Friday, April 17, 2009

5 questions: Treasures Under The Willow Tree

This weekend I'm participating in the Etsy Spring Baby Shower. I'm looking forward to joining the chat on Saturday with all the new moms. It will also be a great place to find something special for your own new little person or for that baby shower you have coming up. The shower will be held in the Etsy Chatroom on Saturday April 18th at 1pm EST.

In keeping with my involvement in the Etsy Baby Shower I'm sharing one of my favourite baby and toddler shops on Etsy: thewillowtree. As a Mommy of a two year old and a friend to new and expectant Mom's I love to use Etsy to help with my birthday/baby shower gift giving. One of my favourite shops to browse is thewillowtree. Bright colours, fun designs and custom work combine to make one very inviting shop. Melody, the face behind thewillowtree is also a mom and a nanny so she knows the importance of a good lovey.

When my daughter was teeny weeny, her favourite toys were those with lots of manufacturer tags. She'd be occupied for hours fingering, examining, tasting and pulling on the tags attached to her stuffy and stroller toys. Had I known about Etsy three years ago I'd have bought one of thewillowtree's BusyFingers BabyBuddy - Green Dino plush infant tag toys. A soft green dinosaur with a variety of tag types, smooth, textured, and wavy edges would have been a huge hit. I've got a baby shower coming up and I'm eyeing one as my gift to the latest edition of our baby mamma group.

In addition to her bright and huggable looking sock monkeys, thewillowtree is also making adorable elephant plushies in her trademark bright colour combinations. These seem to just fly out of her shop as soon as they move in.

Melody can be found on Indiepublic,, plus you can look at her work and photography in brilliant detail on Flickr. Melody's Blog treasuresunderthewillowtree is a wonderful read as well full of her bright work and great stories too.

What got you started?

I have loved creating things ever since can remember! My mom always had fun projects for me to do. I learned to sew when I was four or five, sewing along traced designs on paper and fabric scraps with our antique Singer sewing machine. The very first things I sewed were a pillowcase (which I still have) and a shorts and t-shirt outfit.

My mom had a home business making dolls and rubber stamps, and my dad also created his own business, so I just grew up knowing that was something anybody could do.

Throughout school one of my favorite subjects was art. I loved it all- painting, sketching, ceramics, sculpting, sewing, and everything else! Years ago, I started making sock monkeys for all the birthdays in our family. Everyone loved them and kept telling me I should figure out a way to sell them. My mom had heard about Etsy and told me about it, so I signed up, and I'm so glad I did! I am far from being able to quit my normal job (I am a nanny to two little boys), but I love every bit of creating that I get to do for my Etsy shop!

Do you listen to music when you create? If yes, what's on your play list right now and why?

Yes! Sometimes there is too much other noise going on (little kids, toys, a movie, friends over, etc) but when I have some time to myself to work on things, I crank up the music. I have too may favorite artists but here are a few that I love at the moment: Regina Spektor, Death Cab for Cutie, The Long Winters, Feist, and Iron and Wine. I like songs with a great rhythm and catchy melody, something I can sing along to! It puts me in a happy mood, and inspires me to make beautiful things.

What item in your shop is your most favorite and your best?

That's a hard question. Pretty much every new thing I make becomes my new favorite! If I had to choose, I'd say I like this Bella Bunny most right now because it is so bright and cheerful, and makes me feel like Spring even though there is snow outside!

As for what item is best- I don't think any one thing is better than another, they are all different from each other. However, this green dinosaur has been my best selling item so far!

What life or art lesson have you learned that has shaped your work?

Change is good! Change can be anything from improving design on one item, to trying something you've never done before and creating a whole new item, or even to stop making an item all together. This lesson has helped me think outside the box with everything I do. Sometimes change can seem frustrating or discouraging, but becomes exciting and refreshing when I realize the opportunities it brings!

If you were an animal what animal would you be?

For some reason the answer to that question has always been a deer. I think they are so pretty and graceful and quietly strong. And, they get to live in the forest! :)


Mary Ann said...

Great interview and adorable toyss. Too bad I dont have any little ones to buy for.

Penny said...

Cute dino!

Robert said...

Good job with the interview, those are great.

cabin + cub said...

They are all so cute! I especially love the dino and his ribbon detail.... awwwww!

Shawn Michel de Montaigne said...

The owl is so cute. Thanks for the post.

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