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Shop Local, Online: Fox Teacher, Arnold Artists Sell Crafts on Etsy

Looking for a Mother's Day gift? These Arnold artists sell handmade and vintage items online.

Etsy.com has become a popular place for online shoppers to find handmade crafts and vintage items, and artists here in Arnold are opening up their own Etsy shops.

We've profiled three shops below. Click on the shop name to find them on Etsy.

Silver Bird Boutique

Kristina Brown taught art to Fox School District high school and elementary students for six years and never had time to sell her work on Etsy, saying "I put all of my time into my art teaching career."

But when a car accident left her with severe pain issues, Brown had to quit. Now, she finds her outlet on Etsy, painting custom and original canvas and wood panels for weddings, and she only sells online.

"I've always loved anything arts- or crafts-related," Brown said. "My mom painted a lot when I was little, and I remember pulling up a chair next to her and painting my own pictures. I can honestly say that as time has gone on, I've only grown to love art more."

Brown customizes her paintings for her customers, like adding dates and initials for couples decorating their wedding receptions. She paints on canvases that are ready to hang and don't need to be framed.

"Since I have a lot of interests, I see my inventory growing and evolving with time," Brown said. "It is exciting for me to create custom works for customers' weddings and businesses, and I hope to get many more opportunities to make these in the future and as my shop grows."

Donnie Ray Crochet

Don Williams likes to work with his hands, whether that means mowing the yard, repairing a car or crocheting a hat.

"I to enjoy more 'girly stuff' than the average man," he said. "I tried my hand at cross stitch, embroidery, and machine sewing. Needlepoint didn't really appeal to me, but I loved sewing with a machine. I actually made several dresses for my first daughter when she was a toddler."

About 10 years ago, Williams bought a book on teaching yourself to crochet.

"After several frustrating nights of looking at a book and trying horrible looking knots in yarn, my girlfriend (now his wife) suggested asking her grandmother for help," Williams said. "Sitting with her grandmother for about 20 minutes and seeing how it was done made everything in the book click, and I picked it up in no time."

And he's been crocheting ever since! He makes scarves, hats, baby blankets, booties as well as the not-so-usual crochet items, like Easter eggs, coasters and a Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch replicated from Monty Python's Holy Grail.

Now that winter's over, Williams is taking his focus off hats and thinking about creative projects, like coasters. And if you want to know anything about crocheting, all you have to do is ask.

"I love to babble about as much as I love crochet."

2nd Life Jewels

Deborah Holborow debuted her line of jewelry at the Arnold Farmer's Market.

"I give second life to those old forgotten, once loved, pieces of silver plate flatware," she writes on her Etsy page. "I can transform those tarnished pieces of silver that no one uses anymore into one of a kind pieces of jewelry, making a treasured heirloom."

Holborow started with a box of old silver given to her by her mother-in-law. When the jeweler wouldn't buy it, she decided to try repurposing it into jewelry, remembering the spoon rings of her youth.

"I had pictured in my head just what I wanted to do, so I just started bending, and cutting, and drilling, and filing until I had what I had pictured," she said.

The name of her store, 2nd Life Jewels, has two meanings: It represents the second life she gives to the silverware by turning it into jewelry, but it also represents a new chapter in Holborow's life.

"After being unemployed for nearly 2 years, it has redefined my life and given me a second life as well," she said. "I am inspired by my customers and thrilled when I can make a memory for them. I had one customer tell me that her father worked for International Silver for more than 30 years and was thrilled to get a piece of her father's history made into something she could wear and treasure. It is reasons like this that make me absolutely love what I do."

Find more local Arnold artists on Etsy!

Myra Creasy May 03, 2013 at 11:25 PM
Where is the market going to be tomorrow?
Sheri Gassaway May 04, 2013 at 01:11 AM
Hi Myra, the Farmers Market is from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday at Arnold City Park: http://patch.com/A-4bhM. Sure hope the rain holds off!
Bill Moritz May 04, 2013 at 03:43 AM
Sorry guys - Due to inclement weather the first date has been slipped one week.
Doris Borgelt May 04, 2013 at 09:40 AM
The market has been canceled.

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