Saturday, February 28, 2009

Feature Artist of the Week

From handmade housewares to jewelry. From yarn to upcycled materials, this seller can use it all and create the most beautiful items from them. It is my pleasure to bring you......

1. Why don’t you start by telling us your name and when and how you got starting crafting?

My name is Michelle May and I’ve been crafting since I was a pre-teen. I got hooked in Grade Seven Home Ec, during our sewing unit, and in Industrial Arts, when we got to use power tools! My mom was a great seamstress and I remember watching her sew all kinds of things.

2. What made you choose your niche?

I got away from crafting for a few years when my children were small and I was in university, but once I got back to it, sewing was my first draw. I tried to pick up knitting again, found the newsgroup rec.crafts.textiles.yarn, read about all the crocheters, and got hooked on the hook J That’s about five years ago, I’ve loved crochet ever since. More recently I’ve taken up needle felting, too.

3. Where do you draw your inspiration from?

All over. Sometimes the idea tells me what materials, sometimes the materials tell me what they can be. Or sometimes I’m just bored and poke around to see what I can find to do! I’ll see something in a color that strikes my eye, or a texture, or even something someone might be wearing, and I’ll turn it over in my head until there’s a solid idea there.

4. Do you ever get in a creative slump? And, if so, what do you do to pull yourself out of it?

Oh, gosh, all the time! Sometimes I just ride it out, other times I’ll read about other crafts I don’t do, or just randomly google ‘crochet’ or ‘wool’ to see what pops up. I’m currently into fabric, yarn and roving, so it isn’t hard for me to find something different to do, either.

5. How many hours a day do you devote to your craft?

It varies; sometimes it’s only a few minutes, sometimes it’ll be six or eight hours.

6. Do you have a job outside the home or is your online business your full-time job?

I don’t currently have a job outside the home, but that’s partly because I got laid off and haven’t found anything else yet. Although, a lot of people have been encouraging me to make crafting my full-time gig; expand my ‘product line’ and venues, perhaps teach classes, do more craft fairs, etc. I think I’d really like to see that happen.

7. Do you sell anywhere else in addition to Etsy?

I have stores on ShopHandmade and ArtFire. I used to sell on consignment at a local store, but haven’t had any of my products there for six or eight months. I have just started carrying things at a local vintage shop called Model Citizens (in St. John's). I do some smaller local craft fairs, and I’m a regular at our local farmers’ market ( ). That’s my favorite venue!

8. What would you say is the most difficult thing about having an online shop and what have you done to overcome it?

Getting enough exposure, for sure! I’ve used flickr and Facebook to try and get my shop out there! I’ve also started blogging.

9. What are your long term goals for your shop/craft?

I really do wish that I could craft full-time (and sell, so I have an income from it!)

10. Do you do custom orders?

I LOVE custom orders…nothing is more fun that working with someone to figure out what they want and how to meet their needs.

11. Where would you say has been the most helpful place in finding information to help run your shop on Etsy? The forums, the help guides, other sellers’ blogs?

I find the forums the best spot for information. It’s not always correct, so you have to research to back it up!

12. If you could give one piece of advice to someone thinking about opening a shop on Etsy, what would it be?

Get a good banner and avatar, have good-looking photos, and have fun with it!

Sometimes I think we forget that there are real people, with real lives behind all the beautiful crafts and handmade goodies we see on Etsy. Here is a look at Michelle's everyday real life.

My everyday life centers around my family; three kids, husband and father in my household. Getting everyone off for the day, housework and laundry, then it’s my time…surf the net, check Etsy and my other shops, read some blogs, work on current projects, shop for materials. My kids come home at 2:40 and 3:40, so it’s all about them for a few hours. When I’m working, the ‘my time’ comes after supper is done and homework is underway. Evenings around 9:00 is when things quiet down in my house and I usually get some serious craft time in then.

You can also find Michelle here:

Blog -
Facebook page - Mayberry Creations
Shop Handmade - Mayberry Creations
ArtFire - Mayberry Creations
Flickr - Mayberry Creations

Before we say goodbye to Michelle, I just wanted to take a moment and send out a huge Happy Birthday Wish!!! Toby turned 8 years old today and has been and will continue to be a huge influence in his Mom's life. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TOBY!!!!!!

Thank you Michelle for taking the time to let us get to know you and your shop, you have beautiful items and I wish you much success!!!

Be sure to visit Mayberry Creations as well as the other places you can find Michelle!!



Thanks Candi!!


Great feature....pretty items.


Love Michelle's products - have a number of them - and always look forward to her next creations.


Really nice finds!! Amazing what you can all crochet. Love the top pic - that hat is too cool.

Cards By Jenna

Great Feature Candi. Thanks so much for sharing. I just became a fan of Michelle's facebook page.

Lenox Knits

What a great interview. I love that unique hat in the first pic! She has some really creative ideas for crochet.

Candi~ Please stop by the blog and check out the award I've passed your way!

Baroness Bijoutery

Great Feature as always...Thanks for sharing it..


The cowboy type hat picture is priceless!


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