Friday, January 29, 2010

Jack's Pick: Pink "Stained Glass" Skirts from Gock's Frocks

Each Friday I select an item created by a member of the Rochester NY Etsy Street Team(RNEST). What criteria do I use? I look for great looking items that I think are well made offered for a great price!
One look at Gock's Frocks etsy shop and there is no question, you will be hooked. The first thing that commands your attention is the COLOR. A bright palette really brings out the
feeling of youth, and I found myself quickly looking for something that my little baby girl could wear!

It was very difficult to pick out one item to highlight, but I settled on the Pink "Stained Glass: Skirts from the Mezzanine Collection. A long title, but a collection of really adorable skirts. The pictures of these skirts really said "SPRING!" to me, and in the dead of winter, it really brightened my day.

Gock's Frocks has an incredible selection of apparel in her shop, and I can't wait to go on a shopping spree for my little baby girl! Keep it up!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Wednesday Wellspring: Sarah's Amiables Giveaway

Congrats #18, Jessica, winner of last week's gock's frocks giveaway!!

And now, bubbling up from the well for this week's giveaway is Sarah from Sarah's Amiables with a really awesome prize! Sarah is a fiber artist extraordinaire and as an introduction to her weaving work, she is offering one lucky winner this fabulous hand-woven scarf! This is a lovely, soft scarf made with 75% wool/25% polyamide yarn. The color palette features soft pinks and purples with gentle streaks of white and occasional dashes of grey and gold. Could it be more divine? Measuring 8.5" wide by 60" long, this beauty is a must-have for any wardrobe.

Now, for the rules (This giveaway is open to US and Canada!):

MANDATORY ENTRY #1: Go to Sarah's Amiables Etsy store, heart her shop, and then leave a comment here telling me your favorite item.
MANDATORY ENTRY #2: Become a follower of this blog and leave a comment letting me know- or if you are already, leave a comment saying you're a loyal follower.

BONUS ENTRIES (leave a separate comment for each):
1. Follow Sarah's Amiables on Twitter
2. Follow Sarah's Amiables' blog
3. Become a fan of Sarah's Amiables on Facebook
4. Become a fan of RNEST on Facebook.
5. Tweet and blog about this giveaway and leave a comment here with the link.

The winner will be chosen using the random number generator on Tuesday, February 2 and will be announced in the next Wednesday Wellspring, so come back for the announcement and for a giveaway from Duncan Creative!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Make- it Mondays: What Exactly is Original?

From: Buenahelena

In the land of Etsy originality is a coveted if not abstract quality to have. Catch phrases like OOAK (one of a kind) and "I took the handmade pledge" are stated often with pride. At our last team meeting we pondered the idea of originality and the dread problem of copyright infringement. (*Note: This post is only covering issues about handmade items)

Here is what Etsy has to say about copyrights: "Your content and your use of Etsy shall not: Infringe upon any third-party's copyright, patent, trademark, trade secret or other proprietary or intellectual property rights or rights of publicity or privacy (see also, Etsy's Copyright and Intellectual Property Policy)"

So what does this mean? Where do we draw the line? In my philosophy there is nothing truly original anymore, but out and out misuse is obvious. Below are some questionable examples from Etsy. Although they are in fact handmade, and many times well made, they are skirting that line of infringement:

The picture above is from Craftsquatch. He has been featured on Etsy and several other online publications. His work is handmade with love. His icons are...well...completely stolen...and nowhere in his profile does it say with permission. These icons were made by a designer somewhere who is not getting paid for their use on Craftsquatch's pillows. Mmmm...

The next item is from Simplybitten. In her store banner and descriptions, she makes it known that her work is inspired by Twilight. A smart idea, as inspiration can't really be owned. She does use copyrighted characters names, but uses them in her own designs as fan art and gives props to Stephanie Meyer with each item. Her Got Twilight? decal, however, could be infringing on two different enterprises....

So how can you be safe? Here are some simple guidelines:
  1. Give credit where credit is due.
  2. Take inspiration, but not exact patterns, logos or photos. Make a 25% change to the item/image to keep yourself in the clear.
  3. Don't assume that something is such a huge phenomenon that it is automatically public property.
  4. If you knit/crochet and sew from a pattern say so. Be careful though! Many patterns from magazines have a disclaimer that they are for personal use and not for you to sell with or without credit.
  5. Research like items out there in Etsy-land and see how you can tweak them to make them more distinctly yours.
P.S. I would love to keep this dialogue going, so comment your ideas and knowledge. I am also not saying that I don't break the rules sometimes....unintentionally.
P.P.S My Our Lady of Vogue wall piece...

Friday, January 22, 2010

Jack's Pick: Scrabble Tile Necklace by In My Head Studios

Each Friday I select an item created by a member of the Rochester NY Etsy Street Team(RNEST). What criteria do I use? I look for great looking items that I think are well made offered for a great price!

In My Head Studios does amazing things with dominoes and scrabble tiles. This week I have selected a great scrabble pendant called Rock Star Swirl!

First, can I just say that no one wants to play Scrabble with me anymore because I take too long on my turn trying to come up with the longest word I can find, even if it means making up new words. But back to the item...

As you can see in the pictures, In My Head Studios takes an old unloved scrabble tile, and transforms it into a little masterpiece that will be adored by millions. OK, maybe that is a bit of an overstatement, but the act of transformation that occurs when you alter a common item into a new purpose is always an
exciting one for me.

I like this particular one because of the color and shape of the imprint on the tile makes it look more like stone than wood, reminding me of marble. I think it would really work well with lots of apparel choices. I think to the common observer, no one would would realize that it's a scrabble tile, and then when you show them it's initial form, they will be "wowwed" by the ruse.

Great job In My Head Studios! Keep up the wondeful art!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Wednesday Wellspring: gock's frocks Fabulous Giveaway

I hope you're as excited as I am for this very first Wednesday Wellspring giveaway! Pouring forth from the well is a collection of fun and funky ready to ship skirts perfect for Valentine's Day - actually I'd say they would be adorable any time of the year! gock's frocks has put together a variety of skirt styles sizes 2 to 8 with elastic waists for fitting ease. These lovelies are all ready to ship and feature pre-shunk fabric, professionally finished seams, complementary top-stitching, and a gock's frocks label. And one lucky winner can take the beauty of their choice home for free.

Here's how to maximize your entries to this fabulous giveaway (this giveaway is limited to US only):
1. Go to gock's frocks' etsy shop, heart her shop, and then leave a comment here telling me your favorite item - MANDATORY ENTRY #1!!
2. Become a follower of this blog and leave a comment letting me know- or if you are already, leave a comment saying you're a loyal follower - MANDATORY ENTRY #2!!
3. Follow gock's frocks on Twitter - don't forget to leave a comment saying you did.
4. Follow gock's frocks' blog - remember to comment here for the entry.
5. Become a fan of gock's frocks on Facebook - do I need to mention the commenting thing again?
6. Become a fan of RNEST on Facebook - you get the whole commenting deal by now, right?
7. Tweet and blog about this giveaway and leave a comment here with the link.

Winner will be chosen using the random number generator on Tuesday, January 26 and will be announced in the next Wednesday Wellspring, so come back for the announcement and for a giveaway from Sarah's Amiables!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Make- it Mondays: Create a Charitable Etsy Shop

From: Buenahelena

With the current tragedy in Haiti on our minds, many people in the Etsy community are searching for ways to help. It's called craftivism. There are MANY things we can do as artists to bring hope and aid to people in need of help and to shed light on social issues.

One idea is to designate proceeds of your Etsy sales to charitable organizations. In times of immediate need, for example in the aftermath of Haiti's earthquake, you can offer a percentage of your sales to the cause of relief. If you decide to do this be VERY clear about how much money will be subtracted from your sales, where that money is going and when your charitable promotion will end. In my store for example, I am putting 25% of my sales towards the American Red Cross in support of Haiti Relief and Development until Jan 31, 2010. You can promote this in your shop title, shop announcement and in these Etsy forums. Keep buyers during that time period updated about the total you end up sending out, so they can see their impact as well.

A second idea is to create a product that spreads awareness and builds morale. My great friend yabettasupadont has used her skills as a jewelry artist to create a variety of products highlighting her desire to rebuild the culture of her native New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. Many of her designs promote iconic images of the city's homes, street signs, sayings, and traditions. "Spread it like butta..."she says. Sometimes spreading love for the people in need of it is a greater source of strength than money.

It is also possible to create an entire shop on Etsy, simply for charity. There are shops that support breast cancer research, public education and battered women full time, all the time. This is a great idea for a shop run by mulitple people working towards a common goal. Rosie O'Donnell actually runs a charitible shop on Etsy, with all of her profits going to an arts education organization. Etsy has guidelines on how to legally operate these types of shops here, under Charitable Listings and Shops.

Etsy has already raised over $13,000 to aid Haiti through auctions and admin donations.
How can you use your skills to create change and aid relief to Haiti or any cause you feel strongly about?

Friday, January 15, 2010

Jack's Pick: Creamy iPod Cozy by SarahsAmiables

Each Friday I select an item created by a member of the Rochester NY Etsy Street Team (RNEST). What criteria do I use? I look for great looking items that I think are well made offered for a great price!

This week I selected a sweet little number by SarahsAmiables. This wonderful creamy ipod cozy is just what you need to keep your iPod nice and warm and snuggy this winter.

Kidding aside, there are several reasons I love this item.

Sarah made this from a sweater she found at Goodwill. I mean come on, who does that! Recycling wool from old sweaters...incredible!

Secondly, the yarn is 69% wool, 19% angora rabbit hair, and 12% nylon. That says quality to me.

Lastly, I love the idea of old world meets hi tech. I love when a traditional craft or material meets a new purpose in our new technological world. This paradox really appeals to me, and I love to find examples of it on Etsy.

Sarah, kudos to you, and keep knitting these great items!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Wednesday Wellspring: Vintage White Sale

The well is overflowing with goodness this week with a team cross-over event. Marie of MF Vintage (and MF Crafts) is one of our newest members and is also a member of the Vintage Market Team. She and the vintage team are having a huge white sale from January 10th to 17th. Check out the items included in the sale in each shop - who knows, you just might find that perfect something you've always wanted.
Next Wednesday be prepared for an awesome giveaway event to help Gock's Frocks celebrate her new Be My Valentine line. Trust me, you're not going to want to miss it!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Make- it Mondays: Tea Cup Candles

From: Buenahelena

Happy Monday everyone! Let's have a little upcycling fun. I'm a sucker for thrift stores, flea markets and estate sales and one of the things I love to hunt for are cups. From souvenir shot glasses to silly mugs I've gathered a wide collection, so now what to do...

Option #1: The Tea Cup Candle

Materials you'll need:
  • a variety of tea cups, mugs, martini glasses, whatever...
  • microwaveable soywax
  • a large microwavable plastic mixing bowl, preferably with a spout
  • a variety of candle wicks with metal bases
  • a small pin or needle
  • scented oils and food coloring (optional)
  1. Clean and dry all of your cups. Who knows where, or who they used to live with.
  2. Check the heights of your wicks to the cups. You'll want to use a wick that peaks slightly above the lip line of your cup.
  3. Glue the metal base of the wick to the bottom of the cup. I use E-6000 glue for a solid hold.
  4. Empty soywax into the mixing bowl and heat for 2 minutes or until completely melted.
  5. Pour the melted soywax into your cup slowly, leaving about 1/4 " of space from the lip.
  6. Place a flat support, this could be a butter knife or a chopstick, over the top of the cup to support the wax from bending or slanting to one side.
  7. Use a needle to poke a few small holes into the wax while it cools re-hardens. This allows bubbles to escape and keep the surface of the wax smooth.
  8. (Optional) While the soywax is still melted in the mixing bowl, add a couple drops of scented oil and food coloring and mix.

These candles make awesome gifts, especially for Valentines Day when you want a little sumpthin'-sumpthin' lighting. There are as many styles to choose from as you are willing to rummage for. I've found great 1960's, mod coffee mugs for $.50 and fine bone china cups for up to $7.00.

** I recommend using soywax in this tutorial although paraffin is also okay. They pro's of soy are that it is vegan, burns slower and cleaner than paraffin and burns completely. It's super easy to clean it out of the cups with some soap and water when your done so they can go to other uses.**

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Wednesday Wellspring: New Year, New Surprises

Hello all! After a much needed holiday siesta, the well is once again bubbling over with excitement and lots of fun in store for you! RNEST is growing exponentially with folks applying for membership at a fast clip, new ideas for promotions and activities, and lots of great energy. To add a lot of spice to this column, in addition to my features of RNEST members you'll start seeing links to promotions, regular giveaways and contests, and announcements about new product lines. The well springeth forth with amazing goodness for the coming year, so I hope you check the blog regularly and often! Also, don't miss Buena Helena's Make It Mondays for awesome tutorials and tips and JackBear's Friday Jack's Picks to get a jump on new and amazing products and sellers. For now, I'll introduce you to a few of our newest members (you can find images of their products sprinkled throughout this post):

Sarah's Amiables - gorgeous knitted items
Quantum Loop - Nature-inspired works of art
EnviroCrafter - Divine eco-friendly items
Violet Underground - Handcrafted creations to keep Barbie warm and stylish
MF Crafts and MF Vintage - Gorgeous knitted items and quirky vintage finds

Monday, January 4, 2010

Make- it Mondays: Learn Something New This Year

From: Buenahelena!

Happy first Monday of 2010! Ok, ok, so "Make-it Mondays" haven't involved many tutorials lately, but it was the holidays. We're all slaggin' a bit. One thing that has kept me busy is finalizing courses I am offering for the Weaving and Fiber Arts Center this spring. However, I am still searching for a few more students so they can run. If you're interested in learning a new technique for your personal work or your Etsy shop check out classes being offered by myself and others here.

I put up this display case with my bio, course descriptions, and examples at Village Gate, 302 North Goodman StreetRochester, NY 14607, right across from the entrance to Salena's Mexican Restaurant. Check it out team! Now's the time to learn something new...