Monday, May 31, 2010

Make-it Mondays: Vintage Matchbook Notepads

Happy Memorial Day, from Buenahelena, everyone! We haven't done a tutorial in awhile, so here goes:

Matchbooks have become highly collectible because of their size, affordable price and nostalgic illustrations. The box I bought at the flea market last week range from ads for coca-cola to auto dealerships to to fancy hotels. They are also becoming rarer. With new smoking laws, like we have in New York state, the freebie matchbook at the bar or hotel lobby are slowly going the way of the payphone.

Once the matches are removed and paper added they make handy places to jot quick notes and lists throughout the day.


Step 1: Empty out your matchbooks and gather paper, a ruler, x-acto knife and staples. I'm into graph paper right now and decided to try out some colored staples.

Step 2: Measure the matchbook to figure out the dimensions of the paper for the notepad. The space where the paper should fit is 1.5 "x 2". Cut the paper a little shorter, so the matchbook can fold over it easily. I measured out 1.5"x1.75" rectangles on my graph paper.

Step 3: Cut and separate your paper into stacks of 12 sheets. (Too many more and it becomes hard to staple.) Lay the stack into the bottom fold of the matchbook and staple high enough to catch the paper, but low enough so the opening flap of the matchbook can still be tucked in.


Bonus Ideas:
  1. Try different kinds of paper; handmade, lined etc...
  2. Many matchbook come with illustrations or writing on the inside. If some don't you can stamp words inside; to do list, books to read etc...
  3. Use the matchbook as template to create matchbook notepads from new paper in different sizes.

**Advice**: Vintage matchbooks can be brittle depending on age. It may be wise to reinforce corners with clear tape or spray seal the matchbooks while they are flat.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Jack's Pick: Resin Kit and Tutorial by HappyRainbow

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!

If you like "arts and crafts", there is a good chance you have a little creative spark in you, and you might call yourself "crafty." Why not try something new?

Look no further, Amanda from Beadwork By Amanda has a new etsy shop, called Happy Rainbow, to sell kits and tutorials. This complete resin kit and tutorial caught my eye this week because I have always been curious how she gets that look!

What look? Take a look at what she does with old circuitry in her jewelry shop. This is just one application for this kind of technique. The sky is the limit in what you can drop into a bezel. I can think of lots of cool gifts I could make for my family and friends with this kit.

Not only is this a great low cost way to try out something new, Amanda offers email support if you don't understand the full color pictorial instructions that come as part of the kit. That's good service.

Kudos to you, Amanda.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Wednesday Wellspring: Americana

Congratulations Becky, for winning Duncan Creative's gorgeous necklace!
And now, the Reserved Parking Spot is once again up for grabs in this our May monthly challenge: Americana!
Cast your vote for your favorite on the poll on the upper right corner of the blog sidebar. Voting will end June 1st, with the winner announced on June 2nd!

And now, in no particular order:
Bonnie Blue Scarf by Sarah's Amiables

Freedom of Speech Art Card by buenahelena Blue and White with Red Flower by MF Crafts Fireworks Earrings by Kelly's Beading Show your colors - Stars and Stripes Cross Stitch Towel by MF Crafts

Now, help us choose a winner by voting for your favorite Americana-themed craft!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Make-it Mondays: Go Us!

Recently the local news seems to be, well...all about us. Our team leader Just Ice Jewelry, and several dedicated members have been featured in the newspaper, on local tv news and in online periodicals. Check them out below:

Just Ice Jewelry: The Rochester Examiner
Gock's Frocks: The Democrat and Chronicle
Just Ice Jewelry, The Quilted House, Jack Bear Stamps, and Paper and Tact: The Democrat and Chronicle
Duncan Creative: (as seen in the Yarn Bombing post) Channel 13 News
Bead Work By Amanda, Peaches Products and In My Head Studios: (For May Day Underground) The Rochester Examiner

Go us! P.S. Don't forget to keep adding secrets to last week's Make-It Monday.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Wednesday Wellspring: Duncan Creative

Congratulations #11, Gustosa, winner of Beadwork by Amanda's adorable magnet set!

And this week, the well overflowed with crocheted goodness from Duncan Creative! Karen creates the most adorable amigurumi foods and creatures, play foods, shawls, jewelry - pretty much if it can be created out of yarn, Karen can create it! And this week she's offering one lucky winner their choice of a Lilac, Cherry Blossom, or Marigold Crocheted Flower Necklace. These necklaces are so unique and can be worn in a variety of ways, and will make a gorgeous addition to your wardrobe!

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

MANDATORY ENTRY #1: Go to Duncan Creative, heart the 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. Become a fan of RNEST on Facebook.
2. 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, May 25 and will be announced in the next Wednesday Wellspring.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Trash & Treasures Tuesday: Lilac Inspiration

The Lilac Festival is one of Rochester's best events; there's everything from music and food to beautiful flowers and arts and crafts. While I'm planning on visiting this week, I wasn't able to see the arts and craft show this past weekend due to work obligations. So for this week, some lilac inspiration courtesy of Etsy!

First up is an amazing mobile from RNEST's very own creative.hodge.podge.

Sarah took cardstock, fishing line, a dowel and washers and reinvented them into a cute mobile. I love her unique style of upcycling (especially those books!) and for $12, it's a steal!

While these too-cute-truffles aren't upcycled, repurposed or vintage, they are definitely a treasure!

Made by RNEST's Duncan Creative, I just couldn't resist.

I've been seeing a lot of paper beads on Etsy and in stores (like Rochester's One World Goods), and these purple finds by Miss Woo Goo are just waiting for someone to scoop them up.

And last but not least, something lilac-inspired for your hair, thanks to DollfaceDeVille.

Made from upcycled t-shirts and recycled bottles, this hair clip is eco-friendly and cute.

Any lilac finds you'd like to share? Any upcycle projects you've tackled lately? Leave 'em in the comments!

Peace & thanks,

Monday, May 17, 2010

Make-it Mondays: Is There a Secret to Making it on Etsy?

I paid for a strange experience this past Saturday: an evening with (totally fake) psychic Sylvia Browne at the Seneca Niagara Casino. It was a case study in desperation, as genuinely hurting, or in some cases, just genuinely curious seekers invested their dreams in her vague responses.

photoshop quackery by buenahelena

We all want quick answers. We all want to know the proverbial secret. Anxiety over our success on Etsy is very similar in a way. Sellers like The Buzz offer the secrets to crafting success on Etsy,blogs and facebook. Other Etsians have graciously pooled together their secrets for free online. Like Sylvia Browne, some of the answers seem obvious and sometimes they blatantly contradict one another.

I would like to make this Make-it Monday an ever expanding post of RNEST secrets. I will start with #1 and keep adding from your comments:

#1: Actively participate in the street team. You can get some action on the dock, but you won't enjoy the cruise without getting on the boat.

#2: Promote others. I just feels good to help out a fellow artisan. The added benefit is from goodwill word of mouth.

#3: Mind the store. Post new items regularly, reorder your shop, relist and renew. Just generally make sure it looks like your shop is being well-tended.

#4: Do what you love. The passion and thrill of creating what you love comes out in your work and the way you present and promote it. At my very first show, Casey of Peaches Products heard someone come up to me and suggest I make a certain item. She leaned over and said "Don't make anything you don't want to make just because someone suggests it. Only make what you love or it will stop being fun and people will be able to tell." I cling to that piece of advice. When it comes from the heart it cannot be duplicated and heart-filled peices are so very attractive!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Jack's Pick: Upcycled Quilted Denim Bowl by The Quilted House

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!

Upcycling. What does that mean? According to Wikipedia, Upcycling is:
the process of converting waste materials or useless products into new materials or products of better quality or a higher environmental value.

The Quilted House has taken some old legs of a pair of discarded cut-off black jeans, and some reclaimed read and black floral cotton fabric to make a wonderful quilted bowl. That doesn't sound like much, but look closely at the pictures. Can you see old black jeans? Not me!!!

I saw these bowls in person at the Mayday Underground Arts + Craft show, and I was very impressed by the workmanship. Michelle of The Quilted Shop does an incredible job, and I still can't quite figure out how these bowls keep the scalloped shape so well.

Notice how you can reverse them inside out and they keep that shape? That is quality. And $12. Are you kidding me, look at the stitching, this is a real bargain in my opinion.

Don't miss the nice picture of Michelle working in her quilting room from the article in the Democrat and Chronicle this week!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Wednesday Wellspring: Beadwork by Amanda

The well is bubbling over with divine cuteness with a giveaway from Beadwork by Amanda!!

Amanda is giving away these oh so adorable magnets and here's a little more information about them:

These happy magnets have been made using images of goofy fruit. The images are adhered to a wooden base and sealed in resin. A strong magnet is affixed to the back.

Now, in addition to being an artisan of amazing beadwork and upcycled creations, Amanda, along with her cohort Casey from Peaches Products, planned and hosted MayDay! Underground and has several other shows in the works - so keep your eyes and ears tuned for that news!

Now, for the giveaway rules (This giveaway is open INTERNATIONALLY!!):
MANDATORY ENTRY #1: Go to Beadwork By Amanda, heart the 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):

3. Become a fan of Beadwork by Amanda on Facebook.
4. 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, May 18 and will be announced in the next Wednesday Wellspring.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Trash & Treasures Tuesday... er... Wednesday.

Hi all! Sorry this is a day late, but I wanted to let you know I won't be posting this week or next week. Lots of things happening, but I'll be back on May 18 with lots of goodies to share!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Make- it Mondays: Yarn Bombing

Some of you may have seen our fellow RNEST teamie Karen Duncan, of Duncan Creative, in the news this week. She has been yarn bombing in her Rochester city neighborhood, bringing color and joy to residents with her craftiness. I chatted with Karen to find out, just what this art form is and how you can drop little crafted bombs of your own.

Buenahelena : So, what the heck is yarn bombing?

Karen: Thanks for your interest! It is really such a silly and fun way to use up WIP (works in progress) that are just laying around here! So yarn bombing is basically guerrilla knitting/crochet or crochet/knit graffiti. It started in Houston, TX.

Buenahelena: What inspired you to start "bombing" your neighborhood?

Karen:I just got out the book Yarn Bombing from the library last week and had a lightbulb moment to do the lightpost outside of my house.

Buenhelena: Have you ever snuck around to see how people react and what are the reactions?

Karen: The first day I did it I thought people were going to be like what the hell are you doing, but the entire fleet of landscaping guys across the street from me never once asked a question. The second time I saw people peering out of their windows at me but they never asked. The third one was the one in front of Dark Horse Coffee and then people asked tons of questions...leading up to the interview yesterday.

Buenahelena: Any tips for those who want to bomb?

Karen: Hmmm... if you want to make it specifically for something, MEASURE first! I have a bunch of overlapping pieces, but that is cool too. Also, use the CHEAPEST yarn possible, since they will fade or get taken down or you might have to cover large sections. I use RED HEART great. Bring a hook or a needle and camera. Also, a partner in crime to help you stretch and hold the larger pieces!

Here's Karen at work:

Makes me want to weave bomb! So what if you can't knit or crochet though? Think about leaving a little art card or drawing hidden in a book at the library or with the sugar packets at a restaurant. Leave a sculpture in the sand at the beach this summer or a tiny installation in an elevator. What a fun way to beautify and unify the community...