Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Meet the Artist and Giveaway: Kirsten from Blue Couch Designs

I'm lovin' this giveaway madness, aren't you?
You are going to LOVE this one.

Kirsten over at Blue Couch Designs
has graciously agreed to give one lucky winner
a $15 Gift Certificate to her shop!

What will you spend it on? Maybe these fun little earrings?

Contrast Buttons --- hypoallergenic button earrings
Buy it here
Kirsten sent me a couple of things for review, a lovely red crocheted hat like this one:

The Twelve Dollar Tam (in Hunter Green)
Buy it here
and a set of floral button hair pins. 

Buy it here
Aren't they lovely?
The hat is SUPER soft and luxurious, and the pins are very well made.
I can't wait to wear them!

I'll be showing you more items from Blue Couch Designs 
as we find out more about the talented artist behind the designs.

Q: Tell us a little about yourself.
A: I grew up in the Pacific Northwest, but skipped town the day after I graduated high school in order to pursue my life adventure. After a two-year detour in Colorado, I made my way to Austin, Texas where the friendly atmosphere, culture and my lovely Austin family number as some of the many reasons I am fortunate to live here still.

I keep myself busy as a full-time student double majoring in English and Psychology, working part-time for the National Dating Abuse Helpline, and running my shop while trying my hand at local craft shows. When I grow up I want to be a writer, a counselor, a full-time crafter, or a librarian.
Q: How did you get started as an artist?
A: My mother and grandmother both sew, and my other grandmother knits, which is where I’m sure I got it from! When I was a kid, I always preferred to sew by hand. I made small, scraggly quilts out of fabric scraps that I tried to force our cats to sleep on.

When I started college, I tried many hobbies in order to find something to soothe the nerves that began to react to juggling several part-time jobs, a full-time course load and the ill effect of a poor economy. I taught myself how to crochet, and instantly fell in love – the meditative quality to it was just what the doctor ordered.. I began to spend more and more time on it before I even realized what I was doing, and soon enough, I began my own business. 

Dark Honey Cotton Beret
Buy it here

Q: What inspires your work?
A: I began by making things that I wanted to wear, but couldn’t seem to find anywhere. It was a revelation to me to learn the skills to simply create what I wanted. As I continued to work, I fell in love with accessories that told a story – more specifically, the story of the crafty, inspired individual who would wear them. I began making button earrings and hair pins from the supplies I’d accumulated, and adored wearing them myself, so decided to share them with others. Beyond that, I continue to gain inspiration from looking at all of those accessories I’ve looked at and said to myself “I WISH it did this…”

Q: Why Etsy?
A: A dear friend, Betsy Schairer, (of http://betsyschairer.4ormat.com/) started out her creative career selling her original artwork and modified vintage clothing on Etsy several years before I gave it a try. I was such a fan of the concept and of her work, that I was a patron of her shop nearly as long as she ran it.

I not only adore buying handmade, I also love how accessible and appealing Etsy makes it. Etsy has grown in popularity to such a degree since I first became aware of it that it was a no-brainer decision for me when it came time to choose what online storefront to use. The terms they set for their artists are so reasonable!
Q: You've been very successful in a relatively short period of time. Do you have any advice for new shop owners?
A: It’s important to develop a cohesive focus before opening up shop – thinking about branding, who your audience is, and how to reach that audience are all good questions to ask yourself before you start. “The Handmade Marketplace” by Kari Chapin is a great book to read that covers those topics at length, with great anecdotes from successful artists.

Also, reach out and see what local resources you have! Chances are there is someone in your area that’s been successful doing the very same thing. I joined the Austin Craft Riot team (www.austincraftriot.com) nearly as soon as I went into business, and I am infinitely grateful that I did. Most cities have some sort of Etsy team, or some other professional organization that you can join to grow and promote your business.
Q: What future plans do you have for your shop/work?
A: I am always trying to push the envelope of what I can produce, and attempting new designs. I have a lot of ideas – I’d like to become more successful at local shows, and perhaps carry my work into the storefront retail world. I’m considering opening different shops for different lines of work all under the Blue Couch Designs banner. I’m also considering a curated shop containing items all donated by artists to raise money for charities in need. Really, I plan on simply moving forward in every way that I can, in the hopes that hard work and dedication continues to open doors. 

Q: Anything else you'd like us to know?
A: I’d really like a cat. I got a goodie bag from a local craft show I participated in, and there was a cat toy in the bag. I thought maybe it was a sign. So, maybe if I put this thought out there into the universe, it'll happen!
Q: Just for fun, what are a few of your favorite shops on Etsy?
A: I’ll give you three ---

I absolutely adore the Ukranian embroidery that Ms. Natalka of Skrynka makes. I purchased one of her necklaces last summer, and I wear it all the time.

I have also long been fascinated with embroidery hoop and cross-stitch art – it was, in fact, the first serious foray into crafting that I made as an adult, with less than satisfactory results. But why even try when there are amazing people out there like Moxie Doll, already doing a bang-up job?

I wouldn’t have made it as far as I have without the help and my best friend and best boo, Faith, and all of her encouragement. She also has an adorable shop, Oh Thanks that you should all go check out immediately.

--- okay I said three, so I lied. You should also go check out the team page for Austin Craft Riot. There are a multitude of shops there full of amazing items that would be just perfect for all of your holiday shopping needs! 

Kirsten set up 2 special coupon codes just for my blog readers!

1. Make a purchase between Friday November 25 and Sunday November 27 
with the coupon code BLACKFRIDAY11 to receive 40% off your total order.

2. Make a purchase by December 15 
with coupon code HOLIDAYMADESS for 25% off your total order.

BONUS:
3. Mention that you heard about Blue Couch Designs from Modern Typography
 in the "Note to Seller" field,  and Kirsten will slip a free gift into your package!


How to Enter the Giveaway:

1. Follow this blog (Mandatory)
and leave a comment here saying you did.

and Invite 10 or more friends to like BCD, too
and leave a separate comment here saying you did.

4. Heart BCD on Etsy
and leave a separate comment here saying you did.

5. Favorite an item from BCD on Etsy
and leave a separate comment here saying you did.

6. Follow BCD on Twitter
and leave a separate comment here saying you did.

Make sure to bookmark my giveaways page if you haven't already, 
and READ THE FINE PRINT

Fine print:

Only 6 entries per household please
Giveaway ends November 30th at midnight PST
Winner will be chosen by random.org
Entries will be validated
Winner will be announced here
Winner will have 3 days to contact me, 
after which a new winner will be chosen
Must be 18 years of age or older to enter

Recently I have had to choose a second winner for quite a few giveaways 
due to lack of an email response from my winners. 
If you really want to win, check your SPAM folders often, or better yet 
add moderntypography@aol.com to your address book. Good luck!

84 comments:

  1. What a fun shop! I follow your blog :)

    homespunhandmaiden(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  2. I hearted her etsy shop (HomespunHandmaiden)

    homespunhandmaiden(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  3. I hearted the dark honey cotton hat in her shop :) (HomespunHandmaiden)

    homespunhandmaiden(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  4. I now follow BCD on twitter (HHandmaiden)

    homespunhandmaiden(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  5. I love the Twelve Dollar Tam in all the colors.


    melodyj(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  6. first of all, I want to say that it is really amazing to know that my shop is someone's favorite! Wow!

    and of course, I follow this blog :)

    pavlysh[at]gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I added BCD shop to favorite

    pavlysh[at]gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  9. and I hearted maybe half of Kirsten's shop :)

    pavlysh[at]gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  10. I followed Kirsten on twitter as http://twitter.com/#!/NatalkaPavlysh

    pavlysh[at]gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  11. Following blog via GFC under Berendina Dykema.

    bd_657(at)hotmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  12. Hearted BCD on Etsy under SugarGumDrops.

    bd_657(at)hotmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  13. Favorited this item on etsy under SugarGumDrops.

    http://www.etsy.com/listing/80030002/the-twelve-dollar-tam-in-fuschia

    bd_657(at)hotmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  14. Following BCD on Twitter.@TheArtOfBaking

    bd_657(at)hotmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  15. Follow this blog

    aikychien at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  16. Like BCD on Facebook - Aik Chien

    aikychien at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  17. Heart BCD on Etsy - bloomingblossom

    aikychien at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  18. Hearted The Twelve Dollar Tam (in Fuschia) - bloomingblossom

    aikychien at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  19. I follow you on GFC (same name)

    megnate at telus dot net

    ReplyDelete
  20. I like BCD on facebook (same name)

    megnate at telus dot net

    ReplyDelete
  21. I heart BCD on etsy (id: megnate)

    megnate at telus dot net

    ReplyDelete
  22. I heart the Twisted Denim Beanie!! (id: megnate)

    megnate at telus dot net

    ReplyDelete
  23. I follow BCD on twitter as zaira_faith

    megnate at telus dot net

    ReplyDelete
  24. following as eugenia g


    bohemian_sin(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  25. i liked the page on fb as madalina bibi and I shared it to all of my friends

    ReplyDelete
  26. http://www.etsy.com/listing/79835353/dark-honey-cotton-beret love this berret and hearted under the same name

    ReplyDelete
  27. Following as deb_oro via GFC

    DESPINA
    deb_oro@yahoo.gr

    ReplyDelete
  28. Favourited her shop as DESPINA VNT

    DESPINA
    deb_oro@yahoo.gr

    ReplyDelete
  29. And favourited the lovely Twelve Dollar Tam (in Fuschia) as DESPINA VNT


    DESPINA
    deb_oro@yahoo.gr

    ReplyDelete
  30. My etsy shop! jessvartanian.etsy.com

    ReplyDelete
  31. My art portfolio jessvartanian.carbonmade.com

    ReplyDelete
  32. I am going to pass this website on to my sister and friends!

    ReplyDelete
  33. I love the twelve dollar tam in black!

    ReplyDelete
  34. I follow bcd on twitter! @ElfRenee

    ReplyDelete
  35. GFC: fatema
    email: mclasb11@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  36. hearted the shop on etsy

    etsy name: mclasb

    ReplyDelete
  37. i hearted this item Blue Couch Pinwheel --- fabric button hair pins

    ReplyDelete
  38. Super cute! measuringspoonsblog at gmail dot com.

    ReplyDelete
  39. Hearted on etsy! measuringspoonsblog at gmail dot com.

    ReplyDelete
  40. I follow with GFC Shilo Beedy
    shilobeedy@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  41. I heart the etsy shop as JillHogan

    ReplyDelete
  42. I heart the twelve dollar tam on etsy as jillhogan

    ReplyDelete
  43. following you via GFC

    marija.majerle at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  44. following BCD on twitter @mrsclutterbuck

    marija.majerle at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  45. hearted BCD on etsy -- username bokononist

    marija.majerle at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  46. hearted the Green Thumb Beanie -- username bokononist

    marija.majerle at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  47. I follow your blog!

    kellybrown28021@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  48. I heart blue couch designs on etsy.

    kellybrown28021@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  49. My favorite thing on blue couch designs at etsy are the hats

    kellybrown28021@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  50. I follow blue couch designs on twitter-kellybb31

    kellybrown28021@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  51. Follow blog via gfc=Lyudmila
    lusizova at gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  52. GFC: France Irish

    franceirish_c(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  53. Liked Blue Couch Designs on FB and invited friends
    https://www.facebook.com/franceirish

    franceirish_c(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  54. Hearted bluecouchdesigns
    http://www.etsy.com/people/franceirish?ref=si_pr

    franceirish_c(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  55. My favorite item is:
    http://www.etsy.com/listing/85437821/seafoam-bouquet-large-fabric-button

    franceirish_c(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  56. Following bluecouchdesigns on twitter
    http://twitter.com/#!/franceirish

    franceirish_c(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  57. I'm a GFC follower!

    walindeman@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  58. Like Blue Couch on FB!

    walindeman@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  59. Hearted BCD on Etsy.

    walindeman@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  60. Hearted the Granny Stitch Pull-on in mustard & white.

    walindeman@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  61. Follow BCD on Twitter as @whitneylindeman.

    walindeman@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  62. im a gfc follower jmmccarr@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  63. I follow you on GFC
    daisy522@aol.com

    ReplyDelete
  64. I liked you on FB
    daisy522@aol.com

    ReplyDelete
  65. I follow you on twitter
    daisy522@aol.com

    ReplyDelete
  66. I hearted you on etsy
    daisy522@aol.com

    ReplyDelete
  67. My favorite item is the wood flower earrings
    daisy522@aol.com

    ReplyDelete
  68. I marked your etsy shop as a favorite and faved the twelve dollar Tam in Green. I also liked you on FB.
    Linda Steelman Jarraf on BF
    lindajlue@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  69. follow this blog via gfc

    passions0123@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  70. hearted bcd on etsy

    passions0123@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  71. I favorited the business casual fabric button hair pins

    passions0123@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  72. This giveaway is now closed. Stay tuned for the announcement of the winner!

    ReplyDelete