The Stone Soup Challenge is a grassroots movement founded by artist Laura Bray. The goal of the challenge is for artists and crafters to help one another by promising to use a portion of their monthly profits to invest in a fellow artist's shop. To join us in helping artists everywhere and to read more about the challenge, please go to our Facebook page.

Remember! If we all contribute a little to the pot of Stone Soup, we will all feast.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

No More Starving Artists!


I am hearing fear in the voices of my fellow artists whenever the subject of the economy is discussed. So I've decided to do something about it. Using the folktale, Stone Soup, as my inspiration, I am creating a grassroots movement in the art community to help artists overcome their fears and give them control over their future.

In Stone Soup, a stranger comes to a starving village and looks for food. He puts a boiling pot on the water and adds a stone, telling everyone he is making stone soup. Gradually, the villagers come forward with ingredients to add to make the soup. The contributions are items that the villagers are hoarding due to their fear of starvation. Each villager only contributes a small amount, but the end result is a soup that feeds everyone.

I see the same scenario happening in today’s economy. People are hoarding whatever resources they make because they are afraid. What we don’t realize is, that by hoarding, we are just perpetuating failing economy. We need to spend money and infuse the economy with cash. I’m not saying we should spend money we don’t have, but we should continue to spend.

I've created The Stone Soup Challenge to encourage my fellow artists and crafters to spend more and support one another. The basic concept of the program is to have each artist/crafter make a promise to set aside a small percentage of their net sales each month and use that money to buy something from another artist.

The challenge will officially launch on February 1, 2009, but you can get started now. Here's what you need to do to participate in the challenge:

1. Leave a comment on this post and pledge your dedication to the challenge. Once you have committed, please go to this entry and enter your shop link. Please only link to one of your online presences. We need to make sure everyone gets a chance to place a link!

2. Blog about The Stone Soup Challenge. Link to this blog everywhere you can and spread the word. The more people who take the challenge, the better. (If someone wants to make an HTML badge that we all could use on our blogs, that would be great!)

3. Decide on the percentage of your net sales that you will spend each month. It is recommended that you spend 10-25%, but it is okay to pledge whatever amount you are comfortable with. Don't forget-net sales dollars is the amount of money you make from sales AFTER costs.

4. Each month, when you know how much you will be spending, visit your favorite online venues and spend it! Focus on buying from artists and crafters. It's these people, just like you, who need the sales right now. Be sure to leave a message in the comments area of your order, telling the artist or crafter that you are making the purchase in the name of The Stone Soup Challenge and link to this blog. That way the artist you purchased from can pay it forward.

5. To help you find places to spend your money, visit this entry to see who else is a Stone Soup Challenger.

That's it! A simple, painless way for us to help one another. I can't wait to see us change the world!

110 comments:

  1. Sounds like a great idea! I kind of already do this anyway. I tried to become a follower but it wouldn't let me, I'll try later.

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  2. I'm in. I don't know what exact percentage I can pledge, because I have yet to make a sale that covers my costs. I keep marking things from other crafters that I want to buy, though.

    Help my buy from other crafters:
    http://daogreerearthworks.etsy.com

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  3. Great idea! I also buy from Etsy for gifts, etc., but would be glad to do it more regularly. Like sassypackrat, I couldn't follow your blog, but will also try later.

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  4. I love this! Please count me in. I am redesigning my web site right now, to make it a little more user friendly and to include less expensive items (other than giclee prints). Now I have a deadline to work with - February 1 - that will motivate me! Thank you for this great idea.

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  5. Count us in Laura! Let me know if you still need someone to create an html badge, we'd be happy to help with that. Shoot me an e-mail michele@couragetocreate.com.
    http://www.couragetocreate.com
    Cheers to the Stone Soup Challenge!
    michele.

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  6. This sounds great! I love it! I love to buy from other artists, even though I know my purse is lighter than others. By giving back to the community that needs us we are connecting in a way that supports us in more than just a financial way. Stone Soup for all, please!

    Jaime Lyerly
    web --> http://www.jaimelyerly.com
    blog -> http://jaimelyerly.blogspot.com/

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  7. =^..^= an incredible idea, this project can be exponential
    ... so simple in it's perfection. Share.

    The more you share the more you have.

    •::• love, zUzU •::•

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  8. I would love to participate, what a great idea!

    I can't pledge an amount because I never know what my sales will be but I do pledge to buy 1 etem per every $100 I take it.

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  9. Perfect way to make us all think about our fellow Artist, I do buy a lot of supplies from Etsy Sellers and Gifts were bought for the Holiday, but I have been scared to spend, the economy and the Real Estate Market is just terrible here in Calif. Each day I just keep a positive outlook, and with our New President it sure does give me HOPE (:
    Count Me IN!!

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  10. I am willing to try. I have my items listed on a new site and have very few views and no sales at all. I can't motivate myself to create when sales are so low. So I'll try your idea.

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  11. Lady, you are awesome! That is such a great idea! Count me in! I haven't made any online sales yet, but I always manage to find a little spending money for cute stuff ;-) My '09 commitment is to shop more locally, now I can add to that to shop more handmade! My Etsy site is at www.stillwatercreative.com.

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  12. Very good idea...I will try to commit to 10%. I do buy from Etsy artisans during holidays, so this is a no-brainer to me!

    Thanks for your ingenuity!

    http://alterity.etsy.com

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  13. I'm in! My sales have been slow, but I'm sure that will change soon. I pledge to spend at least 10%, if not more. My blog is www.robynsart.blogspot.com my shop is www.robynsart.etsy.com I will blog about this soon, and when I do I will let you know!

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  14. Sounds like a wonderful idea!

    http://fiddlekate.etsy.com

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  15. What a great idea! (And I just love the story of Stone Soup! My kids are always begging to hear it during dinner).

    Count me in - I'll pledge 5% (I have to pay bills and buy groceries first!), but I will definitely do more than that if I can!

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  16. Great work, Laura! This is why I've made quite a few purchases on Etsy these past weeks. Sometimes I feel a little guilty, thinking I shouldn't be buying things all the time when I don't really have that much of it coming in, but your blog makes me feel better about it.

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  17. Rock ON! I love this. LOVE it. My website is http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5043818

    (blog at http://letthemeatanemones.blogspot.com)

    I'm definitely in for this. I LOVE supporting other independent artists. So wonderful.

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  18. Hey! I think this is a wonderful thing to do! I will participate! I always end up sending what I make on etsy anyways haha...now its for a great cause!
    Cheers!!
    Hilary

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  19. I'm in! Although I have been making little to nothing lately...

    columbialily.blogspot.com
    columbialily.etsy.com

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  20. I like it! Count me in...


    http://tilandra.etsy.com
    http://diela-kcdesign.blogspot.com/

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  21. Im in!

    http://ChristineCecelia.etsy.com

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  22. Oh I can totally do this. Actually, if I only spend a percentage I'll spend less! lol. but I'll definately get on board.

    Someone work up that badge for us poor computer ignorants!

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  23. I would love to take this pledge. If you ever get a badge for our blogs, I would love to have it.
    I will certainly pledge at least 5% of my sales per month towards purchasing from other crafters/artists. This is the ONLY way I shop.

    You can find me here:
    www.jorabeels.com

    Thank you, I will blog about this idea this weekend.

    Roxie

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  24. Hi Doll!
    What a really cool idea! I'll join in---& yes, help spread the word.
    ;0)
    -The Minx

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  25. I'm in...

    http://heatherknitzdesigns.blogspot.com

    heather

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  26. LOL:) i spend 100% of the money i make to buy from fellow etsy and lollishop peeps!!!
    that is why i sell...so i can BUY:)

    http://www.lollishops.com/faeriewindow

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  27. What a great idea, maybe you should send it to Obama;)

    I'm following Faeriewindow with 100% of the money I make I'll use to make purchases from other craft people/artists.

    www.myredbarnstudio.etsy.com

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  28. This is a really great idea... I'm in!

    Like the two posters above me, I tend to spend pretty much everything I make in other artists' shops or for supplies.

    So I pledge a MINIMUM of 50% of my profits will be spent with independent artist shops, AND I will purchase something from one of the shops in this "village" every month!

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  29. Ok, here's my blog post: http://winemakerssister.blogspot.com/2009/01/stone-soup-challenge.html

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  30. I'm in. I'll be blogging about this later on today (after the baby's fed!) Not sure of the percentages yet, but I'm guessing it'll be around 20-25%.

    I have two Etsy stores, both of which should have items by Feb 1:

    Jo's Crafts (Baby stuff): http://jo77.etsy.com, blog at http://joscrafts.blogspot.com

    Fanknitics (Geek stuff): http://fanknitics.etsy.com, blog at http://fanknitics.etsy.com

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  31. I've already purchased two items this month from Etsy sellers without being challenged, so this should be super fun! I have such a small store, but I'll pledge 10-15%

    somesortofcrazy.etsy.com

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  32. Please count me in!
    I will post about this next week and make it official.

    Money is energy and has to keep flowing. Even if it is just £2 of energy that has come to me, I have to keep it flowing. Times are hard but we are not alone. I have stock, do you have veggies you could add to the pot?

    x

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  33. beautiful idea! i'm in :) a perfect way for me to spin yarn from fiber dyed by other etsians!

    http://rhubarbbear.etsy.com

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  34. I would love to participate- and I just added new items too!

    www.thehoneyfitzfactory.etsy.com

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  35. I am ready - Thank you, Laura!

    www.thephotoseen.com/gallery/16365/Stationery

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  36. Hi Laura - I forgot to leave the "shop name" - it is The Photo Seen. The link listed above in my previous post will take you to my "stationery" page.

    If you prefer, you could simply use www.thephotoseen.com - which is my home page.

    Again, thank you for doing this - great idea!

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  37. lol, okay, that's what I get for not paying attention!

    my link: http://miasophia.etsy.com

    duh!

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  38. I'm in!

    Name: Elizabeth
    Shop name: Sheepshape Spinning
    Shop location: http://sheepshape.etsy.com
    Blog: http://sheepshapespinning.blogspot.com

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  39. I've made a Ravelry group for this!

    http://www.ravelry.com/groups/the-stone-soup-challenge

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  40. What a great idea!

    My Name is Emily and my shop is http://Emilybug.Etsy.com and my blog is http://yarnexhibitionist.blogspot.com/

    I'm off to blog about this right now and put it in my shop announcements. :)

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  41. I always buy handmade but the economy has me hoarding I will admit! So I'll pledge to spend 10% and will link to this from my blog which is:
    http://wildgypsyart.blogspot.com/
    If anyone wants to play penny ante I'm starting all of my eBay art at just one cent:
    http://search.ebay.com/_W0QQsassZthe_wild_gypsy
    and my Etsy store is: http://www.wildgypsyart.etsy.com

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  42. What a great idea. Count me in.

    I will spend 25% of my net profit on other artists.

    I've already made a sale this month too, so I'm off to a good start!

    www.knitkass.etsy.com

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  43. Fantabulous Idea!

    Count me in to support others, 25%-100% depending on how much I bring in and what I find that I just can't help 'needing' :-D

    Frog Pond Collective
    http://frogpondcollective.blogspot.com/
    www.frogpondcollective.etsy.com

    Thank you!

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  44. Oh, BRILLIANT! Count me in. :)

    Feeling Sheepish
    Shop: http://feelingsheepish.etsy.com
    Blog: http://feelingsheepish.com/blog

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  45. What a fantastic idea! I'm definitely in, and I'll commit to either 50% of my profits, or one purchase per month (if sales are low).

    Shop: www.yarnrx.etsy.com
    Blog: www.knittingmedic.com

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  46. I have been doing alot of indie shopping lately. my etsy is
    http://whimzypinzy.etsy.com

    Rough percentage is 25%

    blog is
    http://whimzypinzy.blogspot.com/

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  47. Count me in!
    http://www.FaerieDustDreams.etsy.com

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  48. I'm in. I don't feel comfortable declaring an exact percentage, but I will commit to:

    *Not stop spending money out of fear of what is going on in the economy

    *As much as I am able, I will shop etsy first to find items that meet my needs. Even if that means spending a little bit more or foregoing free shipping I might enjoy through a bigger store or venue.

    * Reward artists who create quality items and provide great customer service by shopping in their stores, even if it means I’m going to be spending more money than I would otherwise.

    * Feature my etsy favorites list on my blog to help share the etsy love

    * Blog about etsy sellers and products that I like to help other people find out about them, too.

    I'm The Cupcake Factory and my shop lives at: http://carissamarie.etsy.com

    My blog is: http://creativecarissa.blogspot.com

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  49. I love this idea! Most of the money I make on Etsy goes right back to Etsy artisans and suppliers anyway. Etsy is always the first place I look for gifts and supplies.

    My shop is: www.velvethippo.etsy.com

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  50. What a fab idea :)
    I am in the UK, so I do find shipping charges from the US a bit crippling, but I do what I can :)

    My shop on etsy is:
    www.Mamalonglegs.etsy.com
    My shop in the Uk is: www.babylonglegs.folksy.com

    I'll go and start spreading the word now :)

    Love
    S xXx

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  51. Thanks to Baby Long Legs, I found about this idea!! I am in the UK, but my non etsy shop allows you to shop in all major currencies! I will put a badge on my shop and on my blog.

    My shop
    http://www.flutterby-creations.co.uk
    My blog
    http://wyndwitch@blogspot.com

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  52. err sorry wrong blog address
    http://wyndwitch.blogspot.com

    With Sarah and her fibre on board, and all these other yummy things, it is going to be hard not to spend over my allocated amount!!

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  53. I'm in, I think its a great idea. I already try to spend with Indies as much as possible.

    My shop is www.nicsknots.co.uk where you can buy from Etsy or Folksy.
    My blog is http://wilbertandherma.blogspot.com

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  54. This is a great idea, well done. I usually try to buy handmade but now so even more.

    My shops are http://laurenceramics.folksy.com or http://laurenceramics.etsy.com.

    Please visit my website for more info & link to my blog. www.laurendenney.com

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  55. Great idea!

    This is me:
    http://www.folksy.com/shops/wallop
    and this is my blog:
    http://wallopillustration.blogspot.com/

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  56. This sounds like a brilliant idea. I'm in and will help spread the word.

    This is me:

    http://www.folksy.com/shops/ArtyWaxWorks

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  57. Wonderful idea. I'd like to buy all my beads from fellow artists, and besides that, I want to start investing in paintings again. Already working on bartering, but this is in some ways better.

    I'm gonna blog this tomorrow.

    Here I am:

    http://www.tincupdesigns.com

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  58. This idea is part of my business and personal philosophy every day! Thanks for organizing.
    Jeane Vogel
    http://www.vogelpix.com
    http://www.jeanevogel.blogspot.com

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  59. This is a fabulous idea-- thanks so much!

    www.jolieguillebeau.com
    www.jolieguillebeau.etsy.com

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  60. I'm in!

    I've just blogged on my "craft" blog:
    http://madeforyoubyshamu.blogspot.com/
    and I also have a personal blog, about my life with a child with severe autism:
    http://livingnotdrowning.blogspot.com/

    I already try and buy from Folksy and Etsy as well as local farmers markets and craft fairs, so I'm sure I'll have no problem pledging to spend 15% of my net profits on other crafters goods.


    My shop can be found on Folksy:
    http://www.folksy.com/shops/Shamu
    and on Etsy:
    www.ShamuMakes.etsy.com

    Happy thoughts!

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  61. Count me in, I think this is a great idea!
    http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5115020
    http://www.lollishops.com/bewitchedmagicdesigns
    http://happy-as-a-lark-designs.blogspot.com/
    Thanks, Laurie :)

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  62. I thought i did this a few weeks ago-but darn it I don't see me! well- i have been living in the spirit of this anyway!

    I pledge to buy something from a fellow shop at least once a month. If my sales pick up...i will do more! :)

    Slipped Stitch Studios
    www.slippedstitchstudios.etsy.com

    THank you for setting this up- it is the best idea! I love it! :)

    I am also apart of the Ravelry group! :) yay!

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  63. I've just stumbled across a link to this on the Folksy forum.

    What a brilliant idea. :-)

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  64. Just blogged and twittered the challenge...

    http://tincupdesigns.blogspot.com/2009/02/no-fear.html

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  65. Blogged! http://andeylayne.com/blog/?p=160
    What an excellent idea.

    My shop, Andey Originals, can be found at http://andeylayne.com/shop/catalog.

    Now off to ravelry to share with all my artsy friends!

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  66. What a great idea, I'm in!
    Ruby Spirit Designs

    http://www.folksy.com/shops/RubySpiritDesigns
    http://www.rubyspiritdesigns.co.uk
    http://www.rubyspiritdesigns.etsy.com

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  67. What a fabulous idea - I'd love to be included if it isn't too late. Thanks

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  68. Argh - it would help if I remembered to check my post before I sent it!

    Yes, I'd love to be included, I think this grass roots movement applies to all our local small businesses, yes they may be a little pricier than the big multi-nationals, but without them we'd have no variety.

    Turvys::
    www.turvys.co.uk
    www.turvys.etsy.com
    www.caraandco.wordpress.com

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  69. What a fabulous idea! Count me in for at least 10% of my sales (when I start getting them that is). Thank you for taking the time to get this going. We crafters really do have to stick together in this economy.

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  70. Awesome! I'm signed up and commited to spending 20% of my monthly sales. Thanks for coming up with such a great idea!

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  71. This is an amazing movement and will do my part in promoting it.

    I already make the effort to support the little man and handmade. Any time I make a sale, I take a little piece of the money and spend it in other etsy shops. I bought most of my christmas gifts on etsy and plan to keep doing so.

    No idea what percentage that is, but I will keep the spending going!

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  72. Love the idea! I'm in with 10%.

    http://kabai33.com

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  73. I'm going to dedicate 20%.

    Honestly, I love this idea because I'm already spending some much on Etsy!

    Keep up the good work!

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  74. a GREAT idea! I will be involved. Thank you for sharing.

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  75. What a fabulous idea! I will participate every month and blog about my purchases with links to the shops.

    www.pinktwilight.etsy.com

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  76. I'm in, I was planning on doing this anyway, just waiting for sales :D

    15% for now, maybe more later

    www.piscesdreams.etsy.com

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  77. what a good idea, already have a wish list for when i make a sale!!

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  78. I'm in, been doing this anyway....I have a wish list and when I make a sale I treat myself. I'll blog about my purchases soon....fab soaps, bags, pin cushions, cards...

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  79. I am totally in! I've been kinda doing this already, but "joining a cause" makes it a lot more fun! I'm still ramping up my shop, not too many items yet, but adding more as fast as I can. I already have my eye on a special something as a gift for my dad, so that would be a great place to start this month. I will also link to the Stone Soup Challenge from my Etsy store to get the word out! Thank you for creating such a wonderful community of support for Etisans :)

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  80. I discovered this challenge trough The Handmade Movement site and I think it's a great and kind initiative! I confess that I haven't sold anything at my Etsy shop yet... but I already love to buy handmade items and to support local artists and crafters, so I'm in the challenge!
    I have already added a link on my blog to The Stone Soup Challenge blog and I will definitely continue to blog about other shops and show the handmade items I'll buy within the spirit of this challenge! I already have a wishlist :)

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  81. This is an amazing idea. Count me in on this!!!!
    I just posted a message about Stone Soup on Artfire's forums. If you are a seller on Artfire, please stop by and leave a comment - http://www.artfire.com/modules.php?mop=modload&name=Chatterbox&file=viewtopic&topic=8561&forum=13;.

    I will also be leaving a blog post on my blog http://withourhandsartfire.blogspot.com

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  82. hi,appreciate your ingenuity!...just joined Art Fire as charter member this past weekend in an effort to stave off becoming homeless at this later age...never thought i would be a starving artist again...

    no sales yet,but will buy supplies from my fellow artists at Art Fire and Etsy pending sales...will make an effort to purchase from those without sales,too

    thanks for this...action not just reaction is always worthwhile!

    my shop link:
    http://artisangoodsbygayle.artfire.com

    peace,gayle

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  83. This is a great idea! I would love to take part.

    http://heatherdesigns.artfire.com

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  84. Wow! what a wonderful blog. I will make some sales happen for some fellow crafters on artfire..I am off to look. I am thinking I deserve some bath products, have been working so hard lately, I need to relax :)

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  85. My link is
    http://www.daisyleedesigns.artfire.com

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  86. What a great idea and philosophy.

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  87. Ooops. I used the wrong profile to comment.

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  88. I am in....I already buy as much as possible on both Artfire and Etsy have been.....I am a firm believer in this. This country needs a chill pill and just keep doing what you do but be smart about......only right that I put my money where my mouth is. Thanks for this great opportunity.
    my main shop is http:www.catinalife.artfire.com

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  89. I'm in. It's what I've been doing anyway, but I love the movement...

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  90. This sounds like a wonderful way to support others! Besides, it will give me permission to spend a little money on something I DON'T need for a change :)

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  91. Wow, just found this today, from Heather's Ramblings at http://squareonebeads.blogspot.com. I will be signing up as soon as I finish here! Great idea Laura.
    Teri
    http://sandtcreations.etsy.com

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  92. What a brilliant idea - I'm off to sign up and share the word .... and do some shopping!

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  93. What a great idea! I completely support indie artists and of course, am one myself!

    Here is my link:
    http://michabellacreations.blogspot.com

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  94. What a great, thoughtful idea! Count me in, please. I pledge 5-10% which should be easy since I enjoy buying from sites such as Etsy anyway. I haven't made a sale yet though, so that has to happen first! I will add this to my blog tonight and if you get a button, I would love to add that as well. Thank you for your contribution to us all!
    Emily
    Serendipity
    shop --> www.lilm4105.etsy.com
    blog --> www.lilm4105.blogspot.com

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  95. This is a terrific idea and I want to participate. Like many of the others, i already buy (alot!) handmade from crafters around the world. I like the idea of a group of artisans joining together to support one another monetarily as well as creatively. Also, it is the opportunity to say: "There is plenty" in a world that is caught up right now with thoughts of the opposite. Let's make stone soup! Thank you, Laura!

    Virginia

    My Shop: www.kentuckygirl.etsy.com
    My Blog: www.mymaneblowinginthewind.blogspot.com

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  96. An outstanding idea whose time has come! I do this consciously anyway, but I will continue to spread the good news on my blog, http://treasures-found.blogspot.com

    Enjoy the day! Erin

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  97. I can definitely do this! My products rely on other crafters (fiber vendors) so I can commit 25% to them!
    -Bohemian Knitter Chic
    http://bohoknitterchic.blogspot.com
    http://bohoknitterchic.etsy.com

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  98. A little late to the party...

    I can't pledge an exact amount, but I can pledge at least 1 item per month. Generally spinning fiber lol.

    http://blacktiefiberarts.blogspot.com

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  99. What a lovely idea! Thank you for starting this! I would love to begin something like this locally where I live as well. I am a recently emerging artist (have practiced, just not "emerged"! :) ) and just finished hanging (well, still finishing) my first show. Already sold several smaller pieces.

    Since this is my first year and first profits ever, I would like to pledge around 5-10%, with the idea that I can go up in the future. My work, if you are still taking anyone on, will be up on my site as of...well, tonight! taking photographs today.

    jaynemccoy.blogspot.com

    thank you!

    If you are not taking anyone new- then I just love this idea and am so glad you are doing it! And so good to see other artist's work!

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  100. Great idea....I already shop from my etsy peeps. My latest was a fabulous tote bag with matching cosmetic bag and the tissue cozy. Nothing beats handmade.

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  101. A perfect way to support my fellow artisans! WE sure can rock!

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  102. This is a great idea! I'm definitely in!

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  103. This is a fabulous idea! I already spend most of my net "profit" on new supplies anyway, wo why not focus on fellow etsy supplies to buy from? I think I can safely pledge at least 25% each month--sadly, this month sales have been SLOW, so that's not much money. :-(

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  104. It's another great idea for the Etsy community. We all count on each other. We are a family of sorts.

    Count me in. I pledge to spend at least 25% each month.

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  105. Definitely happy to join! I'm just starting out, but I think I can at least pledge 10%, for now. Though admittedly most of what I've earned on Etsy so far has gone straight back to other shops!

    CinderLisaDesign.Etsy.com

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  106. I'm in! Will blog later today or tomorrow.

    I too tend to spend every penny I make and more at other etsy shops :)

    Wonderful idea!

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  107. Hiya Genius! I will happily join in the Stone Soup ranks. My dear friend, Amanda (over at http://mylifeofspaz.blogspot.com/), let me in on this economic revolution, and I think it's definitely something to come together over. It's sort of something I do anyhow, but now it's official. ^_^

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  108. genius idea - we all still need to buy birthday and christmas presents, don't we - and we should be spreading the cost through the year by buying little and often!

    I'm on Folksy at http://www.folksy.com/shops/snowday
    if your life needs cute stitch markers :o)

    C.

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