It's Tuesday again- can you believe it? Tuesday means only one thing in the world of Pepperberry & Co.- an interview with an inspiring artist through Tuesday Tales. Today we meet with Daniela, the self-confessed 'crafty girl since forever' who is behind the gorgeous goodies at Italian Craft and Quilt shop Happy Bee.

'I remember being a kid,' Daniela reminisces, 'and every Summer, Nuns would come to our small village and teach us how to sew and embroider.' The first thing that Daniela learned how to do was cross stitch, and since then she has 'always loved all things handmade and unique.'

Her Mother and Grandmothers inspired her to further explore craft, as 'one of my Grandmothers was great at knitting, the other one crocheted wonderful shawls, slippers, and scarves, and my Mom was a dressmaker,' Daniela explains. 'I grew up surrounded by crafty people!'

Years after first gaining some crafty skills, Daniela fell in love with the beautiful quilts that she saw in American movies. 'I particularly loved the oldest ones, so I decided to try to make them too,' she tells me. 'I took a class and learned basic quilt-making skills, and once I started… well, I couldn't stop!' she laughs.

Once she had the skills, Daniela began making quilts, table runners and wall hangings for herself, her family and her friends. It wasn't long until she expanded her repertoire and began sewing small items such as pouches, cases and key chains to give away as gifts on special occasions, and, she exclaims with modest surprise, 'people seemed to appreciate them!'

Once she realised that there was a market for her creativity, Daniela 'finally' decided to try to sell her things. 'When I found Etsy, I thought it was the perfect place for sell my crafts,' she smiles. 'It's so full of wonderful international artists selling their awesome items. So I decided to try this challenge!'

One of the first things Daniela had to do was come up with a name for her store. 'When I was thinking about the perfect name for my shop, my mind immediately went to bees,' she says. 'They are always so busy, doing lots of things in their lives; but they never seem tired and are always so proud and happy in their work,' she smiles. 'They really inspired me!'

Since starting her business, Daniella has found it easy to stay motivated. 'The main thing that motivates me to craft is the fact that I love to create new things,' she explains. 'I love to start with a few pieces of fabric and end up with a quilt!' she grins. 'It’s amazing what you can create with just some fabric and thread… the possibilities are endless. The only thing that limits you is your creativity!'

Daniela dreams of one day owning her ideal craft studio. 'My favourite place in the world is a little wood cottage I found during a trip to Colorado in the United States,' she recalls. 'It looked so amazing, all surrounded by woods and situated in front of a beautiful lake. All around it were mountains,' Daniela sighs happily. 'I immediately fell in love with it and thought that it would be the perfect place for my crafts, and especially to make my quilts, because it was so peaceful and relaxing!'

To follow Daniela's adventures through craft, make sure to check out her blog and Etsy shop. But wait, it's not over yet! The lovely Daniela has generously offered to host a giveaway for readers of Tuesday Tales, and the winner will receive their choice of a 4-in-1 Case from her Etsy Shop. To enter, simply become a follower of Dany's Happy Bee blog and leave a comment here letting me know which 4-in-1 case you would choose and why. Tweet, Facebook or blog about the giveaway and receive an extra entry for each!


P.S. Sincere apologies for the delay in posting last week's giveaway winner! We fly out of Bangkok and back to Melbourne today after having lived here for 3 months, so as you can imagine, it's been a bit hectic.

Without further ado, the lucky winner of Jennifer's gorgeous
Pink Lily Press giveaway is Monique from Your Cheeky Monkey, who said she would choose to have poppies printed as her custom notecards because it's 'a simple classic design that's just lovely'. Thank you for all of your entries- I was most inspired by some of your wonderful suggestions!
Welcome to another Tuesday Tale! Today we chat with Jennifer from Pink Lily Press in Washington. As is the tale of many crafters, Jennifer first began selling her work as a way to make money to buy more crafting supplies. "A few friends that I was taking a jewelry making course with introduced me to Etsy, and I thought it was the perfect opportunity to make some money to buy more beads!" she laughs.

It didn't take long, however, for Jennifer to realise that jewelry is a challenging market to jump into on Etsy. "There are so many talented jewelry makers out there that it's difficult to stand out," she laments. Luckily, Jennifer had a back up set of skills: "I had been making greeting cards using scrapbook paper since college and I decided it would be fun to start selling cards."

After playing around with designing some of her own cards, Jennifer realised how few wedding invitation designers there were on Etsy. "As soon as I started designing wedding invitations, my business took off," she recalls. "I left my job in the mortgage industry in May of 2008 to focus on Pink Lily Press full time and have not looked back since!"

Through Pink Lily Press, Jennifer primarily designs and prints wedding invitations and personalized stationery. "I also make any paper items necessary for weddings such as favour tags, menus, programs, and other fun paper goodies like recipe cards and personal calling cards," she explains. Jennifer creates all of her designs by scanning in her own drawings and digitally enhancing them, or by manipulating her own photos.

"I love being creative," Jennifer grins. "I have always enjoyed drawing, doodling and learning new crafts, as well as things like cooking, baking, and decorating my home." She finds inspiration in the world around her, whether it's browsing through decorating magazines, going for a walk through the neighbourhood, or taking photos while on vacation. Add this inspiration to her love of computers and paper, and you have the perfect recipe for a stationery business.

Like many crafters and small business owners, Jennifer admits that she has a hard time sitting and doing nothing. "If I have the luxury of sitting on the couch to watch TV in the evening, I usually have a pencil and pad of paper on my lap!" she laughs. When she is taking time out, Jennifer adores spending time with her family ("the older we get, the more we enjoy spending time together!") and is passionate about her home. "Home has always been a very important place to me and making home feel like a warm and welcoming place is essential, as is entertaining family and friends."

Her business is also her passion, although Jennifer acknowledges that running a business by herself is incredibly challenging. "Not only am I responsible for the actual design/production aspect of the business, but also record keeping, tax filing, and all of the other nitty-gritty responsibilities that accompany running a business." She is still learning how best to balance all that is required of her, and thinks it will continue to be a learning process for as long as she runs Pink Lily Press.

That's not to say Jennifer doesn't adore every moment of her journey. "The best piece of advice I can give someone looking to start their own business is to do what you love," she smiles, "because in the end, that's what keeps you going on a daily basis when you're so busy that you don’t have time for anything else."

The key elements that Jennifer sees in running her business are time, a lot of trial and error, and being prepared to make mistakes and learn from them rather than letting them get her down. She also recommends a willingness to create custom items, as she has found that they have given her some of the best ideas for new products. Finally, she says, "Be prepared to evolve. As your business grows, you may discover that a different product is more likely to bring in more customers."

To continue following Jennifer's journey, you can find her at her blog, on Facebook and on Twitter. To check out her gorgeous goodies, head across to her Etsy shop, 1000 Markets shop, or her website.

Jennifer has generously offered a giveaway prize to readers of Pepperberry & Co.'s Tuesday Tales. The winner will receive a set of 10 Notecards of their choice, with the option to have them customised!

To enter, you must be a follower of Pepperberry & Co. and leave a comment letting Jennifer know what your ideal custom Pink Lily Press design would be.

If you blog, Facebook or Tweet about this giveaway, simply leave an extra comment for each to receive up to 3 extra entries. Good luck- I'm so jealous (as always!) that I can't enter!


~ CHAPTER .1. ~

Once upon a time, in a land far, far away, there lived a little girl with a penchant for paper.

This little girl loved paper of all sorts... handmade paper, textured paper, fibrous paper, coloured paper, flower paper, Japanese paper... any and every piece of paper made her very happy indeed.

She would collect whatever paper she could, hide each piece in a special, secret place, and treasure it as though it were gold.

She would touch the paper, sniff the paper, pat the paper, and longingly stare at the paper all day long. On very, very special occasions, she would pull out just one piece of paper from her collection and make something beautiful for someone very, very special.

One of the reasons she so loved each and every bit of paper so very much was that she and her mother were very poor. This meant that to get just one piece of precious paper, she had to work very hard and save up all of her little coins.

As she stared at all those little coins in her hand, she promised herself that one day, she would find a way to share her beautiful paper with the whole world, not just with those who could afford it.

And so it was that this little girl grew up. She got a job and started earning money, and as she did, her treasured paper collection grew.

No matter how many pieces of paper she had, however, she never forgot the many times she had stared longingly through shop windows at all the beautiful paper that inspired her so, but that she couldn't take home with her.

As she travelled the world, she found that magical, handmade paper was tucked away in every corner of the globe. She added and added to her own collection, and as it grew, she remembered the promise she had made to herself: the promise to share this beauty and inspiration with the whole wide world.

And so, her childhood dream became a reality, and Papers By Pepperberry was born. She filled her little shop lovingly with every bit of treasured, special and beautiful paper she could find. In her heart, she hoped that somewhere out there, another little girl with a paper addiction would find her and realise she could now afford to fill her treasured collection and make many very, very special things for many very, very special people.

~ CHAPTER .3. ~

I hope you enjoy my new store, and this new chapter in my Pepperberry & Co. journey. Thank you all for believing in me since the very beginning and encouraging me to follow my dreams!

One of the things that I've found the hardest about having my own Etsy shop is the taking and editing of product photos. When I first started on this journey, I had never taken a good photo on purpose; my good shots were limited to holiday snaps that had turned out beautifully... by accident!

It didn't take me very long to develop a serious case of Etsy Photo Envy, so I started researching. Over time, I have learnt about light boxes, natural light, white balance, and the tools I couldn't live without in Photoshop to edit my product photos. Today, I'd like to share that knowledge with you in the hopes that you won't have to go through the same pain in the butt process as I have!

Allow me to begin with my disclaimer- I am in no way a great photographer, nor a great photo editor, and I know that there are many people in the world who probably use far better techniques than these! But if you, like me, are a newbie at a loss of how to match some of the incredible photography on Etsy, and you like the types of product photos I take, then hopefully you'll like some of what I have to share with you.

Today, I'm going to show you how to photograph a product in this way:

And, next week, I'll show you how to edit it so that it becomes this photo:

Are you ready? Let's go!


If you've ever researched product photography, then you will have come across a discussion about Light Boxes. Some people swear by them; others have sworn off them. I'm of the opinion that if you do it right, light boxes can be brilliant (especially in the chilly Melbourne winter!); however, I've recently started using natural light and actually prefer that. Try both, and see what works for you and your gorgeous goodies!


In a nutshell, a light box is a cardboard box with translucent walls that strong light can shine through, and it looks something like this:

They are reasonably cheap to create, and here are two tutorials to help you do just that.

If you do choose to create and try a light box, here are the tips that I learnt (the hard way!):

- Use smooth, large white paper as the background; any creases will show up and have to be edited out. I found that using white fabric as a background is far more difficult than paper, as it's extremely hard to find pure white fabric and every little fold, crease and bump shows up.

- Find the brightest, whitest light globes you can. Low wattage globes don't provide enough light, and anything with a 'natural' or 'fluorescent' tint will give you yellow and blue shading respectively. Energy efficient globes at a high wattage are particularly good.

- Use the same light source from every angle! I originally used the lamps that I had around the house, only to find that I had three different hues in my highlights and shadows once I got to the editing of each photo. Not good!


Indirect sunlight is your best friend, and this is the only light you want to be taking your photographs in. To find indirect sunlight on a day with clear skies, simply hunt for a shadow of something larger than your products; the shading that trees, verandas and fences produce work well. On an overcast day, you can take your photos almost anywhere.

I've noticed that taking photos is best in the morning or late afternoon, as the light is too intense in the middle of the day.



If you're using natural light, find a solid, low-key background and base such as a wooden fence, decking or planks. I've found that paving, grass and concrete make for horrible backgrounds in terms of editing, but you may find otherwise!

If you're using a light box, the background question is already answered!

Setting your white balance is one of the most important steps you will take. Never heard of it? Neither had I until I discovered that it's the greatest thing every introduced to the world of amateur photography!

Basically, white balance is a tool on your camera that allows you to tell it what pure white looks like at that exact moment and in the exact lighting conditions you're in. Once it knows this, it can automatically readjust all other colours so that they look as natural and true-to-life as possible.

To set it, you usually find and select the 'White Balance' option in your camera's menu, focus your lens on a piece of plain white paper and press the 'Select' button. Of course, each camera will be different, so hunt out your camera manual (now!) and follow the specific instructions.


I use a very basic point-and-shoot camera, but I still manage to take some reasonable (I hope!) photos. I believe you don't need anything fancier, so just use the camera you've got, point it and shoot!

If you have a store on a site like Etsy, you can have up to 5 photos of each product. Depending on what you make, you'll need to make sure that the photos you take show your customers the key sides or elements of your product (such as the front, the back, the sides, the top and bottom, the inside, and any specific detailing).


It is possible to show these elements of your product in a creative way. Whilst photographing:

- walk around so that you can take photos from varying angles;

- pick up your product and move it so that you can get interesting shots; and

- get in close so that you can show the details in creative ways.


I take no less than 10 photos of each product, and only end up using 5. Why? Well, it's surprising how many times the photo lighting, angle or style just doesn't look that good once it's on a computer screen.

Further, some photos are more difficult to edit than others, and I don't want to be stuck on a single snap for half an hour when I could simply choose another one.

Finally, seeing all 10 photos and angles that you've taken together will help you decide which ones are best; if you only take 5 shots and are forced to use every one, you may be doing your products an injustice by not using the best possible photographs.

I hope you've enjoyed and learnt something from this tutorial! As I said, these are all tips from my personal experience, but I've learnt such an amazing amount from other crafters' experiences that I really hope I can offer you something from my knowledge base. Stay tuned for Part 2 of the tutorial next Wednesday, where I'll show you how to edit the gorgeous photos that you now have!


P.S. A huge thank you to my gorgeous partner Sharon, who has spent months patiently making my light boxes, taking my product photos and comforting me when I've had major spack-attacks over how difficult the photography thing can be.

P.P.S I was on the phone to Laos yesterday, and managed to source wholesale rates for that gorgeous, vegetable dyed, hand woven, fair trade organic cotton I was telling you about. The prices are now cheaper- as is postage because I now know specific weights- so check it out here!

Hmm. Due to some technical difficulties, today's Tuesday Tale interview needs to be postponed until next week- sincere apologies. But I have something... er... unexpected for you instead.

A few weeks ago, I applied for the Cruelty Free Etsy Team.
As with most Etsy teams, I had to fill out an application form about myself, my goodies and my reason for wanting to join. Thinking it was just going to be read by the lovely Team Leader, I filled it out in true Sandra fashion- you know, waving my arms around, getting excited and putting in way too many exclamation marks.

Imagine my surprise, then, when I received an email saying my 'interview' had been 'published'. Say what?! I followed the link, and there it was... my squeal-filled, rambling rant. Oh, dear.

Should you... um... be interested in reading this instead of your regular Tuesday Tale, you can find it here. Thanks in advance for not commenting on how excitable a person I am!

A few of you may be aware that I have a slight addiction to fabric. It makes me drool, starts a twitch in my right eyeball, and has an unfortunate effect on my wallet. Thanks to blogging about this addiction, however, I realised that I'm not alone in experiencing these symptoms!

I recently shared with you some fabric that I bought whilst on my travels. The reason that this fabric is so special to me is that it's organic, fair trade, vegetable dyed, hand-woven (check out a video of hand-weaving here!) cotton that's created by a Women's Organisation in Laos. I strive to make all of my choices related to my business and my crafting hobby as environmentally and socially conscious as I can, so this really inspired me!

Since posting that blog, and the following one about Molly the Mouse (who is being made from this luscious fabric), I've received a number of emails asking me whether I could source some more of the fabric and make it available to some of you. I'm still in Asia and it's definitely a possibility, but before I make my way to Laos, I wanted to know what the level of interest really is!

Below, I've posted some pictures of the fabric with a description and the prices for each of them. I've also provided some pictures and prices of other cute fabric I've found whilst in Asia, to see if you're interested in any of that.

Please let me know if you'd like any of it as soon as possible, as I fly out in two weeks! If there's enough interest, I'll see what I can do to get some more in that time. I can't guarantee anything but I would sure love to share this wonderfully eco-conscious fabric with as many people as possible.


NAME: Pink Organic Cotton Weave

FABRIC: 100% Organic, Vegetable Dyed, Hand Woven, Fair Trade Cotton (60cm /23.5" wide)

DESCRIPTION: Thick, pink, textured organic cotton with multi-hued highlights that add depth.

PRICE: $16 USD per metre / $15 USD per yard

NAME: Charcoal Grey Organic Cotton Weave

FABRIC: 100% Organic, Vegetable Dyed, Hand Woven, Fair Trade Cotton (63.5cm /25" wide)

DESCRIPTION: Deep, charcoal grey, tightly woven textured organic cotton.

PRICE: $16 USD per metre / $15 USD per yard

NAME: Off-White Organic Cotton Weave

FABRIC: 100% Organic, Vegetable Dyed, Hand Woven, Fair Trade Cotton (55cm /21.5" wide)

DESCRIPTION: Delicate, off-white textured organic cotton.

PRICE: $8 USD per 1/4 metre OR $7.50 per 1/4 yard

NAME: Lime Green Organic Cotton Weave

FABRIC: 100% Organic, Vegetable Dyed, Hand Woven, Fair Trade Cotton (63.5cm /25" wide)

DESCRIPTION: Rich, lime green textured organic cotton with heavy, pale emerald thread woven throughout.

PRICE: $16 USD per metre / $15 USD per yard

NAME: Navy Blue Organic Cotton Weave

FABRIC: 100% Organic, Vegetable Dyed, Hand Woven, Fair Trade Cotton (58.5cm /23" wide)

DESCRIPTION: Deep, navy blue textured organic cotton with multi-hued highlights that add life.

PRICE: $16 USD per metre / $15 USD per yard


NAME: Vintage Toys on a Washing Line

FABRIC: 100% Cotton

DESCRIPTION: A cute little washing line pattern with vintage toys, clothes and teapots on a gorgeous, deep red/burgundy background.

PRICE: $5 USD per 1/4 metre OR Fat Quarter OR $4.75 per 1/4 yard

NAME: Vintage Sweets Shop with Toys

FABRIC: 100% Cotton

DESCRIPTION: A cute sweets shop with gingerbread, cake, recipe books and vintage toys on a tan/green background.

PRICE: $5 USD per 1/4 metre OR Fat Quarter OR $4.75 per 1/4 yard

NAME: Vintage Patriotic Craft

FABRIC: 100% Cotton

DESCRIPTION: A delightful vintage crafting pattern, including tape measures, cotton spools, the word 'Handmade' and patriotic elements on a deep red/burgundy background.

PRICE: $5 USD per 1/4 metre OR Fat Quarter OR $4.75 per 1/4 yard

NAME: Vintage Craft on Green

FABRIC: 100% Cotton

DESCRIPTION: A lovely crafting pattern with knitting needles, balls of wool, a sewing machine, tape measure and vintage toys on a lovely green cotton.

PRICE: $5 USD per 1/4 metre OR Fat Quarter OR $4.75 per 1/4 yard

NAME: Vintage Green Patchwork

FABRIC: 100% Cotton

DESCRIPTION: A sweet green, tan and white patchwork pattern.

PRICE: $5 USD per 1/4 metre OR Fat Quarter OR $4.75 per 1/4 yard

NAME: Miss Muffet

FABRIC: 100% Cotton (109cm /43" wide)

DESCRIPTION: A gorgeous little pattern of Miss Muffet in her bonnet and apron surrounded by teddies, teapots and cakes on a tan background.

PRICE: $5 USD per 1/4 metre OR Fat Quarter OR $4.75 per 1/4 yard

NAME: Green Jungle Animals

FABRIC: 100% Cotton (115cm / 45.25" wide)

DESCRIPTION: A cute Jungle Animal pattern with elephants, hippos, giraffes, turtles, palm trees and small birds on a bright white background.

PRICE: $5 USD per 1/4 metre OR Fat Quarter OR $4.75 per 1/4 yard


1. Pink Polka on White
2. White Polka on Pink
3. Pink Candy Stripes

FABRIC: 100% Cotton

DESCRIPTION: A soft baby pink collection of polka dots and stripes, perfect for quilting and soft toy making.

PRICE: $5 USD per 1/4 metre OR Fat Quarter OR $4.75 per 1/4 yard of one of the three fabrics (please specify which!)

1. Orange Candy Stripes
2. White Polka on Orange
(3. Orange Polka on White, similar to the Pink Polka on White above, is also available but is not pictured)

FABRIC: 100% Cotton

DESCRIPTION: A pumpkin orange collection of polka dots and stripes, perfect for quilting and soft toy making.

PRICE: $5 USD per 1/4 metre OR Fat Quarter OR $4.75 per 1/4 yard of one of the three fabrics (please specify which!)

NAME: Blue Candy Stripes
(2. White Polka on Blue and
3. Blue Polka on White, similar to those pictured above, are also available but not pictured)

FABRIC: 100% Cotton

DESCRIPTION: A soft baby blue striped print, perfect for quilting and soft toy making.

PRICE: $5 USD per 1/4 metre OR Fat Quarter OR $4.75 per 1/4 yard of one of the three fabrics (please specify which!)

NAME: Tiny White Polka on Brown

FABRIC: 100% Cotton

DESCRIPTION: Delicate, tiny little white polka dots on a rich brown fabric.

PRICE: $5 USD per 1/4 metre OR Fat Quarter OR $4.75 per 1/4 yard


NAME: Unbleached Seeded Cotton Weave

FABRIC: 100% Unbleached, Seeded Cotton (60cm / 23.5" wide)

DESCRIPTION: Thick, unbleached, naturally seeded, textured cotton weave.

PRICE: $12 USD per metre OR $11.50 per yard


Please note that due to the handmade nature
of the fabrics listed, exact colour, weave and width may vary slightly.

Postage within Australia will cost $1.50 USD for the first 1/4 metre, Fat Quarter or 1/4 yard, and $0.20 USD for each 1/4 metre, Fat Quarter or 1/4 yard thereafter.

Postage to all other countries will cost $2.00 USD for the first 1/4 metre, Fat Quarter or 1/4 yard, and $0.40 USD for each 1/4 metre, Fat Quarter or 1/4 yard thereafter.

If you are interested in purchasing any of the above fabrics, please contact me as soon as possible as I leave Asia soon! You're welcome to leave me a comment or send me an email (littlemisspepperberry AT gmail DOT com), and make sure you include the following information:

- The name of the fabric (including the colour!);
- How much you would like;
- Whether you would be interested in any other colours that aren't currently
shown or listed as available (the Vegetable Dyed fabrics and the Sweet
Patterns come in many other colours)

If there is enough interest and I can source more of the fabrics, I will list the above items in my Etsy shop, where you will be able to purchase them and pay via PayPal or Bank Deposit.

I'm so excited to share this with you!