Win a $100 gift card from Etsy Canada

Etsy Canada has reached out to offer a gift card valued at $100 Canadian to one of my readers! To enter to win, please click on the shops above discover some of the Canadian Etsy talent profiled in the UPPERCASE Compendium of Craft & Creativity. Leave a comment below (make sure you include a contact method or link) to enter to win. Contest closes on Friday.

wrap it in style

Hessian and Burlap

Hessian and Burlap

Perhaps you've already purchased or made your Christmas gifts (me? I've been too busy finishing up the design of issue #20 to even start!) If you're in wrap mode, here are some packaging selections that caught my eye on Etsy, like these burlap bags above, or a beautiful vintage tin, below. I've saved more favourites to the UPPERCASE Etsy pages gift guide.

If Found Please Return

If Found Please Return

Paisley Handmade

Paisley Handmade

Brava Vintage

Brava Vintage

Crows Cottage

Crows Cottage

handmade holidays

Etsy is running a campaign to encourage people to look for handmade options during their holiday shopping. After considering an UPPERCASE gift subscription, take a look at our page on Etsy. You'll find link to things made by our readers and items featured in the magazine. Our curated section is a great way to streamline your Etsy shopping experience. 

Are you a reader with an Etsy shop? Email us and we'll add you to our page. 

Etsy Lab

One of the events of the Nearly Impossible conference was the "Expert Lab" in which you could book 15 minutes with an advisor. It was held at the Etsy headquarter's Lab/event space. 

One of the events of the Nearly Impossible conference was the "Expert Lab" in which you could book 15 minutes with an advisor. It was held at the Etsy headquarter's Lab/event space. 

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This card catalogue was full of creative tools and materials.

This card catalogue was full of creative tools and materials.

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Hmmm... I think UPPERCASE magazine and books should be on these shelves.

Hmmm... I think UPPERCASE magazine and books should be on these shelves.

A t-shirt screenprinting area.

A t-shirt screenprinting area.

Etsy Lab coats.

Etsy Lab coats.

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The space was loud and buzzing with conversation.

The space was loud and buzzing with conversation.

I don't know why, but I love photographing scissors.

I don't know why, but I love photographing scissors.

Hoodies provided to conference goers by Amplifier.

Hoodies provided to conference goers by Amplifier.

Scoutbooks provided these little notebooks.

Scoutbooks provided these little notebooks.

Per Aspera Ad Astra =  Through hardships to the stars

Per Aspera Ad Astra = Through hardships to the stars

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Maybe next time I'm in the city, I'll visit the Etsy headquarters, a few floors above the Lab. 

Maybe next time I'm in the city, I'll visit the Etsy headquarters, a few floors above the Lab. 

UPPERCASE Etsy page

UPPERCASE on Etsy

We now have an UPPERCASE page on Etsy! I'm just getting started, but here are a few boards of things we like at UPPERCASE. If you're a subscriber to UPPERCASE magazine, I'd love to make a board highlighting the work of our very own. Please include your Etsy url in the comments below or submit here and I will build you into our pages.  Follow along on Etsy to see our picks.

magazine storage curated by UPPERCASE on Etsy
typographic curated by UPPERCASE on Etsy
home curated by UPPERCASE on Etsy

curated Etsy

While you're waiting for issue #19 to arrive, we have a special treat to help get you in the mood. Etsy Canada invited Janine to curate a list based some of the themes from issue #19. 

curious crystals

office letters

fall for orange

DesignThinkers: Randy J. Hunt

Randy J. Hunt
Randy J. Hunt
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Just a couple weeks ago, I had the pleasure of meeting Randy J. Hunt at HelloEtsy in Eindhoven where he was a panel moderator. Now at DesignThinkers, Randy was presenting an in-depth look at how he, as creative director at Etsy, uses the incredible amount of data generated through the Etsy site to enhance and interpret the Etsy site experience. It is through a combination of "balancing intuitive choices with a set of criteria and constraints" with "making some gut calls".

Randy shared some case studies, notably how the simple act of moving a favourites button affected engagement with the Etsy site—as well as providing new insight to the Etsy team on how the site is used by its visitors. It was an interesting talk and I learned some things that I will try to implement on my own site to increase traffic over to magazine subscriptions.

Miller Goodman at Piet Hein Eek

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I have admired the work of MillerGoodman online—they produce clever and well-designed toy blocks for children (and adults) so I was excited to see their display at Piet Hein Eek. The assembled faces, above, are part of their book, Faces, which has been on my list for Finley. (And possibly a set of blocks, too, though we have so many toys that have lots of parts that I always seem to hunting for missing pieces.) Alas, lineup in the shop was too long and the break during Etsy presentations was too short. Good thing everything is available online in the MillerGoodman shop. { One more image on little U. }

Piet Hein Eek

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The repurposed industrial complex where Hello Etsy was held is the property of Dutch furniture designer Piet Hein Eek. Housing his design, manufacturing and showroom along with ample exhibition spaces as well as other artist ateliers, a shop and a restaurant, the Piet Hein Eek complex is a place one could spend considerable time observing and learning, let alone doing and making. I can't describe how amazing Piet Hein Eek's studio is, so I will let the pictures speak. (Click on the images to view them larger.)

The photos below are from the shop and showroom. The number of people going through and visiting the Dutch Design Week exhibition stops was impressive!

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Piet Hein Eek spoke about his process and approach to making and selling his furniture. I wanted to purchase his 500 page Boek but at 2kg, it was best not to have to carry it around.

Piet Hein Eek spoke about his process and approach to making and selling his furniture. I wanted to purchase his 500 page Boek but at 2kg, it was best not to have to carry it around.

hello etsy

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Well, that was a great day! The entire Hello Etsy experience was terrific. My presentation went well and I was actually glad to have it over first so that I could relax.

Randy, Matt and Andrew from Etsy

Randy, Matt and Andrew from Etsy.

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I met lots of wonderful people. I had lunch with Anne, John and Vera.

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Here are fellow speakers Diane and Simone.

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I got to meet some fabulous UPPERCASE contributors in person! That's Anna Denise on the left, me in the middle and Kim on the right. Anna has just begun a job with Etsy Netherlands and Kim was a panelist at the event (and we coincidentally feature her subscriber profile in the current issue that I had available in the goodie bags.)

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It was lovely to meet Mitsy and her beautiful daughter. Mitsy was on the same panel as Kim, sharing their experience and expertise about selling on Etsy. I will try to round up a list of Etsy shops and links to the other people I met, but first I'm off to get some breakfast, see the grad show at the Eindhoven Academy and then take the train back to Amsterdam.

Thank you, Marta, for organizing a great event. Thank you to everyone at Etsy for your hospitality and generosity.

hello, hello etsy

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This afternoon I went out exploring Dutch Design Week in Eindhoven. (Pictures to come!) Then I headed over to Piet Hein Eek's amazing complex of studio, galleries, restaurant and design shop to see the Hello Etsy set up and make sure my presentation will work well. I look forward to hearing him speak tomorrow and sharing more images with you.

For now, here are some iphone shots of the speakers' dinner, held in the studio of Nacho Carbonell. As part of Dutch Design Week, Smalle Haven offers dinners catered in various artist's studio across the city. Although we were really cold and partially warmed by space heaters, it was a cool venue with great company. I'm kind of glad that my presentation is first (!!!) tomorrow morning so that I can get that done and enjoy everyone else's presentations stress-free. See you soon.

meeting Mirthe Blussé

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My first destination once arriving in Schipol airport was  to visit illustrator Mirthe Blussé, who had cordially invited me to visit her studio. Her studio is on the the 6th floor of the Volkskrantgebouw building, formerly the headquarters of the newspaper Volkskrant. Now housing dozens of tenants of creative industry plus a nightclub restaurant on the top level, the Volkskrantgebouw was kind of gritty in a cool art college-meets-industry sort of way.

Mirthe's studio, shared with illustrator Puk, was light-filled and punctuated with colourful bits of paper and collage. Mirthe's work has a wonderful unconstrained freeness about it, with playful yet elegant sprawling handwriting, simple graphic collages and more conceptual ones. Mirthe started out with a degree in copyright law, but her lifelong passion for creating art was too strong to ignore.

Please visit Mirthe's portfolio and blog to see more of her work (we can also look forward to a magazine feature on Mirthe in an issue of UPPERCASE next year.)

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Thank you, Mirthe, for such a nice way to start my adventure in the Netherlands! 

getting ready

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I'm leaving on Wednesday! So lots of big and little things to do today. I wanted to bring some sort of lightweight gift to give away at the Meet and Greet in Athenaeum next Monday and I had a few dozen of these mini coloured pencils that I've been saving for something. When I noticed that my inkjet labels were exactly the right size to wrap around the tubes, I had quick but cute solution. Half an hour with things I already had lying around? Perfect!

hello Etsy!

I have been invited to speak at Hello Etsy. In the Netherlands!

Hello Etsy: Small Business In A Big World, is a day-long gathering for small business owners who want to connect with their peers, learn new skills, and be part of the movement to build a better world. Taking place on October 27 in Eindhoven, The Netherlands during the internationally-renowned Dutch Design Week, the summit will investigate the changing global economy, and will offer valuable insights on how you can not only find financial success, but also reimagine your business as a tool for building a more fulfilling and lasting world.

I will have three days in Eindhoven and three in Amsterdam. An UPPERCASE meet and greet is being planned for October 29 in my fabulous stockist in Amsterdam, Athenaeum—more details to come. If you're in the city, please do stop by and say hello.

Do you have any suggestions for what I should see and do? Suggestions of people or studios to visit and interview for the magazine? Thank you!