Monday, December 12, 2011

Meet the Artist and Giveaway: Monica the Handprint Lady

If you haven't heard, I'm a member of the Etsymom Team.
Through this group I've had the pleasure of meeting Monica, the Handprint Lady.
Turns out, Monica lives 5 minutes away from where I work!

We've decided to team up to offer one lucky winner their choice of an item from her shop!

Large hand and footprint ceramic plaque with  mold kit and shipping
Buy it here
Monica made me a gorgeous ornament for my baby, and I LOVE it.
I was thrilled that she offered, it's actually a tradition to get hand print ornaments for each child for their first Christmas. For my first child someone gave me a kit. It's precious because it preserves that sweet little handprint, but it's extremely heavy and lacks sheen. For my second I decided to try a lighter kit. It turned out alright, but it certainly isn't elegant, and while I was going for lighter, I didn't think it would be as light as a paper clip. My third child lucked out, Monica made it! It's very similar to the one above.

It was pretty easy, Monica gave me a kit with simple directions. It took a few tries, but none the less I managed to get a good impression. Before I knew it Monica had created a gorgeous ornament.
It's just the right size, just slightly bigger than the impression.
It isn't huge and thick so it doesn't weigh down a whole tree branch.
And it has a beautiful luster and shiny red ribbon.

I'll be showing you more creations as we get to know the artist 
and more about her process. 


Q: Tell us a little about yourself.
A: I’m 46, mother of 6 children, and haven’t slept in 21 years. 


Ceramic Quad Hand/Footprint plaque by Mail Order
Buy it here
Q: How did you get started in ceramics?
A:  Well, I tried to play the piano, that didn’t work out.  I like to sing, but no one likes to listen, (except my babies), and so I prayed for some talent other than having babies.  And boom, there it was! 
Q: Your items are gorgeous! I can tell you put a lot of time and energy into every detail. Tell us a little about the process. 
A: The ceramic process itself is extremely labor intensive.  Then, add the whole “prints by mail “ into it, and then it really gets complicated.  I send the mold kit to the customer, and they make a print for me.  They send it back.  I then take my sculpting skills and make a 2 dimensional image into a 3 dimensional sculpture.  I then prepare the clay, roll the clay, stamp the clay, dry the clay, sand the clay,  fire the clay  the first time at 1940 degrees F for 12 hours, then wait two days for it to cool, unload the kiln, then clean the plaques (drilling, sanding) and then paint the plaques, then I glaze the plaques, and then load the kiln again for a second firing to 1818 F for 8 hours, then another 2 days to cool.  Quite often there is some flaw, and so I have to refire the plaque.  Sometimes it breaks, and I have to do the whole thing over again.   Then I have some drilling, threading of ribbons, and the whole sending through the mail part.  There are a lot of other in between steps that no one sees; like sieving and mixing my glazes, constantly babysitting my clay so it does not dry out, or if it does, the whole re-wetting process, or vacuuming out my 4 foot kiln, or drilling my stilt points sharp or kiln washing my shelves.   And don’t even get me started on shipping, and bookkeeping!  It is exhausting, but worth it.

Wedding or Anniversary Garden Stoneware Handprint Stepping Stone with Mold Kit and Shipping
Buy it here

Q: Any new products on the horizon? 
A:  Yes!  My newest products are personalized porcelain ornaments for Christmas!  My new ornaments are in my shop and my “other” shop, monichlasich.
 Q: We've had the pleasure of talking face to face about our adventures both on Etsy and locally. Any thoughts on that you'd like to share with my readers? 
A:  I’ve been on ETSY since 2005, and it has changed a lot.  I’m trying to really reach out and make relationships now.  Working alone in my garage can get pretty isolated.  I love sharing tips, and learning new things on pottery chat boards, and etsy teams, and other groups I associate with, like Freecycle. 
Q: We've also talked up a storm about the Etsymom team, that's how we met! I understand you are part of another Etsy team. What have you gained from those experiences? 
A:  Some wonderful tips !  Just meeting you was a wonderful experience to make this whole “internet” shop seem more tangible.  It’s all about relationships for me now. 
Hand and Footprints in the Sand- Ceramic plaque with mold kit and shipping
Buy it here
Q: Where do you see yourself/your business headed over the next couple years? 
A:  I see myself teaching.  I was born to teach ceramics.   I am trying to come up with a plan to teach what I know using current technology like Skype, and webchat, and dvd’s.    I really want to do more craft fairs because they are so much fun.  I love meeting people!

Kids Handprint Frame
Buy it here
Q: Anything else you'd like us to know? 
A: I am really passionate about buying handmade.  I do all of my holiday and birthday shopping at craft fairs or Etsy.  I want my money to go to a family.  I love that my gift is one of a kind original.  I love getting to know someone by purchasing their craft. 
Q: Just for fun, what are some of your favorite stores to shop on Etsy? 
A:  http://www.etsy.com/shop/Claymonster -this lady makes the cutest clay monsters
http://www.etsy.com/shop/BestPersJewelry -love these necklaces
http://www.etsy.com/shop/signaturetshirts -these T shirts are hilarious
http://www.etsy.com/shop/geneploss -love the house name prints
http://www.etsy.com/shop/pseuzyn -love her photography
there are so many more, but I'll stop there!
Gift Kit Ready to Ship (small)
Buy it here

I feel....inspired :)

Want to see more?
Be sure to hop on over to handprintlady if you haven't already.

Monica has made it very easy to order, whether you are buying an item for yourself, a gift certificate,
or gift kit. Monica also recently listed some really adorable ready to ship ornaments in her new shop, monicalasich.

I Heart Tenessee (Nashville)-Ready to Ship
Buy it here

Guess what...Monica set an exclusive coupon codes just for my blog readers!

Use the code THX4LV at checkout in either shop
to receive 10% off your entire purchase :)

On to the giveaway! 
Ready to find out how to win the item of your choice? I thought so.

How to Enter the Giveaway:


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

2. Follow Monica's Blog
and Invite 10 or more friends to like BCD, too
and leave a separate comment here saying you did.

and leave a separate comment here saying you did.

4. Visit Monica's Etsy Store and  
and leave a separate comment about your favorite item.

5. "Heart" the Handprint Lady on Etsy
and leave a separate comment here saying you did.

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

Fine print:
Only 5 entries per household please
Giveaway ends December 21st 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
And be a resident of the US or Canada

41 comments:

  1. I follow your blog!

    kellybrown28021@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. I follow Handprintlady Ceramic Plaques on fb!

    kellybrown28021@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  3. I heart Monica's etsy page! I love the stepping stones.......so pretty!

    kellybrown28021@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  4. I bookmarked Monica's etsy store as a favorite!

    kellybrown28021@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  5. I am a blog follower of yours!


    thecountryblossom at hotmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  6. I like Handprintlady on facebook! Katy A.

    thecountryblossom at hotmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  7. From Monica's etsy shop, I like the 3D OUTPRINT Hand and Foot plaque-small size!

    thecountryblossom at hotmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  8. I hearted both of her etsy shops! katy010305

    thecountryblossom at hotmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  9. wow, adorable. I already follow you via gfc

    lauren51990 at aol dot com

    ReplyDelete
  10. i like the falling leaves platter. too cute.

    lauren51990 at aol dot com

    ReplyDelete
  11. love the 3d one year hand/foot print piece!

    ReplyDelete
  12. follow your blog!

    passions0123@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  13. flyergal82 AT (yahoo) /dot/ $com%
    gfc danaj

    ReplyDelete
  14. i like the baby's first christmas ornament
    flyergal82 AT (yahoo) /dot/ $com%

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

    megnate at telus dot net

    ReplyDelete
  16. I like Handprintlady on facebook (same name)

    megnate at telus dot net

    ReplyDelete
  17. I like the Baby's first christmas birth ornament!

    megnate at telus dot net

    ReplyDelete
  18. I heart Handprint Lady on etsy (id: megnate)

    megnate at telus dot net

    ReplyDelete
  19. I'm a new follower!

    Embracingerica@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  20. New follower of Monica's blog!

    Embracingerica@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  21. "Liked" handprint lady on FB!

    Embracingerica@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  22. Visited Monica's store and LOVE: http://www.etsy.com/listing/74877314/the-eternity-plaque-mommy-and-daddy-and

    Embracingerica@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  23. I "hearted" her Etsy store

    Embracingerica@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  24. I follow this blog via GFC. (Shannon Foust)

    Shannon F.
    shannybakes(at)hotmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  25. I like Handprint Lady on facebook. (Shannon Foust)

    Shannon F.
    shannybakes(at)hotmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  26. I added her store to my favorites (Shannon Foust)

    Shannon F.
    shannybakes(at)hotmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  27. I wish she had an ohio ornament (we just moved from ohio this past year and that's where my husband and I got married and my daughter was conceived) but I also love the Baby's First Christmas Porcelain Ornament with Personalization. :)

    Shannon F.
    shannybakes(at)hotmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  28. following as Lillea

    contactlillea at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  29. I like this:


    http://www.etsy.com/listing/61140413/one-ceramic-handprintfootprint-color

    contactlillea at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  30. I follow you via GFC as Karen
    niuniuzheng at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  31. Following your blog.

    sblake1[at]student[dot]framingham[dot]edu

    ReplyDelete
  32. like her facebook page as Sarah Blake.

    sblake1[at]student[dot]framingham[dot]edu

    ReplyDelete
  33. The paint your own ceramic plate is my favorite product

    sblake1[at]student[dot]framingham[dot]edu

    ReplyDelete
  34. I'm following you via GFC. <3

    eangel91@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  35. "Like" the Handprint Lady on Facebook. <3

    eangel91@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  36. I absolutely love this one... http://www.etsy.com/listing/61393529/hand-and-footprints-in-the-sand-ceramic. <3

    eangel91@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  37. "Heart" the Handprint Lady on Etsy. <3

    eangel91@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete