Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Trash & Treasures Tuesday: Freebies!

Nothing beats a good deal. Scouring thrift stores and garage sales for that amazing bargain takes the cake. Except maybe finding something for free. And where better to look for freebies than the internet? One of my favorite blogs, How About Orange, has a handy "free downloads" section, where she links to loads of yummy freebies. Joy!

There is everything - from wedding stationary to desktop wallpaper and from note cards to fonts. Here are a few of my recent favorites:

Black and white wedding printables, courtesy of e.m. papers.

Canister decals, courtesy of Cathe Holden.

Illustrated bookplates, courtesy of Illustrator Helen Dardi.

A printable menu, courtesy of Alma Loveland. (I printed this one, laminated it and stuck it to my fridge! Dry erase markers work perfect!)

I love when creative people share their amazing work (for free no less!). Have you ever offered something for free on your blog, Etsy shop, store, etc.? A little crafting pay-it-forward. I like it.

Peace & thanks,

Monday, August 30, 2010

Make-it Mondays: Organize a Studio at Home

If you are an Etsy seller you are most likely working from your house, apartment or a small rented space in your city. For those working from that "extra room" at home, it can be difficult to keep the space under control and keep tabs on all of your projects. Not only does it need to be an art making space, but a business space where one keeps track of sold items, receipts, and packaging. Here are some suggestions for the Etsian working from home.

Zemphira's studio space from Etsy Studios,
a blog dedicated to Etsy artists and their creative spaces.

  • In tight space? Build up. High shelves, peg boards, even old silverware dividers from dishwashers work to keep your clutter off your table space or the floor.
  • About tables. Get something sturdy and mobile. Wheels make it easy to move one in-progress projects out of the way and the open spaces of most folding tables leave room for storage or smaller pull-out tables.
  • Get a storage system. I recommend clear containers as the easiest solution for knowing what you've got. Another option is to color coordinate. Fabric stored this way looks beautiful.
  • Create stations. Everything needs to have a place and artists in the middle of work are notoriously chaotic. I have one area just for packaging, weighing and printing labels. All of my materials are kept on moving shelf carts and my table is left for in-progress projects only.
  • How about equipment? I had to find a small, portable way to photograph my items. See the tutorial here. I keep my larger tools, like a sewing machine and a table loom under my work table unless I use them. For even bigger stuff, consider renting from a local art gallery/museum, an art community center that offers classes or a guild in your area. Many times you can rent their space or tools for a single project.
  • Tailor your space to your palette and aesthetic. I can't paint my rented walls, but I can tape up my favorite paint samples for free from the hardware store. Surround yourself with images/materials/quotes that you love.
  • Finally, do weekly weeding. Try to find one day a week to get rid of junk you aren't using or don't need. Put away what you aren't using and mail out sold orders to make room for new.
Leave me your ideas and creative solutions or send me a pic of your space to add to this post :)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Wednesday Wellspring: Back to School

The Reserved Parking Spot is once again up for grabs in this our August monthly challenge: Back to School!
Cast your vote for your favorite on the poll on the upper right corner of the blog sidebar. Voting will end August 31st, with the winner announced on September 1st!

And now, in no particular order:
Back to School Apron by Textile Treats

Retro Button Tacks by buenahelena Back to School Bundle of Bookmarks by The Quilted House Pom Pom Scarf by Something from Nothin' Strawberry Shortcake Apron Tunic by gock's frocks

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

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Trash & Treasures: Back to School

Does anyone else get nostalgic this time of year? Makes me want to bust out my Carebear lunchbox and sharpen my number 2 pencil. Sigh. I loved school. Let's see what Etsy has for back to school, Trash & Treasures style.

This cabinet door turned chalkboard would be perfect to jot down your last minute back-to-school-to-dos. Love the pop of aqua and the rustic door handles. Courtesy of halfpintsalvage

This journal was created from an old Reader's Digest Novel and is far cuter than the standard sketchbook. Courtesy of RagnazIdnar. I also love the nod to library books inside...


When I was younger, I loved watching Charlie's Angels reruns. My mom was always on the lookout for this very lunchbox when she would go thrifting. Such a good momma. And here it is! Etsy is amazing. I'm this close to buying it. Courtesy of TeaPotHollow.

Anything that made going back to school fun for you? Any good finds on Etsy? Leave 'em in the comments!

Peace & thanks,

Monday, August 23, 2010

Make-it Mondays: Moving and Studio Spaces

Hello RNESTers and visitors. Buenahelena is moving, literally. Make-it Mondays will return next week with some ideas on organizing and managing a studio space. Until then I am working on my own, while I move into a new apartment and a new high school art room. Let me know if you have a great space and want to share it with the team on our Ning forum here.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Jack's Pick: Kira Arts and Peach Product OWLS!

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!

OK, so I'm going to do something I haven't done before. I'm going to pick two items this week. That's right, two for the price of one. Well, maybe not two for one, but you know what I mean.

So Jackbear, why two items you ask? Well, Kira from KirArts and Casey from Peach Products are both going to be at a radical arts and craft show this Sunday at the Red-Tail Days at Braddock's Bay (I'm going to be there too, yeah me). And they both make stuffed owls.
Wait, isn't a Red-Tail a kind of hawk? Why yes, yes it is. And they are migrating now through Braddock's Bay by the hundreds, and if the wind is from the right direction, and the thermal air currents they ride are just right, you may see hundreds of them. But even if you don't, you can check out these stuffed OWLS! The owls are taking over the Red-Tail Day (I will have owl stamps to, but this isn't really about me is it?)

If you can't attend, shame on you, but go and buy KirArt's owl made from a white sweater, or Peach Product's back and white patchwork owl, before they get sold on Sunday!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Wednesday Wellspring: Red Tail Days

Congratulations to Jenny Bolech for winning the very cute owl stuffie from Peaches Products!

If you are local and you're looking for more owl, stamp, and jewelry creativity, check out the Braddock Bay Raptor Research Red Tail Days event this Sunday, August 22nd. It's a great family event with a selection of craft vendors organized by Peaches Products. And you'll find several other lovely RNESTers there: JackBear Stamps, Beadwork by Amanda, and Beauty in the Eye!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Trash & Treasures Tuesday: Getting Ready for a Trunk Show

I've done a few arts and crafts shows in the past. I've hosted a few jewelry parties in my home (showcasing my own work). Next Thursday will be a first for me, though - my first trunk show!

Soulstice Artisan Market (in Rochester, NY) was sweet enough to extend the offer to host a trunk show for myself and my fiance. I'm super excited! I'll admit I've been neglecting my Etsy shop, blogging, creating... but this trunk show has kicked me into high gear! I wanted the pieces I show to represent how and with what materials I've been creating with lately. So most everything I'm bringing will have some element of recycle/repurpose.

These necklaces were both made with vintage beads (the teal flower used to be a clasp - I'm in love with it!) and pieces of broken modern jewelry.

The pin on the left was made with scrap fabric and ribbon, a vintage button and newspaper. The clip on the right was made with scrap fabric and ribbon, a vintage button and clippings from an old calendar.

This next piece is not for sale (it's part of a custom order), but it was also made with vintage/older pieces.

I'm so glad this show came around and helped me get into a creative zone. What helps you create? Anything help get you started? Share 'em in the comments!

Peace & thanks,

(If you'd like to say hello at the trunk show, stop by the shop on August 26 between 6 and 9pm! And thanks for letting me do a little self-promo... I'm just so stoked!)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Wednesday Wellspring: Peaches Products

Bubbling up from the well for this week's giveaway is Peaches Products with an absolutely adorable owl stuffie!

All of Casey's patchwork owls are hand cut without a pattern, so no two are alike. She uses a variety of quilters cottons and cotton solids to mix and match and make these adorable little owls, and now you have the opportunity to win your very own owlie!
And the rules (This giveaway is open to US only):

MANDATORY ENTRY #1: Go to Casey's Etsy store, Peaches Products, 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 the Peaches Products' blog.
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, August 17 and will be announced in the next Wednesday Wellspring.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Make-it Mondays: Makin' it to a Year!

Tonight's meeting marks a year since our street team began meeting face to face. Look back at the second meeting here. A lot of familiar faces are there along with the many fantastic new members who have joined along the way. Let's take a step back to see just how far we've made it.
  1. Membership has doubled, since 2009.
  2. We had our first RNEST Holiday show.
  3. Our blog went from 3 followers to 260 (as of today) and has four weekly writers.
  4. Two of our members created an indie art market and have already scheduled a fall market to augment the first successful one in May.
  5. We've gotten articles in the business section of the Democrat and Chronicle and the Rochester Examiner.
  6. We've become a recognizable force to market organizers who give us early FYI's and discounts to shows.
  7. Tips from meetings and Ning/blog threads have increased individual members sales.
Be proud to be an RNESTer! There will be more good things to come with everyone's input and enthusiasm...

Friday, August 6, 2010

Jack's Pick: Duck Tape Wallet by Fuzzy Bunny

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!

So usually I try to spread around my love, but this week I got to come
back to Fuzzy Bunny again because she is now making kick-ass duct tape wallets.

Duct tape wallets are not a new invention. I have always wanted one, but was too lazy to try making one myself. What I really love about Fuzzy Bunny's duct tape wallets is that she has an incredible collection of colors you can choose from. Custom work rules.

You want to go redneck, she' got camo. You want to go Millennium retro 80's college student, she has neon. Traditionalist? Yes, she has duct tape silver. And all the other colors of the rainbow, and then some that were banished from the rainbow.

I am definitely ordering one of these.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Wednesday Wellspring: MF Crafts

Congratulations to MF Crafts for winning this month's Summertime/Picnic team challenge with her Red and Blue Cotton Napkins! Check out her other lovely creations in her mini parked front and center at the top of the blog!

Come back to the Wellspring next week for an awesome giveaway from Peaches Products!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Make-it Mondays: Take Note of Your Buyers

Yesterday was my third art market of the year. Throughout these three shows I have kept a reciept book, a.) to look legit b.) to keep my accounts in order and c.) to take notes on my buyers.
I urge all sellers to do this. Not only will it inform you about who likes your stuff, but it is really funny to go back and read later. For (totally doctored) example:

Once you know your audience, ask "Is this who I am making things for?" If yes work this knowledge to better your product and reach the people who will love it. If that answer was no, enjoy a nice surprise and consider multiple directions.