Thursday, March 27, 2008

The Brats of Etsy Feature ~ CreationsAnew

Military Brats of Etsy Announce our March ~ April 2008
Brats Featured Artist ~ ~ CreationsAnew !

Every few weeks we are featuring one of our members. This time we have selected CreationsAnew! To see photos of her and her work click the links between questions.

1~Tell us a bit about your self (name, location, affiliations, and personal stuff).
My name is Robin Hall and I’ll be 45 in April. I reside in Florence, which is in the middle Colorful Colorado, with my husband and 2 sons. Florence is known for their prisons, antique shops and Big Dog Football. I was born an “Army Brat” and then married a soldier, so the last 45 years has been spent traveling the world and being part of a special “community”. My husband retired from the ARMY 2 years ago and retirement has been a huge adjustment, but I think we are finally settling into it. We have two wonderful boys 19 and 17. My oldest in attending College in Lakewood, Colorado and the youngest is a junior at the local High School. I home schooled both boys from Kindergarten through High School and with them almost grown; I have found extra time on my hands. That is where Photography and ETSY has come in.

2~What is the first thing you can remember making by hand?
I’ve never been “crafty”, but I remember my grandmother and great-grandmother always creating things: knitting sweaters, crocheting baby blankets, (I still have those that were made for the boys), sewing, (they made their own patterns), quilting, (for my wedding my great-grandmother made a quilt with our names and our wedding date), jewelry, (I still have beads that my great grandmother used in an old hat box), cake decorating, (I did try my hand at that, but I would rather EAT the frosting), and oil painting. These two women were amazingly talented. My mother still has and wears a hat that my grandmother made with plastic “Wisk” bottles and yarn. With these two women helping I gave all of the above mentioned handmade things a try, but alas, I was young and immature and I never really took the time to become efficient with any of the crafts. Back then, I always felt those things were “old fashioned”; what I would give to know how to create those things now. I began to create cards and calendars with the purchase of my first computer. My first calendars were literally typing and printing words out, then cutting and pasting them onto computer generated calendars. I would take the calendars to a copy shop and have them photocopied onto colored paper…IKES! After buying my first digital camera, which was a Fugi 3.0 pixel, I was hooked on photography! There is something rewarding about taking a photo and being able to view it immediately. I think it was a natural progression to incorporate my love for creating on the computer with my love of photography.

3~ What are your favorite materials?

Camera and my feet. I really love to take photographs when I’m outside walking which good for photography not so great for exercising. We live in an old town with grand old homes, falling down barns, abandoned dirt roads and wide open spaces. It’s a wonderful area for taking photos. You do have to be careful when taking pictures of houses. For the most part people pretty much ignore me when I’m snapping pictures of their homes, but one time, I was taking a picture of an old gate in front of a home and this guy came running out and began screaming at me…“who are you“ and “why are you taking a picture of my house?????” That was scary!

4~ What are you working on right now?
I have a couple of things going on. I just recently added “FREE on-line Greeting Cards to my website. These on-line greeting cards feature some of my photography. I’m really enjoying creating card idea and adding photos to the site.

I’m also working on a 19 month jewel case, desktop Calendar featuring my photography. One will feature nature shots of Colorado and the other will feature Colorado Flowers. I’m hoping to have them out in the next couple of weeks. The dates are June 2008 - Dec 2009.5~ What have been the most valuable lessons learned from other artists on Etsy?I’m fairly new to etsy; I’ve been a member just under 6 months so I feel like I’m still learning. When I see a shop that is successful, I try to emulate what they are doing. For instance, how they promote, how their shop is set up, etc. I don’t copy verbatim, but if you want to succeed, study success. I find most shops are more than happy to offer tips and advice. I have a sign in my office that reads…“Are you afraid to fail or are you determined to succeed”! A lot of times I’m afraid to try because I don’t want to fail; I’ve learned from etsy artists that I won’t succeed unless I try.

6~Apart from creating things, what do you do?
I still home school our youngest son part-time; this is his last year of home school as next year he will be a full time senior. Our family is very active in our local church. We attend Lincoln Park Church of the Nazarene where I head up our Ladies Ministry and teach an adult Sunday School Class; right now we are studying Revelation. I also lead a home Bible Study where we are currently going through the book of Isaiah.

7~Read any good books lately?
I love to read the Bible, especially the Old Testament. Jane Austin is my favorite author with “Pride and Prejudice” being my favorite book/movie. Lately, I have read several books on Henry the 8th and his wives and I’ve been enjoying HBO’s, The Tudors.

8~In ten years I'd like to be...Healthy, Happy, and a grandma!

9~What has being a brat at Etsy meant to you?
Brats are a distinctive breed and I think we bring that uniqueness to etsy. Most “brats” are quick to form relationships and connect to a group; we learned that out of necessity. We are eager to welcome new people also a learned trait because we know how it feels to be a stranger. We are open to change and can quickly adapt. I see all these elements with this group: It feels like home!

So… Go see … Go visit her shop and come back here and share what things you like…
There is a lot to like!
Brats Rule!

Hot Spring Morning In Mississippi

I went to a small town called Waveland, MS. I was there for a week and we worked with a Mom of 3 small foster children plus two teens of her own, she is still in the FEMA trailer (all of them together). Got a lot done to her house, still not ready for move in, there was another team from French/Canada...who was going to be continuing our work. It was eye opening. Lot of other groups going there too, many had to camp on the site they were working at, good for us we had a "dorm" style situation and the Christian Life Center. They got started, in the K mart or Walmart (I forget) parking lot 24 hours after the storm and are still there today. So much I am still processing and thinking about. If you are interested in getting a group together from your community or chruch, there are links to the CLC here

The sky can cry for me.
When I can't cry for me.
When others sigh for things unreachable.
Try to stay open and teachable.
To Cry is to be alive.
Embrace the Grace given when we realize we are.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Last June I went to Mississippi *

I just felt the call to help and when our church got a group going I signed on. There were about 6 youth that went with a group of 16. We had about 50% skilled construction guys and the rest like me, willing to learn. We painted, put in insulation, and I learned how to do wallboard. It was a privalage for me and the group felt it also. I was in Waveland, Mississippi helping with the Kartina/Rita Hurricane relief. There is still alot to do there, before things can be even a little 'normal'. Much of the population is still living in FEMA trailers. For more information see and .
I am back and at the sewing machine and the computer.
See my shop at
More tea towels coming soon.