Team Successes?

It is hard to remember that when I post these blog entries that not everyone knows me and when I refer to myself in the first person my English teacher cringes! My name is Felicia Norwood, and I am one of the four leaders of the AREtsy team! I have been working to help our team lately by posting discussions on the Team page in Etsy, facebook posts, and these blog posts. I am also working with the other leaders to make our team one of the best on Etsy!

In other teams I see discussions for treasury listings (we have a contest running now) and success threads (have one of those too) and I want all of us to work to celebrate our big and little victories! We will be making some changes to the blog in the way of including a directory, which we are requesting the information you want included be sent to sweetydarlindesigns@gmail.com. We are going to include a show schedule for the entire state, so send that information to the same email. I have been selecting and posting featured sellers on a monthly basis, the winner of the treasury contest gets to be featured in March!

We also want to eventually have a special AREtsy Craft fair!

In this depressed economy, and the pressures that creates on all of us we (as a society) seem to have lost our focus that there are some very good things in our lives worth focusing on, and I know for myself those are the things I want to focus on this next year. I think our team is one of those BIG HAPPY THINGS!

What are your New Year's Resolutions?


Team Pow Wow Drive!

We have a rough direction of the way we want to use the Team Grant money received from Etsy. We are going to work on getting a Team Directory compiled, and getting some improvements to the blog. We want to make this a team collective that the general public can find us.

We want to include as much or as little information on each team member as they are comfortable with, such as name, shop name, shop category (as we plan on grouping the directory into categories) facebook, twitter, tumblr, blog, address, email, phone, etc.

We have posted in a few locations to send all your information to sweetydarlindesigns@gmail.com. That way no one is posting their information too publicly.

We will also want to keep our show directory up to date. So if you know of any shows, or events send those to us as well. That could be posted in a comment here, or sent to the email listed above.

We have looked around online, and have a few other sites that we are using as a rough guideline for things to include, but the best way to make the team better is to get the team members involved. Myself and the other leaders want to make this one of the best teams on Etsy, but that takes a collective effort.

Come on AREtsiers! Let's get to the pow wow and blow all those other people AWAY!



We have been awarded a Team Grant from Etsy!

The basic rules of the grant are that we can use it for any purpose with regards to team promotion, but we have to document the use of the money and Etsy wants us to report back to them with photos etc.

We could use it to have a craft fair, get team shirts, advertisements, team meetings, ANYTHING!!!

We will need input from the team in order to have plans of what we could do to spend the money as beneficially as possible!

Please comment with your ideas, and input! This is a great opportunity for our team to have some real positive impact for our shops and our state!


AREtsy Featured Shop: Mountain Home Pottery

Tell us a bit about yourself.

My husband and I have owned and operated Mountain Home Floral Co. in Mountain Home for 19 years. I have been a floral designer for 36 years. (Really doesn't seem like that long!) I have a son and two daughters and two granddaughters. I started taking pottery classes six years ago, because one of the things I had always wanted to learn was how to throw clay on a potter’s wheel. Well, little did I know it would become a new passion in my life. Not only did I learn to throw clay, but I learned to hand-build with clay, which opened up a whole new world of form and design. Three years ago my instructor and mentor asked me to collaborate on a project with her and another clay artist and that has grown into another business venture for me. I am very passionate about clay and I can’t stop myself.

Apart from creating things, what do you do?

My husband will tell you that I never stop creating things! I love to sew, knit, crochet, and make soap. I'm also learning how to make cheese. (If only we had room for a cow or maybe a goat.) Before I got into clay, I took cake decorating classes, now that is fun and yummy, but my family would cringe when they saw me coming with another cake! They were all gaining weight. Now they have to add extra support to their cabinet shelves to hold up all the stoneware pottery I have gifted them with. So they gained weight in a different way.

If I see some cute or interesting thing I have to figure out how to make it.

I do enjoy reading and watching movies (while I knit or crochet) and going on hikes in the woods with my husband. We live in one of the most beautiful states and I never tire of making day trips to go on hikes.

What would be the title of your memoir? Why?

“There’s Always One More Thing to Learn” I am a perpetual student, when we stop learning, we stop living.

Where does your inspiration come from?

I am inspired by nature. There is no greater artist than God.

What does handmade mean to you?

To me, handmade means taking something and changing it in to something else.

Who has been most influential in your craft?

The person who has influenced me the most in my craft is Deborah Mitchell, my clay instructor, mentor and friend. She has been very generous with her knowledge and encouraging with her critique of my work.

When did you know you were an artist/maker?

I guess I have always been an artist. When I was young I loved to paint and draw and make things with whatever was on hand. I started working in flower shops when I was 16 and that gave me another outlet for my creative side.

How would you describe your creative process?

With clay you can have an idea of where you want to go, but you need to let the clay lead you as well. It’s good to be flexible when working in clay. My favorite saying is “I meant to do that!” Thing usually turn out better than my original plan.

If you could peek inside the studio of any artist, designer or craftsman (dead or alive), who would it be?

I am fascinated with Glass Blowing. I would love to give that a try! I would love to watch just how to go about making a gob of molten glass transform into a beautiful work of art.

What handmade possession do you most cherish?

I have a number crocheted Afghans made by my Mother that I love. Every time I wrap up in one I can feel her giving me a hug. I cover my granddaughters when they come to visit, in ones that she made for my daughter when she was a baby. Mom passed away thirteen years ago.

How do you get out of your creative ruts?

I switch gears and do something different. Take a walk and really look around. Or if I’m really in a rut I clean the studio, that does it everytime!

Where would you like to be in ten years?

I would like to still be working in clay in ten years. Making the majority of my income from the sale of my pieces. I would like to be able to travel more and see places I have never been before.

Check out Mountain Home Pottery's Etsy Store and Liz's profile!


Hump Day Blues

Today is the middle of the week. The time that we start to look forward to the weekend but are so glad it is no longer Monday. This weekend there is an AREtsy meet and greet in Fort Smith at the Sweet Bay Coffee company on Rogers Avenue. It will be between noon and 2PM, and is not a come and hang out type thing, even though you can come for sure. It is more of a come and say hi and stay or go at your preference.

We have selected one of our team members to have a featured selling post and will be putting that up in a week or so. At this time I have just been surfing the team members pages and arbitrarily selected someone, but I would also welcome submissions from shops that may wish to be featured.

Also I would love submissions from team members to do little tutorials about how to make simple things. Sometimes we all need something fun to create that is outside our norm.

I really do want to work with the whole team to make us a cohesive group of artisians that relish our Arkansas heritage and skills.