Friday, February 29, 2008

Spotlight On...

Crystal Leslie of Ayana Creations!

Crystal currently resides in Richmond, VA. Ayana Creations, which blossomed on March 16, 2007, is the place where beads become life. She makes beaded flowers, jewelry and accessories. Ayana means "beautiful flower" in Ethiopian and so, she sculpts beautiful flower creations! Her gift is creating beaded flowers using the vintage art of French beading. Her flowers can be used for decorating, just like real flowers. What makes them unique is that they can be passed down as heirlooms and they truly are works of art.

She began making beaded flowers for stress relief when she was a domestic violence counselor. She is a self-taught artist and is passionate about making flowers come to life through seed beads. Her inspiration comes from everything around her, especially nature. She also donates a portion of her proceeds to local non-profit agencies.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Leap Day Promotions!

Leap Day is special! It only comes around once every 4 years. The shops of the EAOC Team are celebrating with a Leap into Savings. These Specials are good for ONE DAY ONLY, so be sure to take advantage. Starting at 12:00AM EST on 2/29/08 and ending at 11:59PM EST the same day, the shops listed below will offer their Specials.

Mention code "EAOC Leap" in the Message to Seller to receive your discount and wait for an adjusted invoice. This is a great way to stock up on favorites and or buy gifts for upcoming holidays and birthdays. - 10% Off trivets and small votives - 20% Off all flowers (sale items not included) - 29% Off all orders. Free roll-on perfume oil with orders of $29 or more (after discounts and excluding shipping) - Buy 4 blank floral cards set, get any card free - 15% off any order -20% off any order - $2.29 Shipping on any first item, $.29 for each additional item - 20% Off all scarves - $5.00 Off all items before shipping

These savings are so fantastic, they only come around once every 4 years.

Happy Leap Day from the Etsy Artists of Color Team!

**********BLOG ONLY SPECIAL**************
In special appreciation for our blog readers; we, your blog contributors, are offering you a special promotion. Purchase anything from 'Callidora's ship, enter the appropriate code for the $2.29 shipping and for only $2 more you will get a coordinating customized greeting card from 'Handcrafted by LaMar'. Mention code BLOG1 in both shops to get this special. Both will come in the same package and you still receive that low, low shipping price - anywhere in the world! Thanks for reading :)

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Mum's Day Promos!

A few of our member shops are offering specials for Mum's Day in the UK! Remember Mum on March 2 with something as one of a kind as she is. These promotions run until February 29; so take advantage now. See the sidebar with Shop Specials to follow the links to participating member shops.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Jewelry Inspiration - Thoughts on the Process

by Tyra Davis of TyraMade Jewelry

The motto for my Etsy shop, tyramade jewelry, is "Ever Changing, Never Boring." I came up with that phrase because I rarely make the same item twice. Sometimes, I do purchase bulk components and will make similar earrings in a particular style each with a different color bead or extra touch. This keeps me from getting bored with the creative process, which is very important to me. Although I don't have a lot of technical skills, like metalsmithing or wirewrapping, I try to use my creative natural abilities to come up with unique, interesting designs that are eye-catching and appealing to everyone. So, my designs are always changing, but things are never boring.

Being basically self-taught, I am always pushing myself creatively. I pick materials that speak to me. It sounds corny, but it is a spiritual process. Sometimes I get pretty crazy with my designs because that is what the piece dictates. For example, I fell in love with the large cinnabar pieces I used in the Cinnamon Buns earrings in my shop. I had to use them, and they make killer earrings. Sometimes I buy components that are so interesting that I get them home and don't know what to do with them! Those components can sit for months. Later, I'll buy random supplies and something in that purchase helps me figure out what to do with those dormant supplies. At the risk of using another corny phrase, my design process is very organic.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Spotlight on ...

Jamila of Jamilary!

This week's Spotlight is on Jamilary (pronounced juh-MEE-luh-ree)! Jamila was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, though currently residing in South Burlington, VT. Jamilary launched on March 17, 2007. Jamila's jewelry designs incorporate freshwater pearls, semiprecious stones, and natural materials acquired through her worldwide travels and the travels of her family.

Jamila herself describes Jamilary as trendy, classy, custom-made, handmade works of artistic jewelry. Through her 25 years, she has been a student of fashion with a keen eye for her personal sense of style and she has not been afraid to set the trend.

You can visit her shop or see her on MySpace.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

X Marks the Spot

For those of you new to Etsy, Treasury is a place where an artist can showcase some of their favorite items, not just created by themselves but by other artists. These Treasuries can be difficult to come by due to the fierce competition of securing a spot. Treasury West-the deep dark secret of Etsy is a place to create a fabulous Treasury and keep it waiting in the wings for an open slot in the Main Treasury.

Well, here is your map to the secret Treasure.

There is no reason why you shouldn't be able to enjoy these great treasures. So here's your X, start digging and get a little treasure of your own!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Black History Month Salute - James Van Der Zee – Photographer

Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat photographed by James Van Der Zee, a Black History Month salute by Etsy Artists of Color

Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat photographed in 1982 by James Van Der Zee

In Harlem in the 1920s, photographer James Van Der Zee captured a side of America rarely seen in those days: black middle-class life. Well-heeled citizens with fancy cars and furs -- and the means to pay for fine art -- flocked to "Guarantee Photo," Van Der Zee's prestigious studio.

Once there, Van Der Zee worked photography magic, posing his proud clientele of the Harlem Renaissance to tell life stories. Many he'd give costumes to wear and surrounded them with props such as backdrops and architectural objects. All told, Van Der Zee's work took on a 'tableaux vivants' quality, styled with a Victorian or Edwardian sensibility. It's these images that most distinguish Van Der Zee's work.

But he also stepped outside this circle, pointing his camera at a broad spectrum of African American life. Many luminaries of the day also sought Van Der Zee's unique eye for portraiture. The Reverend Adam Clayton Powell Sr., boxing champion Jack Johnson, black nationalist movement leader Marcus Garvey, and entertainers such as Bill "Bojangles" Robinson were among Van Der Zee's celebrity subjects.

Equally intriguing are Van Der Zee's captures of everyday life. His frozen moments in churches, clubs, barber shops and at family gatherings will live on forever, showing future generations how self-love and community can look.

Once flourishing, Van Der Zee's photography business suffered during the Depression. His business also was impacted by the advent of personal cameras, as fewer people were seeking professional photography services. Ultimately, he was forced to shoot passport pictures and took on other small assignments for a living. For decades, he lived in relative obscurity.

But a wonderful thing happened in 1968. At the age of 82, the work of Van Der Zee was "discovered" when a photo researcher stumbled upon his 75,000-photo collection. Here was a matchless time capsule of African American history the world was intended to see. The discovery led to the Metropolitan Museum of Art mounting "Harlem On My Mind," an exhibit in 1969 which included Van Der Zee's work. Suddenly, Van Der Zee gained national recognition.

Now a new generation of influencers flocked to James Van Der Zee for portraits. In his later years, he photographed greats including Muhammed Ali, Bill Cosby, and Lou Rawls. In the art world, a favorite Van Der Zee is his portrait of Jean-Michel Basquiat, impeccably capturing the renowned artists' enigma.

Photographer James Van Der Zee is remembered by Etsy Artists of Color during Black History Month.  Story by Viqi French of Urban Islands - Fine Art Photography
James Van Der Zee died in 1983, leaving the world a collection of powerful, black images. Inspiring and alluring images. For he specialized not in the downtrodden, but of the tall blades among us who exemplify our pride and beauty.

Etsy Artists of Color salutes James Van Der Zee with respect and admiration, always.

By Viqi French
Urban Islands – Fine Art Photography
Black History Month ACEO Art Card:
Wade In the Water

Image Credits: photoreview. org
Sources:, michaelrosenfeldart .com,, and

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Poetry for Black History Month...

Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

We Marched, protested
Rallied and stood on line.
We fought, contested
Faced reality and made headlines.
We have been hung, beaten
Used and abused.
We have been raped, mistreated
And made into fools.

had a dream!
That one day I can live in peace
and receive my rightful due
like the Jews, for crimes committed
instead of being locked away in rooms
where no lights omitted.

had a dream!
That one day I will be able to go where I please,
sit anywhere on the bus,
'Back or front'.
Enter any establishment and eat.
Use any sink and wash our hands.
Be recognized by society
A proud Black Man
Because Dr Martin Luther King Jr had a dream...

written by La-Mar D. Lynch

Friday, February 1, 2008

Etsy Artists of Color - Hot Shops for Fine Arts and Crafts

Welcome! You've landed on the new blog for Etsy Artists of Color, a global collective of artists and artisans who sell on -- the leading online marketplace for buying unique arts and crafts.

Etsy Artists of Color is a dynamic organization of emerging creative talent from the U.S. and around the world. Our members include fine artists, jewelry and accessories designers, and photographers. Our works span the gamut, from one-of-a-kind items to limited edition collectibles.

We hope you'll bookmark this site and return often, to discover what's exciting and new! On an ongoing basis, we'll showcase new merchandise, announce discounted sales promotions, let you know of local activities such as festivals and crafts fairs a member will be participating in, and celebrate the diverse cultures of our colorful group.

EAOC's founding blog members and their Etsy shops are:

Dawn of Lark Studio
Textiles, Jewelry and Crafts

Sha Brown of Alkemystic88
One-of-a-Kind Wearable Art & Wall Art

La-Mar of
Handcrafted by LaMar
Handcrafted greeting cards

Inga Leonce of Inga's Gems
Elegant Handmade Gemstone Jewelry

Jamila of
Trendy, Classy, Custom-made Handmade Jewelry

Lee of
Abelee's Handcrafted
Handcrafted Jewelry

Viqi French of Urban Islands
Fine Art Photography

April Hogue of Mosaics By AH, Nature Friendly Diva
Mosaic Art and Home Decor and

Crystal Harding of
Ayana Creations
Beaded Flowers, Jewelry and Gifts

Eleanor of
Precious Treasures
Handcrafted Ceramics and Gifts

Dedra "Dee" Harvin of
The Ivory Magnolia
Handmade Bath & Body Goodies

Nicole Lee of Nicole Lee Designs
Fashion & Accessories

Terri Collins of

Renaissance Austin of
Raghouse International
Accessories, Apparel, Makeup, Photography

Jennifer of Gingerlime

Dolapo James of
Fun and Funky Handmade Bags and Scarves (knits)

Romona Richardson of Bklyn MOMOs
Crochet Clothing and Accessories

Nina Jackson of
Beads In The Belfry
Go batty for Baubles made of metal! Inspired by Nature.

Stormee of Stormeejean

Sharon of
Embellished Crochet Designs.

NYNY of OrigamiCentral
Origami Creations and more.

Tyra Davis of Tyramade Jewelry
Handmade Jewelry.


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