by Melanie Arntsen of SqueakyBug Specialties

Introducing Irene
Craftluxuries! Irene is offering a giveaway. To enter, go to her shop, pick your favorite item, and return here to comment with item (please include your email address so we can easily contact you.) Winners will be chosen using!

My name is Irene and I am a stay at home mom to two young boys. Besides being a devoted wife I am also a devoted artisan who loves to design and create unique, simple and elegant pieces of work using top quality materials. I was born and raised in New York by my Greek parents and am now living in Greece.

From a young age arts & crafts have always been a field of inspiration and enjoyment for me. Anything artistic would capture my attention. In elementary school, while participating in a book making contest, I wrote, illustrated and bound a children’s book by myself. It won the first prize.

I enjoy investing my time in my family. I am overwhelmed by the blessing I have been given with my children and loving husband, and I find great happiness in spending my day with them. But it is also one of my greatest pleasures to come up with significant projects to put my efforts into. My list of artistic pursuits is long and I’m always figuring out new techniques to use. However, I believe children deserve their parent's utmost attention. So I always stay up late to work on my projects and ideas. I think you should do what you love and find balance in all areas of your life.

My work is inspired by art, nature and blending beautiful colors. I like to make things you don’t easily find in stores. I try putting all my effort and craftsmanship into everything I hand make and give meticulous attention to detail. Each of my works is lovingly crafted because this is something that I love and take pride in doing.
I love designing, drawing, beading, making jewelry, invitations, cards, favors for all occasions, sewing, knitting and crocheting, working with wood, textiles, felt, cotton canvas, polymer clay, mosaics, designing photo albums and fashion clothing. I also love paper, pattern and texture and I work alot with photoshop. All my work is custom made to fulfill the buyer.

I love to discover new artists, designers and products which I often share through my blog. Right now I am a seller on Etsy and my shop is still fresh but I am hoping on expanding into markets and shops in the future. I hope my projects spread all around the world leaving a lasting impression and bringing warm feelings in people's hearts.

How did you get your start on Etsy?
Being brought up from a dad that worked as a painter and a mom as a housewife, I didn’t really have everything I wanted so I would hand fix anything I couldn't have or find or anything my imagination put me up to. I used to build doll houses out of cardboard boxes! What life taught me is that what really counts is growing up with good values, love and harmony and those I had to the fullest. 
In the year 2000 a head stroke, which my dad miraculously survived, confined him to a chair thus ruining our plans of returning to the U.S. And so, here I am, an unemployed mommy, a wife to a terrific husband, trying to use my creativity in order to help my family of 2 boys including my dad. That is one of the reasons I decided to join Etsy. But the main reason is that this gave me the opportunity for me to show off my talent and see how far I can go.

How did you choose your shop name?
I had a long and hard time finding a shop name, but one day it just dawned on me that since I love elegance and since handmade is a luxury, a nice name would be craftluxuries!

What does a typical day look like for you?
For me, a typical day starts and ends with housework, feeding, changing diapers, cooking cleaning, shopping looking after the boys and going for walks. But as soon as they fall asleep I indulge in my creative works. Thanks to my mom, who helps me out whenever she can, I may have more free time on my hands during the day.
 If you could be anywhere in the world for one day, where would it be? 
I would love to visit France but not just for one day! I find their culture and arts quite unique. They have a wonderful sense of creativity and of course beautiful and romantic places!

What is your favorite Bible verse?

What is your favorite Etsy item listing to feature?
My Swarovski crystal stretch ring. 

Places where we can find you on the internet?

...and the winner is...
The winner of last week's giveaway from Angela of CraftyCrochet4Kids with her surprise item for little girls is...Cheryl Allison with Congratulations! I have convo'd both of you to let you know.

Comments (18)

On June 8, 2011 at 10:01 AM , Helen said...

Beautiful work! I can relate that it's when my child is asleep, that my creative juices start flowing. That's usually when I do my work as well. I LOVE that turquoise beaded bracelet! So pretty!! Thanks for blessing us with your creativity!

Helen G.

On June 8, 2011 at 11:54 AM , Julia Badgley said...

I like the bird brooch. You are very talented, Irene!
My email address is

On June 8, 2011 at 3:17 PM , Sue Anderson said...

These earrings are just adorable for a nurse to wear especially a pediatric nurse.


On June 9, 2011 at 10:01 AM , Sue Runyon said...

Irene, delighted to meet you! What wonderful craftsmanship.

On June 9, 2011 at 10:41 AM , Crafty Momma said...

very pretty stuff! my fav would have the be the fabric beaded necklace, very pretty and original!

On June 9, 2011 at 11:26 AM , irene said...

thanks everyone!

On June 9, 2011 at 12:55 PM , Lisa said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
On June 9, 2011 at 12:58 PM , Lisa said...

Irene, I love everything in your shop! You are so talented! If I had to pick one of your pieces I think it would be the turquoise crystal ring. I loved it so much I made it one of my favorites! Thank you.
(oops, forgot to add my email):

On June 9, 2011 at 2:46 PM , sue anderson said...

Irene - you are so diversified in your talents and each and every one is beautiful. I LOVE the fabric necklaces as well as the bird brooch.
Never stop creating and God Bless you and yours.


On June 11, 2011 at 10:10 AM , Becky K. said...

Oh, I love that little white bunny!
So cute.

So nice to get to "meet" you here.

On June 11, 2011 at 10:20 AM , irene said...

Thanks for the nice comments everyone! I am going through some health problems (and economical)right now but my health is what I am really worried about so if everyone viewing this would just reach out with a real prayer for me. One more week left until I get things cleared with my tests!

On June 11, 2011 at 10:40 AM , Sue Runyon said...

Irene, I put your prayer request on the team discussions. I know you will be lifted up by many!

On June 11, 2011 at 10:59 AM , Sheila said...

Irene, will pray for your health issues.
I think your shop is lovely. I especially like the shamrock purse.

On June 11, 2011 at 11:41 AM , Anonymous said...

Hi Irene
Wishing you blessings for you and your family! You are so creative! I make jewelry and love your antique stretch ring with the swarovski crystals. Love the browns and uniqueness and a little vintage. I'm at Kathy

On June 11, 2011 at 11:44 AM , Anonymous said...

Hi Irene
Love your creativeness. Blessings to you and your family. I really like the brown stretch ring with swarovski crystals on the side - would love to wear that. Would love to know how to make it ! :) Kathy at

On June 11, 2011 at 3:30 PM , jaderoseboutique said...

love the bird - "his eye is on the sparrow and I know he watches me" - one of my favorite lines from an old hymn!

On June 11, 2011 at 5:01 PM , irene said...

what a beautiful line you wrote jaderoseboutique. thanks very much Sue for mentioning me!

On June 12, 2011 at 11:15 PM , Lizzi said...

What beautiful things you have! God has blessed you with such talent and I especially love your COLORS :-) Personally I love the cutesie birds...who can pick?