HAPPY NEW YEAR to all team members and craft lovers. Anne-Marie of Handmade by Amo'r here. I'd like to share a few inspirational ideas for the start of 2013.
A NOD TO 'THE GATHERING'
One of the most significant happenings in Ireland this year is of course The Gathering, a year-long celebration of Ireland, homecoming events and the Irish Welcome. Perhaps we can come up with small ways we can individually, and/or as a team, celebrate with Irish Etsy people abroad?
|Claddagh ring Irish language card by Irish Elements|
For instance, I came across this team ‘Auld Irish Artisans’ on Etsy. They are a group of Irish and non-Irish Etsians who love all things about Ireland. A simple idea would be to make cross-team treasuries under the theme and tag of 'The Gathering' to extend a greeting to them. Anyone could do this as an individual member of the team at any time during the year. The more who do it, the merrier! (Don’t know how to make a treasury? See links below for help).
|seaglass fairy born from a crafty exchange across the ocean|
Another idea might be to team up with Irish Etsians abroad for mini projects. In 2012 I have been fortunate to make ‘cyber friendships’ with Irish descendants abroad via treasuries, as customers and also through lucky encounters such as with American Irish girl, Joy of Seaglass Lass. Joy sought some Irish seaglass and I got the chance to experiment with drilled pieces she sent me in exchange. To read about our crafty swap please see link at end of article. Perhaps it will spark ideas for swaps and projects between us and Irish Etsians around the world. Please do post any further ideas that may occur to you in the comments below!
|Silver Celtic knot torc pendant by Claddagh Design|
In terms of creativity, The Gathering may also provide inspiration for friendship bracelets, mementos, Irish gifts, greeting cards and so on. The possibilities abound.
NETWORKINGHaving tentatively networked through the team forums, making treasuries, contributing to this blog, and via the few team meetings I have been able to attend, I have been lucky to find some crafty friends. On a few occasions I have extended open invites for inspirational/cultural outings for a more relaxed, social meet-up with local team members. Born out of this, I have made two very supportive friends in Mo of Huggleknits and Heli of Heli Creations and we continue to meet up ourselves on a regular basis for a crafty chat and a day out.
|Mo & Heli at the National Botanic Gardens|
We’ve had fun beach combing, hill walking, taking photos at the National Botanical Gardens and visiting places of cultural interest such as the Chester Beatty Library. We always come away with fresh inspirations, feedback on our newest creations and a helpful tip or two. We also promote each other's shops when we post photos of our trips on our blogs or on Facebook. Hopefully in 2013 we will get to go a little further afield and meet other Etsy friends for a day out.
|Hello Necklace by Fiore Jewellery|
Why not use the team forums and/or this blog to make contact with team members in your town or area in a similar way? It's always good to make new crafty friends - and to promote each other too!
GET INVOLVEDOn a larger scale, why not make 2013 the year to be more active in the Crafty Ireland team? Please read the post below from our Team Captain, Sue, calling for volunteers. The roles are filling up fast so don't hesitate! Getting involved is a great way to network and to give something back. According to Etsy Admin, team members who are more active within a team tend to do better saleswise too!
|Fleece for hand spinning or needle felting by FEONORcrafts|
JANUARY SPECIFICJanuary is the month for new beginnings, new hobbies, resolutions and early Spring Cleaning. It’s a good time to sell de-stash or set up that supply shop you’ve been thinking about. Why not match your needs to clear out overstock of supplies with someone else’s new hobby and sell your de-stash at a fair, but tempting price?
|Garnet & Pearl bracelet by The Crystal Cavern|
|Be Mine signed print by Amelie Gagne|