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  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 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

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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

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.