Dec 11, 2009

Congrats to the Winner of the Oct/Nov Challenge!

Hillary of Artful Unity Won The October/November Challenge by one vote! She had the following to say:

Thank you to everyone who voted. I think the fact that I only won by one vote shows how beautiful Diane's Piece was and a big thank you goes out to her for creating such a work of art.

My piece is about covering up beauty in the process of covering up imperfections. Making the base pendant was easy for me - I just wire wrapped a big gemstone bead and added little crystals and Czech glass beads for accents. It took a few tries of covering it up with different things before I realized ribbon was the answer. Once I started working with the ribbon, the piece just finished itself.

You can check out more of my work at and Here is a post that more thoroughly explains the inspiration behind this piece

Thank you again for voting and have a great holiday season!

Dec 5, 2009

Dec Montly Design Challenge Theme

We are going back to challenges being monthly due to low participation this time and due to requests from some of the team members.
The challenge for December is: "Winter". The
challenge will be due midnight EST on December 31st. You can enter by
sending a picture of your entry to Please be
sure your entry includes the following:
1. your shop name
2. the name you want your piece listed as
3. The type of piece (i.e. bracelet, sun-catcher, pen, etc.)
4. a picture that is no more than 1 mb and is in one of the following
formats: gif, jpg or png (if you need help re-sizing pictures or
changing formats please contact Hillary or ask for help on the yahoo
We always have such beautiful stuff, I can't wait to see next month's!

Dec 2, 2009

Vote for your favorite! eSMArts Oct/Nov Team Challenge!

The entries for this month's challenge are in!

First, we have "Steampunk Necklace" made by Diane of My Gemstone Box

Second, we have "Exactly" made by Hillary of Artful Unity

There's only two for this month, but they're both beautiful! Hopefully we will have some more gorgeous entries next month!

Thanks for voting! Look for the details of December's Challenge in the next day or two and look for the results of this challenge in a week!

Nov 30, 2009

Hidden Santa GiveAway: We Have a Winner!

Sadly, our contest has now ended.  But to everyone who participated in the 2009 eSMArts Hidden Santa Treasure Hunt we're sending a huge THANK YOU! 

Hopefully all contestants had as much fun as our sponsoring shopowners :) 

Entries were slow at first, but eventually they came rolling in!  Our sponsoring artisans truly rallied together in support of this opportunity to share the spirit of the holidays with you, our many customers, followers, blog readers and fans.  A great time was had by all of us :)

Without further ado... the lucky winner of our prize package of handmade treasures is:

Suzin Schiff of Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario CANADA

We'll be contacting Suzin today to inform her of this windfall :) and her winnings will be on their way to her soon. 

Stay tuned to our particpating shops and keep reading this blog for news of future contests! 

And once again, thank you to every one who took part in this event.

Nov 26, 2009

Hidden Santa Treasure Hunt - Hint

play the eSMArts Hidden Santa Treasure Hunt!

Want to play the game but just can't find 3 pictures of our Santa?   
Here's one of them - a hint to get you started:

Visit our participating shops to spot just 2 more sightings and you're ready to enter!!

Find 3 Santa sightings and you're well on your way to grabbing the prize basket!

Email the 3 [three] URLs along with your name and address to:
esmartspromos [at]

eSMArts team shop

Nov 19, 2009

Enter to Win!

Our Christmas Gift Bundle is ready to ship! To enter, find three santas hidden anywhere within our participating shops and email those 3 urls to Here's a bit more information about the prizes donated by participating sponsors:

Always Wired Bead Lady: Jasper and onyx bracelet

Wilma's Whimsey: Copper wire wrapped cabochon pendant

Jannadu: Freshwater pearl dangle earrings

Artful Unity: Special handmade ornament for your Christmas tree

A Beaded Affair on Etsy: Lovely copper wire wrapped pendant

A Beaded Affair on Artfire: Beautiful pearl dangle earrings

MyGemstoneBox: Copper and opalite necklace

UnicornGem1994: Copper and gemstone bracelet

ByCoco on Artfire: Patriotic stained glass stocking

Gahooletree: Handmade chandelier earrings featuring Brazilian Emerald and Ruby on 14k gold fill

SassyDLite: Mystic blue quartz faceted onion nestled in hammered sterling disc necklace

Anna Lee: Rustic oxidized sterling necklace with prasiolite, yellow tourmaline & iolite treasures and freshwater pearls

Gahooletree Supplies: Large faceted citrine chevron earrings on sterling

World of Wezz: Seed bead snow white bracelet

eSMArts Team Shop: Visit us here to buy more wonderful items created by talented artists!

Nov 16, 2009

Congrats Joella!

We at eSMArts would like to offer a belated congratulations to Joella, the Always Wired Bead Lady!
Joella won our September challenge with her beautiful HippyChick Bracelet.
Here's what Joella Had to say when we congratulated her:
"I always look at the challenges posted on eSMArts and other groups that I'm in and wonder - how can I do this? And most of the time my mind just doesn't click into gear. But when I saw the 'Flower' Challenge I knew right away what I would make and enter.
The first time I saw the pattern for this weave it really made me smile. It's obvious that it's flowers - and can be created with one color of flower color or a whole flower bed.
Thanks to everyone who voted for me!"

If you would like to see more of Joella's work, you can check her out at
and her blog at

Beautiful work Joella and congrats again!

Nov 6, 2009

Hidden Santa Treasure Hunt November 14-28, 2009

Contest Update: eSMArts team is sharing the love with a handmade bundle to warm your holidays!

Enter our Hidden Santa Treasure Hunt to WIN a Christmas Gift Bundle of unique handmade creations.

The complete prize package, item photos and detailed descriptions will be announced here shortly.

Our contest begins November 14th so check back here for the full list of Sponsor Shops. 

Sponsor Shop banners will be displayed at the top of this blog (both left and right sidebar). 

Simply click the banners to visit each of our Sponsor Shops.


How to Play:
  • Check this blog for contest details and a list of participating eSMArts Sponsor Shops.
  • Visit each participating shop to find images of our santa.
  • Make note of the url where you find our santa pictured!
  • HINT: santa images are not embedded yet. They won't be online until the contest start date of November 14, 2009.
Here's how to complete each entry:
  1. find 3 Santa images that you haven't previously submitted.
  2. Email the urls along with your name & address to esmartspromos [at] to be entered.
  3. Find new/unsubmitted Santa image urls and enter as many times as you like!
  4. Entries will be validated to ensure that contestants are submitting fresh Santa spottings.
  5. Remember that 3 new Santa image urls equals ONE additional contest entry.
  • Contest runs November 14-28, 2009 (close is November 28/09 at midnight eastern).
  • Drawing takes place November 29th
  • Winner will be announced here November 30th
  • Prize package ships December 1st, 2009.
check back for hunting hints and tips!
and Happy Hunting :)

Oct 21, 2009

A Lesson From Our Elder: Alihelisdi Itse Udetiyusadisvi

Gift of The Sacred Pipe by Rogue Guirey Simpson

eSMArts team is fortunate to have crossed paths with a truly remarkable artist (and a really nice guy), our friend and elder statesman, Van Stewart Bevil, who reminded us yesterday of the passing of the Cherokee New Year by posting this brief lesson our our yahoo discussion forum.  We quote:

Alihelisdi Itse Udetiyusadisvi

On October 7, we left the year of the Firepit, a sign of refuge and warmth, and entered the year of the Big Star, also known as the Rabbit.  Both terms refer to the planet Venus, a body which is often mistaken for a star and which appears and disappears from view, just like a rabbit.

Many of the familiar stories of the Rabbit trickster - the pre-electronics Bugs Bunny - refer back to interactions in the sky with other features, such as the constellations Deer, Bear and Turtle.  As with all wisdom traditions, these stories have many layers of meaning.

We have entered a year where the pace of events will speed up, and the direction of events may change as quickly as a zigzagging cottontail.

We wish you all the best and a Happy New Year
Kicking Bear

When I formed the eSMArts group I hoped I would meet funny, talented and caring people like Van, but I never anticipated learning as much as I have from my online family!  These folks keep me guessing daily - and that says quite a bit :)

Here is one of Van's paintings that I particularly like (well I actually love all of his works).  Buffalo Dreamer is available for purchase in Van's shop, Kicking Bear on etsy.

I encourage you to visit Van's Kicking Bear shop to view his gallery of wonderful oils and also explore the magical healing and wellness items created in the 'old way' by Van himself.
Zero Tolerance an original oil by Van Stewart Bevil available for purchase at CoastalArtist on etsy

Van's stunning nature theme oils are on display and available for immediate purchase at Coastal Artist on etsy and you can read lessons from this learned educator, writer and spiritual leader by subscribing to his newest blog The Grandfathers Speak


Stay Tuned to Win!

ENTER the eSMArts Hidden Santa Treasure Hunt to Win our Christmas Cheer Gift Basket Giveaway - Contest begins Nov. 14th - details tba soon!

eSMArts is spreading the love with a bundle of unique, handmade delights to warm your holiday!

Contest rules and entry details will be announced here SOON!

Oct 13, 2009

Vote For The Winner of the September Challenge!

September's challenge theme was "flower" and all the entries are bloomin' good! ;)
You can vote for your favorite at the bottom of the page, but we wanted to post the big pictures too just so you can see up close how amazing these are.

Shades of Victoria - "Lazy Daisy"

Maryanne "Rhodonite Rose"

Wilma's Whimseys - "Crystal Flower"

Artful Unity - "Flowerette"

Coastal Artist - "Stargazers"

My Gemstone Box "Re-purposed Flower"

Always Wired Bead Lady "Hippychick"

Oct 11, 2009

The eSMArts Team Has Been Thinking About YOU!

Our eSMArts Team knows that Christmas is going to be tight this year for a lot of people. We are making plans to help make your Holidays warm and wonderful! Of course you want to know more...but you have to wait a little longer. Be sure to check back often. I guess it wouldn't hurt to leave you a clue, or even a few!
*It sparkles like snow but leaves you warm inside.*

The eSMArts Team Supports Handmade
Selections from our eSMArts members.

Sep 16, 2009

September's Team Challenge

The theme For September's Challenge is "Flower". Entries will be due by Sept 30th, 2009 at midnight EST. You can enter by emailing a picture to hillary [at] . If particpants have any questions or concerns you can email Hillary or use the group list. Hopefully voting will be up by Oct 4th this month.

Last month's entries were all wonderful and unique and we definitely look forward to seeing what will happen this month. We hope you will join us by checking back here to see their progress and vote.

Sep 15, 2009

August's Winner!

Congratulations to Coastal Artist for winning August's challenge! His painting, "Song of the Loon", was picked by our readers as the best of the entries for the theme "Nature/Natural" and we can certainly see why everyone loved it. When asked about the piece, He had this to say:
"Although this bird is referred to as 'a common Loon' there is nothing common about them. If you have ever heard them late in the evening or early morning calling (singing) you know what I mean. I tried really hard to capture the song of the Loon as I painted this, I hope you can hear it too."
Thanks for the beautiful piece, Coastal Artist and congratulations again.

Sep 7, 2009

August Challenge Entries! -- Vote for your favorite!!! (Revised)

Hillary accidentally left someone out of the first poll, so she closed it out and started a new one. The new poll will be up for a full weeK and will end midnight EST on 9-14-09. Thanks everyone for participating!

August's Challenge Poll -- OOPS!

Hillary inadvertently left someone out of the challenge poll. She has closed the poll out and is going to start it over again with all entrants. Voting will be open for a full week from the time she posts the new poll. Hillary sends her sincerest apologies to everyone for the inconvenience. The poll should be back up shortly.

Aug 14, 2009

Team Design Challenges Are Back!

We are happy to announce the return of the official ESMARTS team challenge! Get in on the excitement and share in the fun!

We're glad there has been keen interest in this special team event. Why? Each Challenge offers an exciting opportunity to encourage new creations while also creating fresh opportunities to promote each others' work!!!

Here's how our challenges will work:

  • Every month, Hillary will pick a theme at random from her rather large list of ideas.

  • Entries will be due by the last day of the month and voting will be open on the 2nd of each month for one week.

  • All team members are welcome to participate, regardless of membership level.

  • August's Theme is "nature/natural".

  • Entries are due by Midnight EST on August 31st, 2009.

  • All eSMArts team members are invited to submit their entry by sending a picture to artfulhillary [at]

We look forward to seeing some amazing new creations and hope you will join us by checking back here to see their progress and vote.

Jul 15, 2009

More Esmarts Sparkles

One of the great things about Team Esmarts is that we are not just all about the jewelry bling. Our team has talented artists in a wide variety of craft and artistic fields. Some of my favorites are below, plus I just had to have a bit of bling for the post!

Esmarts Team Store has been dedicated to assisting fellow Etsians with the proceeds going to worthy causes selected by the team. Visit the store for an idea of the wonderful talent of this artistic group.

Shades of Victoria by Sheree

Visit the team store for more great offerings. Check out A Beaded Affair for jewelry supplies at great prices too!

Jun 26, 2009

ESMarts at Etsy - New Sparkle

Esmarts Team Store has been dedicated to assisting fellow Etsians with the proceeds going to worthy causes selected by the team. Visit the store for an idea of the wonderful talent of this team.

Gahoole Tree by Anna Lee

ChezChani by Elayne

Vistit Esmarts at Etsy today and support the team shop!

For all your jewelry supply needs visit A Beaded Affair. Your one stop shop for copper wire, hand selected beads and findings!

Jun 16, 2009

Our Team Member Coco Watkin is Writing for!

I highly recommend as a great resource for both buyers and sellers in the world of handmade. It's a comprehensive site, with a dynamic staff of columnists and editors writing for 14 sections or departments including:

Main Feature
Craft Techniques
Guild & Teams
Just for Fun
Craft Trends
Business Tips
Green Wise
Featured Artisan
Item of the Day
Crafty Kids
Front Page
Most Popular

This site was launched on June 8th and is quickly growing in popularity. Some of the articles I've found most interesting include:

Create Your Own Seed Paper
An article about making seed paper that you can write a note on and
then the recipient can plant it rather that put it in the trash

Vetrazzo-The Ultimate Example of Trash to Treasure
An article about a company who makes gorgeous counter tops out of recycled glass
that competing as an elegant alternative to more expensive granite

Snow Globes For Any Occasion
These would be a great craft project for kids--even teens, a fabulous table decoration for a fundraiser or as a wedding favor or a get well present for someone stuck in bed.

Sock Coffee Cozy: A Craft Supply Challenge Project
You don't even have to be crafty to do this project. All you need are a stash of lonely socks who lost their partner to the hungry monster in the washing machine or dryer.

Recrafting Yourself in the Second Half of Life
Some of you may not be there, but at 50+ and in the second half of my life, all I can say is, "Amen!"

That's a sampling just to whet your appetite. New articles are published every day in each department. Now that I'm a columnist in the Guild & Teams department, I don't have as much time for perusing. So, why don't you go to and read an article for me. If you really like it, use the comments below to recommend it to the rest of us by leaving the title, a link, and a short summary the way I did above.


PS. Please keep me in mind and send me "the scoop" when one of the Artist groups (such as an Etsy Team, an Artfire Guild, a Market on 1000 Markets, or a Group on ACG, Cafemom, Yahoo, etc.) you belong to runs an online or off-line promotional event, giveaway, or contest and I'll try to give it a plug. Just include "HMN-Team scoop" in the subject line of a message you can send to me through my shop on Artfire. Thanks!

Reprinted by permission
Coco Watkin © 2009
For more information on this talented artist please visit ByCoco’s Art for Everyday Enjoyment blog

Apr 22, 2009

Joella Miller - Always Wired Bead Lady!

Joella Miller - Always Wired Bead Lady

Joella Miller is the talented jewelry artist and designer behind AlwaysWiredBeadLady located in Brodhead, WI. Joella is also my friend and a valued member of our online Artisan family called eSMArts.

I met Joella a year ago and was immediately drawn in amazement toward her intricate chainmaille designs. Joella has mastered a vast array of artisan jewelry making techniques. Her lovely wire wrapping and chainmaille creations are crisp, modern and truly timeless. This artist enjoys custom work so contact Joella directly to have your unique design statement project started today.

Joella Miller - Always Wired Bead Lady
Joella's handcrafted jewelry creations are pieces of lasting beauty that have received wide acclaim and recognition. Joella has recently been accepted to appear at WisCon 33's Art Show being held in Madison, WI May 23, 24 and 25. WisCon is a premier feminist SciFi convention that only accepts 40 artists in their popular Art Show!

Copper Romanov bracelet with red swarovski crystals by Joella Miller

Joella will also be appearing this summer (every Saturday morning) at the Dane County Farmer's Market. This premier farmer's market has a special section for arts and will run all summer long. So be sure to make a point of dropping by Joella's Always Wired Bead Lady booth this season!

Joella Miller - Always Wired Bead Lady

There is more background information on this artist and a sneak peek into what's new at her studio on her blog:

Joella Miller - Always Wired Bead Lady