been to Michaels recently? They have Halloween out –right??!!

Halloween Pumpkin
Halloween Pumpkin

Well, I am going to blog about some wonderful creatives who are able to make you gifts that are handcrafted for the Holiday Season! Well, you can shop in your jammies and get it delivered no fuss, no muss! What better way to support small business and handcrafted or handmade (whatever you call it) items and give a gift made by a person who really cares about their customers.


The Creative Commons

As a blogger, it is my intention is to show you worthwhile information and to entertain you a bit. I am a Mom, a grandmother, a small business owner and creative maker, and most of all I am deep down I have an old artist soul. Also, I care about what I create and what I share with you on the blog.

Becca Valenti of CustomCraftCorner16  makes many forms of crafts including glass etching, hair bows, headbands, tutus, vinyl, and more! She loves to create and makes many types of handmade items! Fall to Becca Valenti, means the changing seasons, beautiful colors, upcoming holidays and fun with her family. She stated that “Tis’ the season for pumpkin spice and therefore my favorite season!” Becca believes the season is a time to give thanks for everything. She and her family have been given a lot in life to be thankful for. I have featured  a really cute Fall, or Halloween baby item, perfect for a gift or a baby shower!


                Cutest Little Pumpkin in the Patch


My next Creative Ashley Kajewski of OLilMissSparklesO   and she has another item that is great for a dress-up party or perfect for Halloween. This item is based off of the Grimms Fairytale “Rapunzel” that was first published in 1812. A lot of little girls would love this costume (or any in her shop). I remember when my daughter was young she wanted to live in her tutus or dress-up clothes for everyday wear. Let Ashley be your creative director for your child’s fall dress up wear, Halloween or even a Renaissance Faire. The Texas Renaissance Festival runs from October 8, 2016- November 27, 2016. Costumes from Etsy Sellers will be perfect for you and for you family! This is Ashley’s Handmade Crocheted and sewn Rapunzel Tutu Dress.-1


My next handcrafted designer is Ashley Roberts of AshleyRCreations. She lives in Oklahoma with her family. Ashley creates custom reclaimed wood home decor & nursery decor.woodland-closet-hanger


Ashley gets ready for the Fall holidays by buying everything pumpkin! She gets in the “Fall frame of mind” by getting Pumpkins~Here we are “in mid-August and she has already baked pumpkin bread and cookies with her oldest son.” She also loves the aromas of pumpkins or Fall scented candles while she is creating her products. Ashley believes the aromas help her productivity and keeps her Joyful while she works. 

Ashley gets ready for the Fall holidays by buying everything pumpkin She states “it gets me in the fall frame of mind.” Here we are in mid-August and she has baked pumpkin bread and cookies with her oldest son. She also loves the aromas of pumpkins or Fall scented candles while she is creating her products. Ashley believes the aromas help her productivity and keep her mood up.

Ashley and her family have traditions for trick or treating and they all dress up. Ashley starts planing costumes in advance as she makes them herself for she, hubby and the two children. The first year they dressed up as characters from the Flintstones, Barney Rubble and Betty Rubble and Bam-Bam. Now. there is another baby the family is  dressing up as the Ninja Turtles. Like most creatives Ashley has been creating most of her life.

For Thanksgiving the family is going on a family vacation to a new city. They really like to go to cities to take part and see all the AZA Zoos they can visit.  That is a family Tradition the family is building.  What are your Traditions around the Holidays?  


Well, what is coming up next?

I will go into what I do for the Holidays and any of my Traditions. I do go visit my grandsons while they Trick of Treat and I love it so!  Holiday times change as you are older as I want to celebrate with family-time with my adult kids as they are very grown up adults (which is great). I want them to have memories in their own homes with their families so I visit there. I will talk more soon. I have 3 or 4 more Creatives to celebrate in my blog very soon.  Please share the blog to others who may be interested.  Thanks ~thumbnail(3)


For my Blog Series,  have reiterated the agreement I have already obtained prior to writing about the Creatives I feature for a blog, that they will share the blog post to all their own social media and that they will Comment & Like with the star icon  or Heart with the Heart Icon at the top of the blog.  

I have learned from a couple of people that commenting portion for the Blog may have been difficult to find. If you find it difficult please click what looks like a piece of paper to open up the blog or click on the Blog title — if they are unable to do this that they contact me in a private message and I will assist with more detailed instructions. I will see if this works or maybe I need to change the Template my blog…. I also want to note I also obtained each person’s permission to use their photographs in my blog and they understand that the blog could be shared in the blogosphere. 

I have used a couple of pictures from  Creative Commons & from Canva and I will note on every blog when I use internet photographs to give credit.

Nike Bottalico


aka~musingsilence~© 2016

Post Script ~Oh and I always want to give a shout out to Sarah Sewell of The Joyful Entrepreneur  who made a lot of this possible for me  as I am able to focus on being joyful in my own work. I also know the gift of my own creative spirit, and to have a positive mindset! She is a fabulous Creative Coach. All my years of having an online presence she has been the best Creative, & business coach for me to have.  Join the facebook group!

Objectsandoddities Jewelry Banner
Objectsandoddities Jewelry Banner

* My Website uses Cookies as I am an “Affiliate Blogger,” and I receive a small fee for some of the content I share.  You do not pay this fee, it is paid by the companies. I am only paid if you click and purchase from the link in my blog. If you support the product as well as myself do purchase from the click off my blog.  I want you to know that I do support persons or brands on my Lifestyle blog because I love what they do or what they sell without any compensation whatsoever. Please feel free to contact me if you ever have any questions as I am happy to answer!

* Users of your website will also need to give you their consent to your website’s use of Cookies. This includes Cookies you use or place on our behalf.

The Joyful Series – Staying Joyful In the Handmade Industry Part IV

The Joyful Series – Staying Joyful In the Handmade Industry Part IV

Being Joyful While You Work

Just imagine becoming the way you used to be as a very young child, before you understood the meaning of any word, before opinions took over your mind. The real you is loving, joyful, and free. The real you is just like a flower, just like the wind, just like the ocean, just like the sun.  Don Miguel Ruiz

Why do I support Etsy Sellers so MUCHWell, I love the handmade seller. I am a handmade  seller and want to support my cohorts (and I am an affiliate blogger, but still  — eh). I used to be a Team Captain for an Etsy Team (loved it, had to give it up due to health issues). I also love the mantra or basic belief of supporting small businesses. There is just something to me, having something that is made by a someone. I know,  I am helping a family directly, and for the most part I am helping a woman owned business (not always but for the most part).  

Edi's Lamps on Etsy
Edi’s Lamps on Etsy

I am showcasing Edis Lamps  on Etsy. Panagiotis and Despina own Edi’s Lamps and are a husband and wife team who work from their home. As with many creative businesses who work from home there is a difficulty not working 24-7 and carving out that time that is work versus home life.  

Despina answered the same questions posed to the participants of the last for the last 3 blogs.

Panagiotis and Despina, spend their lives and loves as a couple “in life and creation.” We run our Etsy shop together and we love it! I learned from the couple that running their business is really challenging as working from home draws a really “thin line” between your personal and working time.

The first thing they do in the morning is enjoy their breakfast! When they  worked outside the home there was not enough time to take part in eating breakfast together so they have started a new family ritual. After breakfast, Despina sits in front of the computer to check e-mails, social media accounts and to update their Etsy shop. Panagiotis is responsible shipping, buying supplies, printings etc. After the nitty-gritty of the business tasks are complete, the design process comes into play. They sit together and  discuss about new designs and products.

Being a Joyful Entrepreneur for Panagiotis and Despina is being able to do things they were not able to do before like “taking a five-minute break to just look at the sea view from our balcony…” (they live in Athens, Greece) listening to music they love and sing while working. (Oh me, oh my,  I have hit my perfect interpretation of being Joyful!) Panagiotis and Despina are able to breathe and enjoy.  It is not that they do not have busy times, they do!  But they love everything they do!

Despina and Panagiotis are excited when creating new products that meet the goals of their shops and find ways to celebrate every little milestone they reach. The key to success for them is being open and ready to learn new things that they will develop through time.

The couple tries to stop everything at 8 p.m. at the latest and make plans to do something fun like a walk, see friends, family, or watch a movie.

Panagiotis and Despina’s daily schedule is about to change dramatically as in November of this year as they are expecting their first baby! While this could be an upcoming challenge for the couple they are staying positive. The couple is “fairly sure” that things work out in the best possible way!  (So am I and I am excited for them!).

I appreciate all the participants for this short series. I will have new topics and other Etsy sellers/shop owners to showcase. I do that you give some love, check out, visit and buy from all the Creatives shop owners that I featured in the past Blog entries. Also,  I hope you visit Panagiotis and Despina’s Shop named Edi’s Lamps and give them some love, plus purchase a fantastic light!  I know that I am ordering one!

Oh and please be sure to visit Sarah Sewell at the Joyful Entrepreneur  whose Coaching has inspired me to be Positive and to Seek in my journey!

Sarah Sewell’s Mandala


Lots of love & hugs

nike ~❤

p.s. I love this couple as my name is Nike the Greek Goddess of the Samorace (for reals!)






* My Website uses Cookies as I am an “Affiliate Blogger,”  and I receive a small fee for some of the content I share.  You do not pay this fee, it is paid by the companies. I am only paid if you click and purchase from the link in my blog. If you support the product as well as myself do purchase from the click off my blog.  I want you to know that I do support persons or brands on my Lifestyle blog because I love what they do or what they sell without any compensation whatsoever. Please feel free to contact me if you ever have any questions as I am happy to answer!

* Users of your website will also need to give you their consent to your website’s use of Cookies. This includes Cookies you use or place on our behalf.


Joyful Series, Staying Joyful Part III

Joyful Series, Staying Joyful Part III

The Joyful Spirit 




As I write this series  please remember, I have made it a point to use part of my own education in Social Work and Sociology to examine and  study the general notion or concept of being Joyful while working:

Note: I posed a number of written questions for  each of the shop owners to answer regarding how they remain “joyful,” and their “daily rituals” while working and growing their small businesses (which can be very stressful). Some of the answers do not fit specifically what my questions were however,  I am choosing to use what was provided to me by the small business owner.  I have one or two more blogs to complete on this topic before I wrap it up and move to the next topic for my blog.

Some of what started this thought process was my belonging The Joyful Entrepreneur  and my own thought processes much like I was trained formally to use.  I have said many times Creatives are folks who are very similar and very different.  I am finding a beautiful common thread with all creatives.

I attended two different universities to complete my degree since we had to move right in the middle of my own adult education process. I started attending  Texas Woman’s University in the late 1980s and needed a double major of Social Work and Sociology (would have been a double degree in Bachelors in Science in Social Work and Sociology). While at TWU in Denton, TX,  I studied about theorists (Durkheim, Weber, and Marx) who had a stark belief that “religion in an of itself,” was an illusion. To add, I was learning things that were very much different than my upbringing. I wanted to add that another theorist (I very much respected) was Emile Durkheim who viewed religion within the context of the “entire society” or across the globe acknowledged that Spirituality and Religious has a place influencing the thinking and behavior of the members of all society.

I finished my undergraduate degree here in Austin, TX at Saint Edward’s University which is “Liberal Arts Degree in Social Work” (early 1990s).  Due how far I was in my studies at TWU, I needed to have a certain amount of hours to graduate from Saint Edward’s so I had to take some extra classes and added Religious Studies to my degree to complete my degree as Saint Edwards is a Catholic University (which was more aligned with my upbringing).

MaryOnWood collage by nike bottalico

I have tried to keep this numbered blog series for the most part on “human rituals,” so all persons who participate, and read all feel comfortable. I am interviewing people all across the globe and their belief systems are vast and may be very different from your own. I have tried to separate out what I believe, verses my readers beliefs,  to my invitees (the creatives souls i.e. shop owners) beliefs who are allowing me to blog about their products and their shops.

I believe that we (all people) have religious symbols, objects, and rituals, which are sacred or that could possibly be profane to another person. I personally believe in the Divine and Love. I am pretty much accepting of all belief systems and long as they are for the good of others.

I am finding how my interviewees (Creative business owners on Etsy) all have a common thread within them regardless where they live in the world (or what their spiritual preferences are) the participants all find Joy in their lives, and it is very similar of one another no matter their belief systems.

Please note that I was not asking for specific Spiritual Preferences, I was actually shying away from that, however, some of my participants are deeply spiritual. It is that deep personal belief of the creative business owner is the basis of their actual business plan and their customer base. 


My first participant for this blog dated 08/15/2016 is Stacy Turner – Makes Mason Jar Table Table Decor of Marietta, Georgia, has her items in in a local store and sells her “custom made” products from her Etsy shop Stacy Turner Creations.   

Stacy states that she is a Work At Home Mom (WAHM) with two children one starting in pre-k and a 4 month-old baby. Stacy finds great joy in being with her children and the ability to be a creative business owner. Stacy is very grateful to be contributing to the family’s income and fulfilling her own dreams at the same time. She states that she “has  always worked outside of the home until I was about halfway through my pregnancy with my second baby.” 

Stacy describes her work as “southern elegance at its best. The colors are warm and beautiful and can add such a wonderful pop of color to any space!”  Marson Jar Table Decor are for the most part custom items and this image is an image  of her work:



One of Stacy’s daily rituals, is having quiet music on in the morning while she paints and a “pot of coffee.” Once she has her quiet time waking up she wakes the family and makes sure everyone gets out the door properly clothed!

She and her baby are alone during the day so she enjoys the baby while she is awake and works while her baby sleeps. Every piece Stacy makes is with the help of her  husband who cuts the wood and their older daughter (who is 4 and lovingly cuts out labels). The 4 year old loves to “help” so if your label is ever crooked, know it was cut with love by her. Stacy’s pieces have about a one to two-week turnaround as they are about 75% custom made. Shipping happens next in the day, then dinner time. Whew, once that is done they start over for the next day, keeping the rhythm of running the business the same. Stacy and family have early mornings and long nights, but “I do it with a happy heart and lots of pride in my work!”

My next interviewee is Larissa Speck of LarissaMadeThis:   


Larissa’s  typical morning starts at about 6:00 when she kissed her hubby goodbye as he heads off to work.  Larissa grabs a quick shower before the fun begins.  Larissa has 3 kiddos – “one grade school, one middle school and one high school, so a good portion of my life is spent driving kiddos, waiting in carpool lanes, and more driving kiddos.”   Once everyone is to school she has several hours of “peace and quiet.” When the weather is nice, this is when she heads out to the garage to cut and sand boards to make her signs that she sells. She states that if Mother Nature isn’t cooperating, she will work inside at her kitchen table of work in the office.  If the weather does not permit Larissa to make signs,  she has many creative outlets to explore. Larissa, like many of her fellow creatives  has a multitude of supplies (I relate very well to this!). Larissa’s “to do list is much longer” than she could accomplish as Larissa stated that sometimes inspiration strikes and “I have to just go with it, because I’m a creative and that’s how I roll.” Larissa does keep a priority list that she follows to keep her on task.

Once it is time for carpool to start again the creating time evaporates and she is in her van from 2:15 until 4:15 every school day afternoon. While waiting in line at schools she works on her paperwork and answers phone calls or emails or an Etsy Convo. After everyone is home there is homework, start dinners and check to see for any emergency type orders and the next thing you know, the day is over!  

Our busy, busy creative friends!  

To end this blog I have also chosen WinfreyHomeDesigns who consists of Philip and Christy.  

Philip and Christy have made a gorgeous  Fall Decor Gather Sign  for the fall season that I am showcasing. Philip and Christy are a husband and wife team and their Faith in God is the utmost importance. “Prayer is a big part of our everyday life. We are careful to ask God for His direction in everything we do, so several times a day we will just stop and pray….[ sic ]. We both feel so blessed to be able to work together every day!”  


Christy Lyn and Philip run the business together so it is an easy, relaxing start to the day. Their day begins when the sun streams through the curtains, giving a natural waking up for their day. They have a no alarm clock home. Each morning coffee is part of the morning ritual and some days gallons of coffee is needed.  At Winfrey Designs morning work rituals consist of checking on the Etsy Shop, completing morning marketing, to printing off shipping labels, packing orders then organizing for the next day’s orders.

“We began this business to bless others, but we are the ones who are blessed! We have rejoiced with customers and cried with customers. We truly consider it an honor when our customers choose us to make a sign for them.” For the Winfrey’s their Etsy shop is not just about the money their earn, it is really an honor for them to make a sign for their customer.

Do visit these lovely these three sets of genuinely creative  people and their lovely shops!

Oh and P.S.  Be sure to check out Sarah Sewell at thejoyfulentrepreneur.co

love & hugs

nike ~❤




* My Website uses Cookies as I am an “Affiliate Blogger,”  and I receive a small fee for some of the content I share.  You do not pay this fee, it is paid by the companies. Users of your website will also need to give you their consent to your website’s use of Cookies. This includes Cookies you use or place on our behalf.