Paper-tabulos!!!

Ohh...how i have a weakness for paper goodies. But, when they are handmade paper products? Well, now there's my kryptonite. Asa has a BRILLIANT shoppe called Inky Livie. She has a wonderful drawing style and can create cards in so many different genres.

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How long have you been crafting?

I have been drawing all my life, and have always loved putting my hands to work on paper. The very first invites I made though, were for my best friend's 18th birthday-- if I remember right, I handmade about 50-60 invites, all individually (and painstakingly)handcut, handdrawn and handwritten! Needless to say, I loved it :)

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Did you always craft in this genre?

Yes. I love paper. Although many, many times I find myself wishing I knew how to sew or knit or crochet.

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Who or what inspires you?

You will see a lot of artist's bios say that everything that surrounds them inspires them, and cliche as it may sound, it's true. Once you are in this world of art and craft, you cannot help but look around you with an artist's or designer's eye. I am inspired by the various forms of art-- from architecture to music to fashion design , and at the same time, by the everyday things that surround me.

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What challenges have you found while taking your craft into the business world?

I think that the biggest challenge, as with any parent, has been trying to keep a balance between my homelife and my work. I am a full-time mom first, a businesswoman second. It was critical for me to create a work schedule for myself that will not take away from my taking care of my children (Inow do all my work at night starting at 8pm-- my kids' bedtime). It is especially difficult when you are running a business from home, because it is so easy to switch into "work" mode by stepping into my studio, or sitting in fornt of my computer. I am getting better, though, at NOT working during the weekends that I am just home :) And I am lucky because I have had the support of my husband ever since I started my shop-- i.e., he puts the kids to bed as I start my "workday", or rather, "worknight".

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Although, i do think Asa has gorgeous images of her work, these small sizes don't do her justice. Head over to her Etsy account to really see her beautiful work! :)

You Captured My Fruit.

For as long as i can remember, food art, in any genre, has always captivated me. Well, obviously, looking at the name i chose for my own business. Produce (fruit and vegetable) artwork really tickles my fancy though. So, it's very understood why i adore them so much. Tim Chumley has a keen eye and works in many genre's.

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How long have you been crafting?

I've been a photographer most of my life, receiving my first camera when I was six. But my interest in photography took off in high school and stayed pretty even until about five years ago, when the quality/cost ratio of digital imaging became reasonable. I quit my day job (teaching in grad school) 18 months ago to practice photography full time. I've been producing my own prints for sale for about a year.

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Did you always craft in this genre?

I've never "crafted" before.

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Who or what inspires you?

In fine art photography I appreciate photos that tell a story or evoke an emotion, or that offer a unique perspective on something traditional. My fruit series is an example of a different perspective. It's not expected, and because of that it draws a lot of attention.

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What challenges have you found while taking your craft into the business world?

The promotion process never stops. I have to constantly look for new opportunities and outlets for my prints. For example, I recently started selling large framed prints on Amazon.com. The other lesson I've learned is: compliments don't pay the bills. Everyone who sees my work "loves my work," and it's rewarding to hear. I never get tired of compliments. Some days that's what keeps me moving forward. But those remarks don't put kids through college.

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Head over to Tim's etsy for more images, and make sure to head over to his website to see all the other amazing images he's taken.

Calorie Free Cupcakes

Jessie has a shoppe called Cake Spy. I've been happily reading her blog for some time now, and am quite pleased to write about her on my blog. Her drawing style is RIGHT up my ally! She has her own adorable drawing style, and humorous adventures her little "cake spy" takes.

I have been making stuff since before I can even remember! My mom has a picture of me in my high chair with pigtails, concentrating intensely and coloring happy faces.

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That having been said, I am rather new to the crafting culture, and so far have only been doing framed pieces. I am looking to add cupcake plushies and figurines to my offerings soon.

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I try to get inspiration from everyday life, in a flaneur-like fashion: bakery cases, cool buildings and architecture, and magazines and books. I also love a lot of "blogs" out there, from design-y ones like Oh Joy or Decor8 to foodie ones like Cupcakes Take the Cake, Whipped, Bake and Destroy and the Urban Housewife. In terms of art, I love great line drawings--some of my favorite artists are Saul Steinberg, James Thurber and William Steig; for painters, I adore Wayne Thiebaud (the cake guy!) and Jean Miro.

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Some challenges I've found have been cost of goods--since I sell framed pieces, the costs can really add up so I have to be smart about that. Also, it might be a little bit outside of what you asked, but taxes!! It's a whole lot more to keep track of than if you had a day job and had your employer do it all for you. I have to mentally take 20% off of each sale for the taxman!

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She's a very talented gal, so go check out her etsy, and then head over to Jessie's blog to read about the cake she spies. :)