Sunday, September 30, 2007

Indie cool seeps into the bubble

South Florida seems far removed from the big cities and urban areas where indie crafts and design is prevalent and 'going green' is tops. Things are often shiny and new, what is 'in' and what everyone is wearing. I shop mostly when I travel as to not see myself coming and going. Perhaps things are about to change.

This coming weekend there is an independent craft show called Stitch Rock. It is on Saturday, October 6th in Delray Beach and is going to feature various indie crafters. There are 40 vendors signed up - a sellout for the organizers. I found them on Indiepublic and hadn't seen any PR until this Friday when there was a writeup in Sun Sentinel newspaper. I am glad to see South Florida going beyond the basics of dried flower arrangements and beachy painted pottery too often found at the weekend craft shows in season.

Saturday there was a long article also in the Sun Sentinel about Ikea Hackers - artists, crafters and DIYers that use Ikea furniture and accessories to create other things - a table into a guitar, a shower curtain into a dress, etc.. The article featured the founder of Etsy who used a few Ikea chairs as a table base. The article was run because Ikea is opening here next month (hurray). I was happy to see the indie, DIY culture - and Etsy - highlighted here.

I have yet to put myself together enough to have a strong business identity and enough product to sell at a show (although I would eventually like to.) I am looking forward to going up to Delray next Saturday afternoon to shop. And I'll share my local indie craftiness that I find with you!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Things I learned in art class (and other thoughts)

I had art class today - jewelry fabrication. Love it! The teacher is a most accomplished jewelry artist and has created fabulous pieces. The class is beginner through intermediate so there are some wonderful women with a bit of experience who share their tips. I created a brass bail for my copper and brass pendant and soldered on after a lot of sanding and filing to get in flat. We had a snafu trying to soak the copper off of the brass (or was it vice versa). My top piece had started to lift. I had to re-solder (with the instructors help.) I have a new found appreciation for why hand made jewelry cost so much. The time put into each piece! While I was waiting for my turn for assistance I practiced sawing and made all sorts of cute copper and brass shapes and hammered and textured them. They'll end up in a random charm bracelet I am sure. We learned how to use the polishing and buffing tools. Next class I will finish my piece and start a ring.

I found this great jewelry artist on Etsy. Rachel Sudlow creates pieces that are along the lines of what I am learning, so I really appreciate her work! Check out these necklaces!

I have been finding the greatest blogs and tutorials lately. I find myself up way past midnight sitting on my tush going from one great read to another. I love to see what others read and find, don't you?!

I have a large assortment of pets and get a kick our of the daily pictures sent from Cute Overload. Hamsters, dogs, hedgehogs and more - all so stinkin'cute!

Halloween is about to overtake my house beginning Sunday. My son is obsessed by Halloween and we decorate to the max. The stuff is in storage during the year (he had actually wanted to decorate his room in Halloween permanently. I said no.) My rule is no decorations before October 1st. So he looked at the calendar and announced we must go on Sunday afternoon. I'll be tripping over spider webs and bones.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Art by Creative Thursday

I love the paintings by Marisa of Creative Thursday. She creates the sweetest paintings with such personality. In person they have great color and depth. I had been admiring them for some time and when she posted a bunch of her original daily paintings up for sale I snapped up two of my favorites. It was hard to choose.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Gift Shopping Assistance Needed!

If you are reading this then perhaps you have better ideas for gifts than I do. I can always shop for myself and am good about picking up things all year long for the Christmas gifts for friends who collect things. When on a deadline, however, I get stuck. I was relegated to shopping for a group gift for a girlfriend. I don't have enough time to shop online for her so the cool indie things were out. She collects so I went to the local antique mall and had no luck (but got some stuff for me - see below). I have to go back out later today. Wish me luck.

I do, however, have until December 1st to find his and her 40th birthday gifts for friends. They are having an 80th birthday costume party (forty together - how cute is that). Both artists. Any suggestions?

When I was at the antique mall I found a good mix of buttons, some vintage necklaces that I can deconstruct for my jewelry, a vintage table cloth, and another tin for storage (can't have too many).

A Week of Fuzz

I caught my a head cold from my husband this past week and felt like my head was in a fog. Of course when he had it he stayed in bed, came home from work and played sick. Me, as a mom, could only take a drixoral and go about my business. I didn't get much done that didn't have to be done. I made it to my art class on Thursday because to me that is the most relaxing 3 hours! I learned how to wet solder and put my two cut pieces together. While I was waiting for the lesson on soldering I played around with metal hammering and patterns. What fun I had! At home however, I started and stopped projects.

I have a floral monster I need to hand sew, as well as an argyle sock monkey.

Playing with a journal that I always mean to stay on top of.

Monday, September 17, 2007

LOOK! I have a new look!

My Etsy shop has a new look. I wanted to expand my Etsy shop to include items other than jewelry so I decided to change the look. I enlisted the help of the very talented Jelene, who creates adorable pop art paintings, stuffed cuties, and more. The result is a funky little quail on my banner and avatar. Check it out here.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

It came in my mail...

Have you subscribed to the Sampler? If you read the craft magazines and blogs then surely you have seen it. Crafters promote their businesses by sending samples of their goods to the Sampler, who then packages them in boxes and send them to subscribers. I have recieved a few and they are filled with such great items. Magazines, cards, tags, earrings, bookmarks, magnets, buttons, and more. My favorite item this month was a fabric headband in great fall colors. Last month had soap and bath bombe samples that smelled so amazing I am thinking of ordering more.

The vinyl wall art that I ordered is partially up on the wall in my craft room. A vinyl quail and some flowers decorate the space above one of my magnetic inspiration boards.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Jewelry Fabrication and Zines

I had cool drawer and cabinet pulls installed in my craft room this week that allows me to put little labels in them so I know where all of my stuff is. As I have mentioned I dabble in way too many crafts and don't stick to any one. My friend that installed them said I have ADD and seemed to be serious. He looked at my craft room and told me I was "all over the place". So I decided to learn something new and take a class!

My friend Heather and I started a jewelry fabrication class at the local museum art school yesterday. We chose that particular class not necessarily because we always wanted to learn how to use saws and blow torches (although that certainly appeals to me!). The class fit into our busy schedules. So we set out with our supply list and bought a toolbox full of items we had no idea what they were. The class was a lot of fun and we learned what was in our box. Actually, we started working on our first pieces. We were given pieces of copper, chose a pattern and cut! Then I moved on to a piece of brass as a back piece. Next week we use the torches to solder them together!! Here is what I made so far:

I have been enjoying zines lately. I have found some that are just chock full of fun illustrations and annecdotes. The Ephemeral Mailbox Museum has created these two zines (among others) that are terrific.
Postal Curiosities and delights is about mail and mail art and reminds me of when I used to be very into mail art (mid to late 90's) back when AOL was the only popular internet carrier. I'm gonna send Niku some mail art.

Scrappy is a "crafty zine for scrappy people". This one has a them of 'stitches' and is filled with sewing and embellishing projects and ideas.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Places to go, things to inspire

Oh the places I would go! Someday I want to be able to just get up and go to all of the great looking craft fairs and flea markets that dot the USA. For now I am content (not really) to ogle over amazing photos on my favorite blogs.

This booth at Junk Bonanza is so amazing!

Great photos from Artsy Mama

These necklaces are so unique! They are from imogeneANDannie. I am contemplating purchasing the fox as a gift.

Can you ever have enough ephemera to decorate cards, boxes, journals (and whatever else glue sticks to?) These inexpensive packs from The Glitter Workshop are always handy to spice up your stash!

Artsy zines have been an interest of mine lately. I just recieved a handful in the last week that are all so unique, inspiring, and fun. I'll scan 'em and post 'em.

Friday, September 7, 2007


Florida Etsy Street Team, aka EtsyFEST has been formed! Finally Florida represents! Although we way down South in the sunshine state seen to lag behind the cooler cities like Austin, Brooklyn, and Portland when it comes to indie crafts, we are starting to come out and show our stuff. Check 'em out.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Fab Fabric

Amy Butler's fabric is gorgeous. So many vibrant colors (I seem to love that word) and combinations that are very current yet timeless. I had been eyeing so many of the patterns and thanks to the kind folks at decor8 I was able to use the discount code they scored for their readers and save 10% from my order at Purlsoho. [Unless someone knows of a good fabric store in South Florida I am relegated to shopping online for fabric.] I think I am going to re-cover the chairs in my craft room with the aqua and red fabric.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Poison - a Young Designer's Stuffie

A very young and imaginative designer created a drawing that this plush cute monster was based on. My young son loves to create monsters and other creatures. He can be very specific on the details, like the mouth and teeth on this guy. He named him Poison (I wanted to call him Ray). My son thinks I should open a store and sell cool things, including the stuffies I make. I warn him that he would have to part with them after I make them. He is having second thoughts.