Who is a comrade? A close friend or someone who comes to mind when you say, “We’re in this together.” You don’t have to be best friends with everyone in the group to know you have their support.

"We're in this together!"

“We’re in this together!”

This is the feeling I had with our group of Etsy Ellijay team members during a recent team meeting at the Gilmer County Library. The Ellijay Etsy Team attempts to meet monthly to stay in touch face-to-face. This meeting included active Etsy shop owners, both veteran and virgin (long timers and newbies).

To quote the Captain, Melisa Searcy of Blessed Bee Melisa: “In a community like ours we are a part of something special when we come together. It’s more than what “I” can do, but rather, what “we” can do – it takes a village – and we become a village when we encourage each other and hold each other up.”

Prior to our meeting, Melisa, made sure everybody got a copy of the agenda in advance to encourage team discussion. Kitty of Mattie’s Hodge Podge on Etsy, kept us all on point during the informalities by highlighting the agenda when a point was discussed moving everything along at a good pace. Every single member of the team and those contemplating joining the team participated, and we want to say a BIG THANK YOU to all!

COMRADERY in action. A true feeling of TRUST, a bond created by a shared goal or experience came about during that meeting. Since the meeting was so successful, lets use it as the basis for all our meetings to come. Let’s here it: GO TEAM!!!

Quoting a newbie to Etsy: “This is great! I was feeling timid about coming to a group I didn’t know by myself, but really felt welcomed and know it was a big step in moving this along with greater confidence and understanding.”

Quoting one Etsy veteran: “It’s always so great to have actual human contacts, especially when you live in small-town USA! There are always so many questions that we have as Etsy shop owners, and we also have answers from what we have learned along the way, so it’s always good to share, ask and tell! We all have a lot that we can share, and I love that Etsy is not just about promoting yourself, but helping to promote others.”

MENTORING is a good way to describe the Etsy Community as a whole. So taking a cue from the Etsy Community, we–Melisa (team captain) and Becca (team leader)–are mentoring the newbies who want to be a part of the Ellijay Team as soon as their shops are up and running. Encouragement goes a long way and starting out alone can be scary. Etsy has helped us learn, and we are happy to ‘pay-it-forward.’ We hope that by our next team meeting we can add a couple more members to the team line up and maybe next time everybody on the team can be there. Would you like to meet the team?

Select a link below to meet our Ellijay Etsy COMRADS:

Those present for this meeting.

Melisa Searcy of Blessed Bee Melisa:

Jim Harmon of Rustic Lodge décor:

Candace Harmon of White FeatherJewelry:

Jolee of 12 Precious Stones:

Kitty of Mattie’s Hodge Podge:

Mary of Starry Nites Farm:

Becca Shuler of Green Craft Studio:

Other active members who did not make it to this meeting

Deborah and Niki

Jan Blaskay –

…and we have many more in our Team that are yet to come to the meetings but that have lovely shops on Etsy and are hoping to make it to future meetings. We encourage you to come join us sometime at our meetings and upcoming workshops. AND as always, if you have questions, we can come together over the www – through our team threads on our team page on Etsy and Facebook!

JOIN US and Etsy on!


Art Camp in Blue Ridge Mountains of N. Ga.

Blue Ridge Mtn. Arts Assoc. Summer Youth Art  Camp July 2014

Blue Ridge Mtn. Arts Assoc. Summer Youth Art Camp July 2014

Rug Designers at age 8, who would have knew?

Yes, even at the tender age of eight humans are designers. This came to me as my art camp students became fully absorbed during the design phase of our weaving class.

I gave each student a circular design sheet after a brief discussion about color wheel basics. Each and every student was fully engaged during the discussion and it was easy to see that this was going to be the most rewarding part of our weaving class. The designs emerged one by one as the students considered the colors of materials in each of their own supply piles.  Most of them had the concept of the spiral design because they had completed the practice piece on a small scale using the embroidery hoops. These new designs would be done on a larger scale using a hula hoop loom, so they all became very serious about how they wanted their projects to turn out.

Two students who were spending summer vacation together came up with the idea of crafting ‘Friendship Rugs’. They would each do a rug of their own in one design of a rainbow collage of colors in a spiral format, placing one single color in the complete row alternating white or tan in between each rainbow color as they went. The design was drawn in great detail, but they did not return to class on Friday. I didn’t get a photo of their projects.

Another student, who was quite attached to her six cats, wanted to make a rug for her tree house. And since all her materials were dark earth tones, it seemed she had put some thought into that design. She often referred back to her design as she worked on it in a very methodical pace, checking and double checking her pattern of ‘under/over’ and asking me to check her work periodically. Her parents came to our Show and Tell event on Friday and were quite delighted with the project results. Here’s a picture of her work.

Zoey's Earth Tone Art Rug

Zoey’s Earth Tone Art Rug

One of the students warmed my heart by bringing all old t-shirts from her own closet and dresser drawers. Her rug was a beautiful lavender, blue, and green rug. Her design took all of her materials into consideration, and she used up most of her materials during class. She enjoyed the class and worked quietly without much help becoming quite the expert at weaving in the round.

Emily's Lavender Rug

Emily’s Lavender Rug

Most students chose a two tone color scheme using two complimentary colors from the color wheel that they also had in their material stash.  The design sheets reflected those patterns of alternating the two colors. Their projects pretty much followed their design sheets with occasionally adding a third color to the design as they ran out of certain colors. Here is one of those projects completed by Lola.

Lola's Creation

Lola’s Creation

One student, who had missed the first day of class and had not yet made her practice piece, designed her rug into wedge shapes of color. I knew that this would be a difficult design to accomplish as it would entail changing the weft threads more often than the other projects would need. She decided on alternating the warp into black and white and then alternating the weft colors in the design choices of her wedge pattern.  Here is Hannah’s two tone rug.

Hannah's Two Tone Wonder

Hannah’s Two Tone Wonder

Overall, Art Camp was a huge success for the Green Craft Studio.  I will be happy to do that camp all over again next summer if they call me in as a return instructor.

Have a happy summer all you arts and craft campers!