Friday, October 29, 2010

Jack's Pick: In My Head Studio's Mummified Domino Pendant

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!

With less than two days from Halloween, I have to get one morespooky item in for October. I like the classic monsters best, I'm not really a fan of the new Freddy Kruger's and Scream spooks. I like Dracula, Frankenstein, the Creature, and the Mummy, etc.

Guess that is why my eye was drawn to this little fellow today. In My Head Studio's transforms the common into the unique. Taking domino and scrabble tiles, and turning them into small works of jewelry and art. This little mummy is a great compliment to the Halloween outfit if you are going to the office, or heading to a friends house. I think this would be great on a teacher during those days leading up to All Hallow's Eve. Not too scary, but a nod to the classic monsters of old.

My thumbs up!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Wednesday Wellspring: Team Challenge: Scaredy Cat

Welcome one and all to this month's team challenge: scaredy cat. We have three scary, Halloween-themed contenders vying for your vote this month!

Cast your vote for your favorite on the poll in the upper, right corner of the blog.

And the first contender, here from the great beyond, or at least from the Black Lagoon:

And next up, an artist renowned for doing fearsome things with needles:

And the final contender, possibly the scariest of all (children hide your eyes!):

Cast your vote if you dare!! Bwuahahahahahahahah!!!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Make-it Mondays: Studio #3 Jackbear Stamps

Here again is another sneak peek into the creative world of street team members. This week's studio visit and interview is with John Ballou, writer of our Friday Jack's Pick blog, stamp maker extraordinaire and the caretaker of our Facebook fan page and Ning site. (If you missed the first 2 studio visits, check them out here and here. Enjoy!

: Where do you work/where is your studio?

: My “craft room” is in the basement of my house. I live in the city limits of Rochester in a home built in the late 1930’s. Luckily half of the basement was finished when we purchased it, and has carpeting, drywall, and drop ceiling. It stays cool in the summer, and there is electric baseboard heat I can control in the basement in the winter. It's mostly furnished from old household cabinets, desks, chairs, and other organizer cast offs from other parts of the home. It’s not fancy, but it serves its purpose.

: What is your medium or product?

J: I hand carve rubber stamps. I carve them from a vinyl type rubber.

B: What is the biggest challenge about your space and how have you worked through it?

J: I think being a little cold until the heat gets up to temperature is challenging in the winter. It’s fairly quiet down there most of the time though, so distractions are minimal. Probably just keeping it tidy is my hardest job. I’m not the best at putting away items right away. I obviously cleaned it before these pictures were taken! The light is dim also, but a desk lamp helps that.

B: Describe a typical day at the studio?

J: Well, no day is really typical since this isn’t my full time profession. Mostly I work evenings and weekends in the “studio.” I usually sit down and transfer work onto the carving medium, and I try to do a lot of that all at once since it is kind of smelly, and applications take a few minutes to dry, so it is easier to do a bunch all at once. Then I let that dry overnight. Then I carve, and again I try to get a few done in one sitting. Then I have to do test prints, then packaging. If I’m making something else, like ATCs/ACEOs, then I try to clear out some room to lay prints out to dry. My cat usually interrupts at various points in the process.

B: What do you love the most about being a crafter/artist/etsy seller?

J:CREATIVITY! I can take nothing, and make it something. Isn’t that what we all love? Then, if you can take that creation, and get someone else to like it enough to buy it off you… well that is icing on the cake! When I carve a stamp, I am looking at it all backwards when I’m carving. When I ink up a stamp, turn it over, and press it on paper, that moment when you reveal this image that you created, it is like magic every time.

Thank you for sharing your space with us John!! Visit his blog and Etsy store below:

Jackbear Stamps -

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Special Edition Wednesday Wellspring: Scavenger Hunt Winners

The entries have been reviewed and the twelve winners of the Trick and Treat Scavenger Hunt are (you'll each be notified via email which prize you've won):

Christina Hoh


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Wednesday Wellspring: Scavenger Hunt

Thank you to everyone who participated in the scavenger hunt! Great job everyone! Due to the wealth of entries, it will take a few days to verify each entry and use the random number generator to pick the winners. Winners will be announced in a special edition of the Wednesday Wellspring later in the week - and will be notified by email. And don't forget to return next week for our team challenge: Scaredy Cat!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Trash & Treasures Tuesday: It's Halloween time!

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. I love it all: dressing up, handing out candy and mostly, decorating! Here are some Etsy finds to help you get in the Halloween spirit...

Photo and item from vintagescrapshop
This upcycled dictionary page would be the perfect understated touch to any home decor. I bet it would look cute framed, too!

Photo and item from loda
Cut from a pop can, this little pumpkin pin is too cute.

Photo and item from petitefabrique
If you give Halloween gifts, these spiderweb tags would be a nice finishing touch!

Photo and item from 42things
I bet you could make a super cute fall banner from these upcycled leaves.

Have any good Halloween decorating tips? Find some good items on Etsy? Share 'em in the comments!

Peace & thanks,

Monday, October 18, 2010

Make-it Mondays: Studio #2 The Quilted House

I am always curious to see where and how our team members are making their lovely creations. So let's find out! This week's studio visit and interview is with the fabulous Michelle Wescott, creator of The Quilted House and the weekly author of RNEST's Wednesday Wellspring blog. If you missed the first studio visit, check it out here.

Buenahelena: Where do you work/where is your studio?

The Quilted House: I work in a wonderful room that I designed and decorated myself. It is the largest room in the house (because I have the most stuff!). The room proper serves as my studio. The smaller closet houses my fabric stash and some other supplies. The second, walk-in closet I've converted into an office. My studio is truly my favorite room in the house!

B:What is your medium or product?

TQH: I quilt.

B: What is the biggest challenge about your space and how have you worked through it?

TQH: I really don't have any challenges in this space. I've had several studios since beginning my life as a crafter and stuggled with basement spaces that had too little light and too much mildew, attic spaces that were too cold, bedroom spaces that shared space with other activities, and living room corners where I couldn't leave my work out. So, when we were house shopping, I looked at every house with an eye for where I could have a really awesome studio. I love the amount of light I get in this room. I painted the walls lemon and lime as a backdrop for the fun art I've hung to inspire me - and I painted my desk (which I've had since I was 10) a beautiful orange - my three favorite colors and the "trademark" colors of The Quilted House: yellow, orange, and green. I guess if I had to pick one challenge it would be that I'm running out of wall space to hang fun things.

B: Describe a typical day at the studio.

TQH: A typical weekday after work or weekend in the studio consists of me working on new designs, creating patterns and instructions for something new, sifting through my fabric stash for just the right combination of fabrics, and sewing, sewing, sewing. I listen to audio books while I work - usually romantic suspense or mysteries - and am occasionally visited by my three cats - one of whom likes to stand on the presser foot of my machine and help me sew (especially when I'm not ready to sew!) Sometimes I just sit in the studio and flip through quilting books and magazines for inspiration. And I spend more time than I'd like on the computer managing The Quilted House. Pretty much every second that I spend in my studio I count my blessings because I am truly living my dream!

B: What do you love the most about being a crafter/artist/etsy seller?

TQH: There's really nothing that I love more than making something amazing that I thought of, designed, picked the fabrics and threads for, and then created with my own two hands and my beloved sewing machine. I also love packaging my treasures up to send them to their new homes. It's so fun to wrap them up in tissue paper and ribbons and write a little note for the buyer. I like to think about the joy the recipient will get when they open their mail that day.

Thank you for sharing your space with us Michelle!! Visit her blog and Etsy store below:

The Quilted House -
While the Cat's Away -

Friday, October 15, 2010

Jack's Pick: KirArts Skeleton Nubbin

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!

I'm going to make this quick and dirty, because you should be looking out our amazing giveaway this week where you can win a ton of stuff.

This week I LOVE Kira from KiraArts special edition skeleton nubbin. Her handcrafted monsters are just so damn awesome, I can't seem to get enough of them, and I'm a huge skull fan. This one is perfect for that skull lover or as a Halloween gift! COOL!

Also I want to say a big big thank you to Kira who has designed some amazing logos and avatars for our RNEST group over the last couple of months. We can finally leave our mark! Thanks for your great talent Kira.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Wednesday Wellspring: Trick or Treat Scavenger Hunt

Welcome to this week's Wednesday Wellspring and our very first team scavenger hunt! Halloween-themed, of course! You'll have fun working your way through several great shops to find the candy-marked listing and enter to win one of twelve - that's right, twelve! - awesome handcrafted items from the best of RNEST!

Here's how to play:

1. Make sure you're a follower of the blog - only followers' entries will count.
2. Look around each of the shops below and look for the listing with a picture of halloween candy as the last picture in the listing - you'll know when you've found it.
3. Come on back to the blog and leave the link to the listing(s) in the comments - so that the next blog visiter doesn't just copy your answers, all entries will be kept secret until the contest ends.

Find three listings, get one entry.
Find six listings, get two entries.
Find nine listing, get three entries.
Find all 12 listings and get a big whopping FIVE entries!

Now, remember, there are TWELVE prizes, so the more entries you get, the more chances you have to win (and the greater the odds that you might win more than one prize!)

And now for the participating shops and the prizes!

Beadwork by Amanda: Rad Rainbow Necklace

Duncan Creative: Crocheted Vampire

The Quilted House: Winner's Choice of One Quilted Jack Halloween Greeting Card

Buenahelena: Set of 10 Matchbook Notepads

MF Crafts: Monster Puppet and Book Set

Jackbear Stamps: Pocket Owl ACEO

Kira Arts: Orange and Black Halloween Nubbin

ChainMaille Maven: Beaded Bracelet Bundle

Beauty in the Eye: Gold and Olive Delica Bead Earrings

Woolhead Works: October Hat

Merv and Delores: One small and one large card of the winner's choice

Aimee's Creations 4 U: Winner's choice of any photo in the shop

So, click around, have some fun, check out the awesome creations in these awesome shops, and enter to win these fabulous prizes! Contest is open to US only and ends Wednesday, October 20th at 6PM (EST).

Monday, October 11, 2010

Make-it Mondays: A Halloween Treat

Here at RNEST we obviously love to make art and craft. We also love Halloween. Just search "rnest halloween" on Etsy and check back for our upcoming Trick or Treat Scavenger Hunt this Wednesday. So in that spirit, here is a list of the Top 10 horror films that somehow (ok very loosely) involve art and craft. Make-it spooky this season:

10. The Wicker Man...A giant sculpture woven from branches and used for sacrifice!
9. Texas Chainsaw Massacre...Fashionable human skin suits tailored by a madman!
8. House of Wax...An artist duo consisting of two brothers with a gift for making VERY realistic figures in wax!
7. Shutter...Spirit photos just in time for Halloween decorating!
6. One Hour Photo...Where those photos can be developed!
5. Dorian Gray... Tale of vain man and his possessed painting!
4. Children of the Corn...Beautiful primitive, religious folk art made from corn. Eco friendly!
3. Blood and Lace...Sounds like a treasury to me!
2. The Shining...savant boy paints conceptual word puzzles on mirrors. REDRUM!
1. and of course...dun, dun,dun...The Craft!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Jack's Pick: Peach Product's Great White Shark

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!

Da dum. Da Dum. Da dum.

It's not safe to go back on Etsy this week with Peach
Product's version of a needle felted great white shark!

What is not to like about this shark? He's handmade. He's wool. He's Big. And these photos are just hilarious!

I would put this next to anything on my desk at work that I didn't want anyone to touch.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Wednesday Wellspring: Woolhead Works

Boy is that a lot of 'w' in that title!

Congratulations to Woolhead Works for winning the reserved parking spot.

And in a feat of perfectly coincidental non-planning, Woolhead Works is our featured seller this week giveaway! Sarah knit this gorgeous hat with "Full o' Sheep" yarn (100% Peruvian wool). This means (1) it will be cozy and warm, and (2) it will felt in the washer/dryer, so this hat is hand wash only (gently in cool water with mild soap; lay flat to dry).

Laid flat, this hat is 8.5" (22 cm) tall and 18" (46 cm) around, though it stretches to fit a 22.5" (57 cm) head snugly.

Sarah has this to say about her design: The stitch pattern I used has a bit of a story, starting with a previous hat I knit. I was frustrated at not finding a sufficiently subtle-yet-distinct pattern in all my stitchionaries, and ended up devising my own gentle zig-zag rivulet pattern using increases and decreases. The second generation rivulet pattern used cabling instead, and the third (current) generation incorporates twisted stitches to make the rivulets "pop" just a little more. I've been using the rivulets stitch pattern a lot since working it out.

And the rules (This giveaway is open to US and Canada):
MANDATORY ENTRY #1: Go to Woolhead Works, 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. Follow Woolhead Works' new blog!
2. Follow Woolhead Works on Twitter!
3. Tweet and blog about this giveaway and leave a comment here with the link.
4. Fan us on Facebook.

The winner will be chosen using the random number generator on Tuesday, October 12 and will be announced in the next Wednesday Wellspring.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Trash & Treasures Tuesday: Hittin' up the antique stores!

Sorry I've been M.I.A.! Work and life got super busy, but not so busy I didn't have time to hit up some antique stores! 'Tis the season! Check out my recent vintage finds...

Okay, I didn't buy this wreath, but I couldn't resist taking a photo!

The hutch was the biggest splurge and the linen was the best deal ($4!), but I love it all! Find any cool vintage items thrifting lately? Leave 'em in the comments!

Peace & thanks,

Monday, October 4, 2010

Make-it Mondays: Go YouTubing with Etsy

Did you know that Etsy has it's own YouTube channel? You did? Well I didn't and for those of you who didn't as well, it is worth a rainy afternoon. When you're in a rut, you can search through topics including Handmade Portraits which highlight profiles of Etsy sellers and Process which follows the step my step production of an Etsy seller's object. Here's one that I especially enjoyed from the makers behind Spruce Home.