A Whole Other Kind of Creative

By Kelly Boyce

Because I have so much spare time on my hands between writing, the day job, family life, a new dog, etc (and yes – that statement was dripping with sarcasm), I thought it was time to resurrect my pursuit of knitting hardcore (if you saw my yarn stash you would not question this decision), set up shop on Etsy and attempt to sell some of my goodies in the hopes I can make back a little bit of quid and fund my out of control fibre habit.

What is Etsy? Well, for those of you yet unaware, it is exactly as their slogan states - the place to buy and sell all things handmade. And when I say all things, I mean ALL things: art, bath products, pottery, furniture, knitting, music, vintage, jewellery, paper goods. If it can be made by hand, your chances of finding it here are pretty good. Each artisan sets up shop under a category that best fits their expertise (they even have a category called Everything Else if you can’t find where you fit). The seller then posts pictures, descriptions and prices of their wares.

When I first found this place a few years ago, I was blown away. I also had to hide my credit card or I would have gone hog wild. The hand spun yarns alone had me positively giddy. As I began looking through the other shops however, I was stunned and amazed.

I love that you can buy one of a kind items while supporting the creative community. And for those of us who have a need to create by hand, it gives us a place to sell our wares (because really, I’ve given my family members as many scarves as they can handle…). The best thing is, I can purchase my supplies from any number of yarn independent suppliers, turn it into something and then sell the finished product on my shop.

Grant Creek Yarns is one of my favourites yarn suppliers. They’re based out of Missoula, Montana (Land of the Big Sky). I can sit for hours and salivate over their latest and greatest skeins. The write up states: ‘The inspiration for this colorway came from an illustration by Elizabeth Blackadder from the book "Irises and Other Flowers." Seriously – I just want to eat it!

And speaking of turning yarn into art – Pilland, comes from a family of artists who hail from Estonia and she now makes her home in Lombardia, Mantova, Italy. She hand knits the most amazing items. In fact, when I grow up, I want to be able to knit just like her. Hell, I’d settle for being able to knit half as good her.

But it isn’t all yarn and knitwear. The jewellery alone is worth the trip. I mean, find me a jewellery store in the mall that would sell something as exquisite (and it’s a rare day when I use the word exquisite) as this thistle ring found at MFJ Designs. To look at the jewellery available here, you know there is true artistry at work.

This shop is located right in my own backyard. Well, okay not literally, but in the neighbourhood. Sea Glass Designs makes earth friendly, organic style jewellery from natural sea glass, pottery and china shards gathered from Nova Scotia beaches. The colours in these pieces are so lovely. I want them all.

For a little fun, check out Beanforest who makes these hilarious buttons that had me giggling like a little girl in my pod at work. My best friend was particularly fond of the Cupid button and decided to make that her slogan on Valentine’s Day. The great thing about these buttons is they can also be made into magnets, and I am a girl who loves options.

Whenever I need an escape, I zip on over to JaredKS and immerse myself in the visual artistry that is his photographs. I don’t know where this guy goes to take his photos, but I want to live there. I want to crawl into the computer and live in his photos. Call me crazy. You wouldn’t be the first.

For awesome bath stuff, there’s Olive Essentials located in Vancouver. They create quality bath and body products using plant based and essential oils but no synthetic chemicals. I love the look of their soaps. This one is their Lavender Lane Soap.

Needless to say, I spend a great deal of time on Etsy. It’s a wonderful, creative escape for me, not just as a place to sell my own goods, but also a place to soak up inspiration and knowledge from others in the hundreds of shops, virtual labs, forums and chats. The front page changes constantly throughout the day, they profile artists as well, and best of all – new items are being added constantly! I can leave and come back 5 minutes later and have hoards of new things to look at.

So if you’re looking for an awesome way to support small business artisans and get one of a kind, quality items, this is the place to go. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.


  1. I am very touched by Your report. However, every person is able to be excellent in different matters. Because each of us is a unique person on the Earth.
    Best wishes to You and to Your kind readers.

  2. Dear Kelly

    I have to blend out words such as fascinating, mesmerizing, stunning and enchanting as well just to describe your blog.
    I would be honored not only with a single visit but also with the possibility of having your name on our friend's group.




  3. Oh I'm in trouble now too, Kelly - these are all wonderful artisans. Love love love original items, too. So much better than brand labels (which I always felt the designer should be paying consumers to wear for the free advertising!)

  4. "...in the hopes I can make back a little bit of quid and fund my out of control fibre habit." - LOL!

    What a great post, Kelly. That thistle ring is breathtaking. Like Cate said, whoever wears it should pay the artisan for the privilege!

    I recently took part in a blogosphere event called One World One Heart. Most of the participating bloggers were artists, jewelry makers and crafters who had their own Etsy stores. Travelling from blog to blog was like going on a worldwide art gallery tour. Phenomenal to have a place like Etsy where these fantastic pieces can be discovered.

  5. Kelly - great post! What are you trying to do bankrupt me? I try to avoid etsy for all the reasons you rave about it! LOL. ;) Seriously though what a great site. I applaud the brainiac who came up with it - an online craft fair. Smart! Funny you should post this now - I've been pondering lately about knitting. I don't know how but would love to learn. So now I think I shall check out where I can learn in my home town! Cheers!

  6. Great post and links, Kelly - I've resisted heading over to Etsy for the simple fact that my credit card would be sorely tested. My downfall would be all those lovely skeins of wool - the colors of the one you featured are so beautiful (Spring).

    But I can see I'm going to have to go and have a look now that you've really tempted me with that ring!

  7. Thank you Kelly, I'm honored to be included in such a talented group!

    Grant Creek Yarns

  8. Kelly,

    What fabulous treasures - and they can be mine with the click of a button - and my credit card!


  9. Thank for including my designs in your blog. I really needed the ego boost and the support to keep creative my work.
    Even I have to be careful around etsy. My vintage jewellery collection is growing too fast!

  10. I just got around to reading this Kelly and absolutely LOVED it!! Thanks for sharing. Too bad I didn't see the buttons for my own Valentine's Day slogan...


Post a Comment

We would love to hear from you but hope you are a real person and not a spammer. :)

Popular Posts