Featured Artist: JJLadell's

Meet Brent and Holly Gerdes from JJLadell's on Etsy. Their shop is filled with whimsy and joy!
I truly appreciate the unique quality of hand crafted items. Maybe that's why I spend so much time browsing Etsy and Amazon Handmade. How can you resist an item that is made with great skill, care and of course, love?

When you visit Brent and Holly Gerdes's Etsy shop, JJLadell's, not only will you notice the skill, care and love that goes into every object, but you will also get a great big helping of whimsy! Brent's little, carved critters are sure to put a great big smile on your face!

What do you create?

I make wood chicken carvings, whimsical carvings, sling shots, Nativity sets, wooden toys, and I'm starting to get into treasure scoops and magnets.

Carving the wood chickens is my favorite. I've been doing it for 6 years. I bought a book and am self taught.

Hand carved chickens from JJLadell's on Etsy
When did you realize your creative passion?

I've always enjoyed creating with wood, since I was a youngster. I just found a new outlet when I was injured at work and could no longer do heavy lifting. I used to make larger pieces like bookcases, beds, cedar chests, etc.

Hand carved farm from JJLadell's on Etsy
What or who inspires you in your crafting?

I grew up on a farm where we had chickens and I loved watching them. Each one has their own personality.

When my children were little I made them wooden toys. My wife collects Nativity sets.
What’s your philosophy about crafting and/or life?

I believe that if you don't enjoy what you are doing it won't become a work of art. You have to enjoy life and crafting. Doing my artwork is a way to express my joy and love.

Is crafting a hobby, business, or something in between?

Crafting has started as a hobby but is growing into a business. It has been fun to grow on Etsy.

What is a typical day for you?

I usually do my Etsy in the morning and then chores, gardening and such and then spend the evening and spare time carving or creating other items for my shop.

My ideal day would be to garden and carve all day - throw in some camping trips and let the other chores do themselves!

Hand carved nativity from JJLadell's on Etsy What projects are you the most proud of?

I am very proud of my carvings, they seem to take on their own personalities. I am also grateful for the opportunity to create the Nativity sets and creches. It is so good to know that there are still people who are wanting the Nativity sets and creches.
What is the strangest thing you have ever created?

I had a co-worker who wanted a butchered chicken carving. It was interesting, but not one of my favorites. People are very interesting.

How do you deal with crafting failures?

I have so may whimsical carvings that aren't seeming to sell on Etsy - they do when we can show them in person, but that isn't an option right now. So I have them in a box and am thinking about how to market them differently or just what to do with them.

Whimsical owl from JJLadell's on Etsy
Where do you do most of your crafting?

I have a family room that we have turned into the crafting room - my wife does crafting too - and I spend a lot of time in the garage, good thing I have a heater.
Have you ever experienced a dry spell when you put your crafting aside?

I do so many different things that if I don't have the ambition to do one craft I can set that aside and do something else until I can be energized to return. It helps the creativity to flow.

What keeps you busy when you are not creating?

There is always something to do - household chores, gardening, camping, trips, Church... Does it ever stop?

Is there anything else you’d like to share about yourself, your craft, or business tips to help others with small crafting businesses?

My biggest tip is to make sure to do something you love. And don't be afraid to try something new.

Hand carved sling shots and toy cars from JJLadell's on Etsy Stay Connected with Brent and Holly

JJLadells on Etsy
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The Chilly Dog: Featured Artist: JJLadell's
Featured Artist: JJLadell's
Meet Brent and Holly Gerdes from JJLadell's on Etsy. Their shop is filled with whimsy and joy!
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The Chilly Dog
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