TAG Treasury Team

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Good Food...Good Fun...and Good Friends Make the Holidays Complete!

If you've been following along, you know it was Challenge week on the TAGT Team on Etsy. It was a fabulous event and we now have the final results!

Tuesday, November 15th was the starting point for the challenge and was our non-prize day. The participants were given a set number of team shops to feature in their treasuries and then could pick any other shops from within the Etsy community to include as well. Seventeen treasuries were made and the choice was difficult but we have some winners.

First place goes to Heidi of Elegant You Beads with this gorgeous depiction of Christmas Past

Congratulations, Heidi!

Second place goes to Jennifer of The Bracelet Tree with her Blueberry and Orange Muffins treasury!

Congratulations, Jennifer!

All 17 treasuries may be viewed here: http://www.etsy.com/teams/6797/tag-treasury-team/discuss/9302238/page/1/

Wednesday was the first of two prize days. This day had no particular theme, but the participants were again given a list of team shops to work with and could include any other Etsy shops they desired.

We brought in another Etsy team to act as judges for us; Positivity Team. You might recognize that team name from last month's challenge week. They had so much fun judging for us that I invited them to again participate and they jumped at the chance. Please visit their shops here: http://www.etsy.com/teams/6120/positivity-team! I just want to thank the team Captain, Kate, personally for organizing her team to help us! Kate is an absolutely lovely lady and a pleasure to chat with. Please visit her gorgeous shop; Kate's Cottage 2! We are so happy to have met such great new friends in the Positivity Team!

The judging for this challenge day was difficult, but winners have been chosen.

First place went to Bekah of Stitches and Hearts for her beautifully festive treasury; Stuff My Stocking!

Congratulations, Bekah!

Second place goes to Shelly of Handmade Creations by Shelly for her beautiful treasury of Sparkling Blues for the Holiday!

Congratulations, Shelly!

The full list of Wednesday's treasuries can be found here: http://www.etsy.com/teams/6797/tag-treasury-team/discuss/9308406/page/1/

Thusday marked the end of the event with the most challenging day of the week, themed prize day! Each participant was required to make a treasury depicting their favorite holiday recipe and titling their treasury as such. They also included the recipe in their treasury comments or supplied a link to an outside source so that anyone viewing could obtain the recipe and try it out for themselves. It was so much fun to see page 1 of the treasury full of food related treasury titles! It was our "community service" day for Etsy, so to speak.

Again, we brought in another Etsy team to help us with the judging. I am so glad that I didn't have to choose the winners! The team that helped us with our Holiday Baking theme was the W.E.S.T Winnipeg Etsy Street Team. Please visit there shops here: http://www.etsy.com/teams/5032/west-winnipeg-etsy-street-team
I am so happy to have had the chance to meet Ruth, the team Captain! She is a completely delightful lady and I hope you will visit her gorgeous jewelry shop, Periwinkle Dzyns! Thank you, Ruth for organizing such a large group of judges for us!

The W.E.S.T team members also expressed what a difficult time they had coming up with winners for this challenge. The treasuries were delicious and I'm sure we had many people drooling over their keyboards by the end of the day.

Alas, I had to bring in a special guest to break a tie. My dear friend Catherine of Gallery Zoo Art and Gallery Zoo Art Designs graciously accepted my request for her to have the final say.

I am pleased to announce that the winner for the Holiday Baking theme challenge day is Susie of SmiLe aGain Creations with her Chocolate Sprinkle Thumbprint treasury!

Congratulations, Susie!

The second place prize then goes to Debbie of Knotty Notions for her Holiday Ham and Cheese Ball Served with Crackers treasury!

Congratulations, Debbie!

A few of the W.E.S.T team members also expressed that they would give honorable mentions to the following treasuries.

Ode to the Bacon Breadstick by Amie of Timber Green Woods

Pizelles by Angi of Unique Necks

AND Holiday Tradition: Baking Cookies with Mom by Sarah of My Vintage New England

All of the treasuries made for the Holiday Baking theme can be found here: http://www.etsy.com/teams/6797/tag-treasury-team/discuss/9314278/page/1/ and many of the recipes can be found on our blog here: http://tagtreasuryteam.blogspot.com/2011/10/tempt-my-tummy.html. I will be adding them all, eventually.

Gorgeous treasuries, everyone! I can't wait for next month's challenge week!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

A Challenging Theme!

Today is the final day of November's challenge week! The holidays are upon us, so we picked a fun theme to go along with this event; Holiday Baking. Each of the participants must create a treasury using a favorite holiday recipe. All of the titles will be recipes and the content of the treasury must represent the recipe either in colors or ingredients.

There will be some great prizes available for this day as well and all of the winners for the challenge will be revealed on Friday morning.

I am so happy to announce that we have another team on Etsy helping us with the judging today! A huge THANK YOU goes out to the W.E.S.T Winnipeg Etsy Street Team! We appreciate your help so much! Please visit their shops here; http://www.etsy.com/teams/5032/west-winnipeg-etsy-street-team

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Featured Shop of the Week: Shy Photog!

“I’m usually taking a picture of some odd detail that most people have completely overlooked, while I bend myself into some awkward angle to get the shot,” says Heather, photographer and proprietor of the Etsy shop, Shy Photog. Her shooting stance influenced the origin of her shop name: “I take photos where there are not a lot of people.”

She started her shop a little over a year ago, in October of 2010. “I decided to push myself outside of my comfort zone – way out of my comfort zone," she recalls. “My photography has always been a very private thing for me. A lot of my friends and family were not even aware I was taking pictures. It was something that I did for my own personal enjoyment.”

“I love taking photos of what I call “gritty” things. Rust or peeling paint always catches my eye. I like to take small details and turn them into something beautiful. One of my favorite pieces is a detail shot of an old drawbridge in Cambridge, MA. I love the 3-dimensionality of the piece:

I’m also in love with the color in this one, from a Day of the Dead exhibit at the Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology:

Heather received her first manual SLR (single lens reflex) camera as a high school graduation gift from her father - a Minolta x-570. “I took a couple of photography classes in college and really enjoyed them but never pursued it outside of documenting my life and vacations.” During those pre-digital years, she tells of how “film and developing started to add up for a poor, recent college graduate. My mom teasingly calls some of those early photos I took as my ‘artsy’ stuff. Now, I think every wall in her entire house is covered with my photographs. I joke that it’s like walking into my own personal gallery.”

While on a tour of London, Heather’s old Minolta SLR started to act up. “It began to let light in. It was about twelve years old. I never knew if my photos were going to come out or if there was going to be a light mark down the middle of them. It made it hard for me to want to take pictures, knowing that they might not come out. I had actually given up photography for several years.

“Then, a few years ago I was planning a trip to Italy, trying to figure how to get my camera fixed – a vacation without a camera is not a great vacation at all. By that time, places that would fix manual SLRs were few and far between and digital cameras were the norm. My boyfriend at the time realized how much my photography meant to me and did something completely unexpected - he sent me a DSLR camera in time for my trip. I fell in love all over again - with photography! Now if I go a week without taking a photo I feel like something is missing.”
My favorite picture from my travels in Italy:

The color of the water is amazing – the water of Venice is always this awesome color.

Heather grew up in a small town in northern Utah. She received her undergraduate degree in Business Management from the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. In 2001, she moved to Boston in part to pursue a masters in Arts Administration from Boston University, and in part to be near family. “Both my parents are originally from the Boston area and I still have family here, so I settled in the area. My grandparents recently moved back here after living in Utah for about 40 years.”

Even though she counts her main hobbies as photography and gardening, she admits that her “most recent hobby has become Etsy!” She laughs, "I never knew it was going to be as addictive as it has become when I first started. There are just so many cools things to look at on the site.”

She works at the New England Museum Association (NEMA) which provides professional development to people working within New England’s regional museums. “I was able to combine my love of museums into my day job,” she says. “My favorite type of museums are art museums but I love all museums in general. One of the perks of my job is being able to visit them for free.”

Heather is passionate about photography, museums, art and gardening, but above all she simply adores her four nieces. “I think one of my greatest talents is being able to listen to others and always being there for my friends and family,” she says. When it comes to doling out advice, she keeps it simple: “Do something that makes you happy.”

In addition to visiting Heather’s Etsy shop, Shy Photog, you can also find her on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/shyphotog and follow her on Twitter: http://twitter.com/shyphotog

Interview and article by Linda Loca of Fire Grog Studio

Challenge Week on the TAGT Team Begins!

Each month, we hold a Challenge within our team. We usually take 2 or 3 days to complete the task of dividing up all 191 of our team shops by the number of paricipants, who then must create treasuries around 4 or 5 of their teammates. We then have a secret list of criteria that each treasury must meet in order to be selected as winners. We are awarding prizes for 2 of the 3 days.

This month we actually have 3 days to work with as the excitement for the project grows! On Tuesday, November 15th, we had our "non-prize" day. Each particpant featured their assigned shops for the day and there were some GORGEOUS treasuries made! Take a look here:


Today, Wednesday, November 16th, begins our "prize" day. Each participant is featuring 4 teammates and our Featured Shop of the week, Shy Photog, if they can. There will be 2 winners chosen from this day and they will receive prizes that have been donated by team members! How fun is that!!
Check out the fabulous treasuries made here:


To make this day EXTRA special, we have again enlisted the help of another team to act as our judges for this event; Positivity Team! They were so gracious to accept our invitation in October to act as impartial judges that we decided to invite them again for this month's challenge and we appreciate their acceptance very much! Please visit their team shops here:

What's even more fun is that they will be sharing their votes for first and second place in the blog comments so you will be able to watch it unfolding before your very eyes! A BIG THANK YOU to the Positivity Team! WE LOVE YOU!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Featured Shop of the Week: Jill's Joy!

Jill, of Jill's Joy, grew up in Omaha, Nebraska, the fourth of five children and “one half of a set of twins named - you guessed it! - Jack and Jill,” she says with a laugh.

Reared in college-preparatory Catholic school, Jill felt creatively stifled. The all-girls high school she attended didn't even have an art teacher until she was a Senior. After begging her parents to let her attend public school so she could study more art and history, a compromise was reached. During her Junior year, her folks arranged for her to take art classes at night.

In her Freshman year of college, Jill began to explore her creative talents by taking a few art courses. However, her parents were not supportive of her pursuing a career in the arts. “They admonished me to stay focused on subjects that could bring me a real way to support myself.” She delayed declaring a major until her third year as an undergrad. The only subjects she liked well enough to major in were seen as leading to “no end” in her parents’ eyes.

“Since I was paying my own tuition, I finally decided to go with history,” she remembers. “A Bachelors degree in History got me a job in a bank, which I hated.” She went back to school to get an education degree, but the resulting teaching job afforded her just enough money to either pay for a car or pay rent, not both. After receiving her Master's degree in History, Jill took a summer job that lasted 22-years - and led her to a career in research and management.

“I worked for the US National Park Service as a Research Historian, Park Planner, Program Manager, and Park Manager. I loved it! It had a wonderful combination of creativity plus facts, interest plus influence. I was in my element as a researcher, writer, teacher, planner and manager - usually most of those things at once. Every day was an adventure.”

Due to government cutbacks, Jill and many other professionals were “released” from their government positions in 2001. “I decided to feed my creative side,” recalls Jill. She learned custom framing while working at a framing shop and taught at a local art studio. “During this past year,” she says, “I’ve been increasingly devoted to ‘quitting the day job’ and making my art the focus of my interests - beyond my family, of course.”

“My favorite of all of my recent pieces is this mosaic bowl entitled ‘Scattered Thoughts.’ It portrays all of the jumble of things going on in my head - bits and pieces without beginning or end.”
“My coordinating art pieces are also fun.”

“I'm into a new palette with warm browns and oranges.”

“Every time I see something, I want to translate it into art. For example, the folded paper decorations I saw in a store became folded paper earrings in my shop.” Jill feels her greatest talent is the “willingness to try almost anything - the ability to visualize - to figure out how to do something, and to follow through. If something doesn't work, try something else,” she says. “I once had a mentor tell me, ‘Whatever commitment you make - in time, in money, in anything - is worth everything it costs to keep it. Follow through on your commitments.’ I believe in this strongly.”

Jill began making jewelry in the 1990s, as she was studying metalworking, glass and silk-painting. “I finally realized I was an artist when I learned to accept the serendipity of my efforts,” says Jill. “I finally understood that art is not science; it does not produce certain predictable results when specific factors are controlled. I learned the use of the tools, I learned the properties of the materials, but I still couldn't fully predict the results. Art is like life. When you start, you never know how you will finish. The joy is in the journey.”

Interview and article by Linda Loca of Fire Grog Studio