Friday 4 January 2013

Crafty Inspirations for the New Year

2013 Illustrated Calendar - Makissima
2013 art calendar by Makissima
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.
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?
Green Claddagh Ring Irish Language Card
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 Suncatcher, Christmas Ornament, Rear View Mirror Charm or Pendant
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 on 20 or 22 inch chain
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.

Having 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 - Cursive Silver Wire Word Necklace, Unique Necklace, Wire Work Jewelry - 'Hello'
Hello Necklace by Fiore Jewellery
Sticking your neck out to network and meet up can be daunting but I've found it very rewarding.
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!

On 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 from Donegal, Ireland, dusty orange
Fleece for hand spinning or needle felting by FEONORcrafts
 January 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?
Swarovski Pearl and Garnet Bracelet Free Worldwide Shipping
Garnet & Pearl bracelet by The Crystal Cavern
 The birthstone for January is the garnet, while amethyst is the birthday gem for February. 
Be Mine- Signed Limited Edition Print by Amelie Gagne
Be Mine signed print by Amelie Gagne
Now is also the time to be listing and tagging for Valentines Day and St. Patrick’s Day will be hot on its heels.

Lastly, 2013 is the Chinese year of the snake. Let's hope it's not a slippery one, but a crafty one!!
Free your imagination - custom brooch for you - rainbow colours, your fashion, your style - one of a kind
Free your imagination brooch by Shiny Jane
Wishing you all the best for 2013. May it be a year filled with inspiration, imagination, fortunate encounters and crafty goodness!



  1. Great article & ideas Anne-Marie, thanks for putting all this together!

  2. Great article AM and thanks for putting forward those great suggestions.
    I have just put myself forward for FLICKRRRR co-ordinator (and pinterest if needs be!).

    Good idea destashing I for the first time put a sale in my shop FIRST TIME!

    2013 sounds exciting for Etsy Ireland this year and cannot wait to dig in!

  3. Great article Anne-Marie full of very positive and productive ideas for the coming year.
    I have jumped into the team again, this time as Designer Profile Co-ordinator which means I will be looking for crafty people to interview and introduce to eveyone on the blog.
    I also decided that, since there are so many wonderful crafty people here, I will buy an item from a new shop each month and introduce the crafter to people based on my purchase..... so Fi (Patchworkdelights)- my January purchase - I will be talking to you soon.

    Mo from Huggleknits

  4. Great to see people responding to Sue's call for volunteers so quickly, isn't it? I will be doing the 'Gettting to Know You' treasuries once a month but it kinda also ties in with my idea for 'The Gathering' type treasuries...must follow up on that idea. Any feedback on the idea?

  5. I just would like to say that I'm grateful for people who works so much for the team...
    I hope at the end of 2013 I could join and give a hand...(language is a problem now)
    Thanks everybody who are involved , all of us win with such dedication

  6. Lots of inspitational ideas. I wish I could join you on some of your meet-ups - I would LOVE to go to the National Botanic Gardens!I think I'll have to start planning a crafty-based trip...