Holy Macrame, has it really been almost 3 months since I had a baby? According to this birth announcement I whipped up it has. Thought I would share a few of my latest Digital Scrapbooking adventures. I made the commitment and purchased Photoshop Elements, downloaded the Pioneer Woman Photoshop Actions Set and have purchased a few more kits. Now if only I had the time to make more layouts. I also need to figure out the best way to print these suckers out. (elements by Pugly Pixel, Cosmo Cricket and Maybemej.)
Finding just the right photograph to adorn is the trickiest part of this process for me. I loved this picture of Tallulah sniffing a flower at the Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center. It was right before we encountered a rattlesnake while walking the trails, but that is a different story. (elements from Maybemej, Minitoko and Todd Designs.)
Here is our first family portrait. The fact that it includes a giant T-Rex seems so fitting for us. I highly recommend the Dinosaur Park in Bastrop by the way. I love fun vintage elements like this doily by Minitoko and picture frame by Kitschy Digitals (background by Cosmo Cricket). I wish I was better at Photoshop I have so many trinkets and toys that I could easily photograph and turn into elements for my digi scrap adventures. Anyone tried their hand at this? I'm curious on the tips and tricks.
I think this is my favorite picture of Baxter thus far. It would be awesome, though unlikely, if his eyes stayed that blue. This is also one of my favorite digital scrap book layouts I have done. (elements by Maybemej, Minitoko and Cosmo Cricket.) To further my obsession I also scored a new digital camera. I upgraded to a Nikon DSLR. Now I just need to figure out how to use it. Things like aperture are blowing my mind at the moment.
One of the things I am loving about Digital Scrapbooking is all the free goodies. Sure there are plenty of kits that you can pay for, but there are several cute free ones too. The feathers and flowers in this picture are free from Kitschy Digitals and the bird overlay is free from Maybemej.
Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Monday, May 30, 2011
Susan Beal brought us into the month of May with her book Modern Log Cabin Quilting it seemed only appropriate she bring us out with her book World of Geekcraft: Step-by-Step Instructions for 25 Super-Cool Craft Projects. If your feeling kinda geeky or kinda crafty your in luck because I am giving away a copy of the book.
I gotta say as someone who has never played a round of Dungeons and Dragons or seen an episode of Star Trek some of these projects were a little lost on me. I have however gone on a Lost bender so I found the Lost Tin-Can Telephones & Swan Station Logbook amusing. I love any plant under glass so the Star Wars Terrariums are a fave. The Planet Commerative Plates and Needle-Felted Solar System Mobile are going to strike a cord with most any crafter. All that being said even if you don't think "geek crafts" apply to you, they do in one way or another.
Susan did not make all these fun projects herself, she has a slew of crafty supa stars helping her out. Look for names like Garth Johnson of Extreme Craft, Heather Mann of Dollar Store Crafts, A Trio of Tribbles by Linda Permann, Marvelous Machine Steam Punk Pendant by Diane Gilleland of Crafty Pod, Rachel Hobson of Craft Zine and many others.
With all these different crafters that means there are all kinds of different projects to make. Cross Stitch, mosaics, jewelry, quilting, cake baking, embroidery and wood working just to name a few are included in World of Geek Craft. As someone with crafty ADD I love craft books with a myriad of projects. There is something for everyone and even if you don't like Buffy the Vampire Slayer you might enjoy learning how to make a portrait using Perler beads.
So this concludes our month of May give aways. Stop by next Monday, I still have a stack of books around here maybe I'll keep things up Monday's in June. Who wouldn't want World of Geekcraft sitting on their bookshelf? Leave me a comment about geeks, crafts, you name it and you could win a copy.
Friday, May 27, 2011
Ask and you shall receive. Last week I blogged, tweeted and Facebooked asking people what they would like to see more of in my Etsy store and everyone replied jewelry. Well it just so happens I have oodles of jewelry that never made it to my website before it broke or that I have made since then. Slowly, but surely I am getting it all listed on Etsy. This week I added 10 new necklaces.
Check me out I even have a fancy model wearing some of my baubles thanks to my friends Foxes on Fire. Oh and no, your eyes do not deceive you those are thimbles on that necklace. This little cutie was once featured in Altered Couture Magazine.
Your so Tweet is a cute little necklace with a feathered friend. Wanna make your own? Read this article I wrote for Crafts n' Things Magazine.
Back by popular demand is the Honest Abe Necklace. Hopefully the matching Abe is a Babe Bracelet will also be making a triumphant return to the accessories world.
These are just a few check out Etsy to see the full 10 I added. Hoping to get some new earrings listed this week. As always there are oodles of craft supplies for you to make your own jewelry in the store.
Thursday, May 26, 2011
Nothing makes your kitchen look bright and perky like a bowl of fresh fruit. Once you eat the fruit, or your bananas start to turn brown and barfy the fruit looses it's charm quickly. What if your fruit was bright, chipper & shimmery 365 days a year? Sound too good to be true? Grab your glitter for today's edition of I Love to Create and I'll show you how it's done.
One of my 700 million collections is vintage beaded fruit. Apparently back in the day you could roll up to your local craft store and score some styrofoam shaped like fruit. From there you added sequins and beads using tiny little pins. I can feel the pain in my fingers just thinking about it, so I needed a much quicker and less painful option. Then I had a glitter epiphany.
Tulip Fashion Glitter
Aleene's Fast Grab Tacky Glue
After prepping my work station a bit I was ready. This project is pretty dang easy: paint, shake & wait. First, I painted the glue on each piece of fruit.
While the glue was still wet I sprinkled a thick coating of glitter on the fruit. Shake off the excess glitter and set aside to dry.
Sure glitter comes in orange and lime green, I just didn't happen to have any on hand and was too lazy to drive to the craft store to buy any. Just like you can mix paint to get any color you want, you can do the same with glitter. I glittered the red apple and shook off the excess glitter into a bowl. I then glittered the banana and the lemon and shook of the excess gold glitter into the same bowl. With a few tosses I had orange-ish glitter. I mixed gold and green to get the Granny Smith apple green.
I j'dore the way the glittered fruit came out. Same kitsch and perk as the beaded fruit, but with a lot less work.
I might even let my new glitter fruit co-mingle in the bowl with my beaded fruit.
***This is a sponsored post by I Love to Create - I was compensated & given free supplies. Mama has gotta pay the bills somehow and really who in their right mind would say no to free craft supplies***
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
This past weekend Austin hosted the 2md annual Renegade Craft Fair. You better bet I was there with bells on doing a little shopping. Baxter woke up half way through hungry so I felt a little rushed. However, I was able to snap a few fun pictures to share. Check out all the people crafting at the Wonder Craft station!
Sunshine and Carousels gets my vote most clever display. I wish I had thought to use giant embroidery hoops and fun fabric.
I keep lamenting not picking up one of these headbands by Pretty Good Things. She had one with a little fawn in a sailor hat that keeps calling my name.
My buddies Anne Marie and Amy Barber were set up selling the cutest purses and hair clips you have ever laid eyes on.
Mosey Hand Made had a colorful and cute booth that caught my eye.
Last year everyone complained that there were too many print makers, but this year I felt like their were too few. There were a couple of vendors from last year that I was hoping would return, but alas. I liked the "I Love Nice People Who Make Cool Stuff" sign.
All the colorful chunky felt work in the Oceguera booth made it look like a candy shop. My sister Hope came super duper close to walking away with one of these headbands.
I wish I would have taken more pictures, but between a hungry baby and the fact that I was having camera difficulties (I need to break down and read my manuel) I only snapped a few. I didn't even get to take a picture of my favorite item there. I saw a child's hoodie lined with fun fur and monster horns on top. Super cute!
Monday, May 23, 2011
That Lotta Jansdotter is a prolific lady. I have not one, but two of her books to give away today. You might recall I have chatted about her before here on the blog. There was her kids book Simple Sewing for Baby chocked full of cuteness. I also did glass etching with the stencils from her Printing Studio. So Mrs. Jansdotter is no stranger around these parts.
I was excited to flip through both of her books. Open Studios with Lotta Jansdotter: Twenty-Four Artists' Spacesis her most recent book. The book gives a sneak peak into the studios and often times homes of several artists/crafters studios in Brooklyn, Stockholm and Tokyo. Think if a crafter hijacked The Selby and you get the drift. I loved the sneak peaks at the artists supplies, inspiration boards and works in progress. Facing a bit of crafters block? You won't after flipping through this book.
The second book is Lotta Jansdotter's Handmade Living: A Fresh Take on Scandinavian Style. I love the look of things from Ikea, I just wish everyone and their dog didn't already have it at their house. Make the Scandinavian look yourself with someone who knows it because they lived it, Lotta Jansdotter. The book is broken into 3 sections At Home, Entertaining and At Work. There are crafts to make, recipes to cook and fabulous organizational tools to create. Something for everyone.
Leave me a comment and you could win one of the two books. Feel free to say which book you prefer. I'd love to hear about what you love about Scandinavian style, why you like to snoop around artists studios or about how Nordic Black Death Metal is your jam. Check back next Monday for another contest, remember we are giving away a book every Monday in May.
Thursday, May 19, 2011
The Renegade Craft Fair is coming to Austin this weekend and I can hardly wait! Last year was the show's first visit to Austin and it was such a hit they are coming back for round two (and a Christmas show this fall). I don't have a booth this year since I am doing the baby thing, but that does not mean I won't be there getting my shop on!
The Renegade Craft Fair is one of the most well known and well respected craft shows in the country (heck they have a UK show now too). I was super excited to get a chance to chat with Sue Daly one of the shows founding producers about the ins and outs. Ever wonder about the intricacies of running a craft show? How do they choose the vendors? How did Austin get chosen as a location over Dallas or Houston? What is the best way for a craft show vendor to help promote themselves and the event? All these answers and more!
Why did you start the Renegade Craft Fair? I know from running Stitch that it couldn’t have been for the fame and fortune :)
I first started the Renegade Craft Fair in 2003 as a one time event I wanted to do just for the heck of it, just for fun. I was making jewelry at the time, and started selling some things online at cutxpaste.com
The Renegade Craft Fair started in Chicago, now you are in several cities across the US. When and how did you decide to expand? What was your second city and how tricky was it to coordinate an event the size of The Renegade Craft Fair on new turf?
I decided to expand to Brooklyn in 2004, when I was visiting there on vacation with a friend of mine. We were walking past McCarren Park just by chance, and it reminded me of Wicker Park in Chicago where Renegade got its start. That's what gave me the initial spark to expand the fair, and so I just started working on figuring out what it would take to organize an event in another city from Chicago. It all seemed pretty feasible, and I was able to do most of the coordinating online through the website and email. And so we got to work, and in 2005 we held our first successful event there in the park!
From there I got the itch to expand to other cities I loved to travel to and visit. San Francisco was next on my list, and so I made a couple of trips to scope out venues, and found a former naval pier on the bay in a beautiful setting with views of Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz. I was really inspired to hold the fair there - So, I got to planning, and in 2008 we had our first west coast fair. Los Angeles seemed like the next logical step, since it's such a huge city with a lot of DIY enthusiasts and makers looking to sell their wares. So, the following year in 2009 we expanded to LA.
The idea to expand to Austin came by suggestion from several crafters living there, who were really enthusiastic about it being a great city to hold Renegade. It's well known that many Austinites pioneered the way for the craft movement to be where it is today, and it's such a DIY hub within the scene. So, it made perfect sense to make it a stop on our "tour" - and boy are we glad we did!
The largest leap I've taken in expanding Renegade will happen this October, when we take Renegade to London, UK. I always dreamed of having a fair there, even from the very early stages of doing RCF. It's such a great city, there is a whole slew of crafters there, and markets are already so engrained into their culture. I was just there figuring out the last bit of logistical planning, and I'm excited to see how it will go!
There are several people on the “about” page for Renegade. Is running the Renegade Craft Fair all of your full time jobs? Who does what?
Renegade has become its own little cottage industry, where we organize the craft fairs (10 this year) and some of us also work managing Renegade Handmade. There are six of us who work on the craft fairs - myself and two other people work full-time just on the fairs, and one part-timer. Then, two other gals who work double time on the fairs and the store. We all jury and curate each fair, and travel to the events to run the show.
I am the Co-Founder & Director of both companies, overseeing the big picture and implementing new ideas to make Renegade as awesome as it can be. I work closely with "the gang" to produce all of the fairs, as well as research new cities/venues to expand to.
Mat Daly works with me on Sponsorship Coordination. He also makes all of our beautiful handmade silkscreened posters for each event, all featuring a unique owl (Renegade's Mascot).
Sara Wright is the Director of Vendor Relations, and corresponds with everyone and their mother about their event participation. She's the go to person for all of our artists and workshop participants - over 2,500 people per year!
Justin Rathell is our Production Coordinator and handles the behind-the-scenes logistics, including everything from wrangling event supplies, to wresting generators, to coordinating food and DJs, trouble-shooting at the events and more.
Madelon Juliano is our Curatorial Associate for the fair, and the Store Manager of Renegade Handmade. For the fair side of things, she executes plans for our Info Booth, RCF Workshop, Raffles - in addition to finding new artists to carry in our store.
Sarah Spies Manages our Online Store - and is our Media & Marketing Liason, working to get the word out about our upcoming events in each city. She is also currently in training to become my right-hand lady in the coming year.
Tell me a wee little bit about Renegade Handmade.
Renegade Handmade is our brick + mortar boutique based in Chicago, which was created as an extension of the fair back in 2007. We carry a curated selection of handmade goodness from over 300 artists from across the country and beyond. We also have an online shop - RenegadeHandmade.com
Since I am an Austinite I have to ask how your experience in Texas has been? We are super excited to have you here!
We are super excited to be there! Austin is great because it has a small town feel, with all the cultural bustle of a large city. There's so much going on there in the way of music, food, art, craft - and it's so laid back and friendly. It's a very pretty city too - we love to go swimming at Barton Springs while we're there. Oh, and you have the best BBQ - yum!!
Any cities that Renegade is looking to expand to? How do you choose a new city and decide it is in dire need of the Renegade Craft Fair?
I get inspired by a city either because I've been there before or have the desire to travel there. So, I will research it some and if I feel like it is a promising place for a fair, I will go and visit to check it all out with the fair in mind. I like urban settings, and I think holding the fairs in big cities offer people a more comprehensive snapshot of what our movement looks like in a marketplace setting. Cities are easier for more artists and attendees to go to, and they obviously have more people who will come to the event to shop and make it a success for the artists.
As far as expanding to new cities, right now we are just soaking it all in having added two new events this year (London and Austin Holiday!). I have some cities in mind, maybe another city abroad. But right now we're just focused on this year, and I want to be sure we can handle more fairs before diving in.
I have an article on my blog about promoting yourself at a craft bazaar. What are some suggestions you have that vendors can do to help not only promote the event but also themselves?
I think if artists approach the packaging, branding and marketing of their crafty business as creatively and thoughtfully as they approach their craft, it will make all the difference in how successful their venture will be. Designing a logo, business card, website and branding aesthetic in general that is appealing and compliments your work is key.
Same goes for setting-up a booth display at a craft fair. You want the whole package to look cohesive and striking to people as they're browsing. That's what will draw in their attention, and make people remember you after the fact. Think of your booth as your own little storefront, and make it stand out.
Get the word out about your social network outlets and your online presence so shoppers can come back to your work long after the event is over. If you have a little card or sticker or something they can take home with them to refer to later, you may just make a customer for life!
How do you guys choose who will be vending at each Renegade Craft Fair? I know it can be so difficult to choose between all the amazing designers.
We typically receive twice as many artist applications than we can accept for each fair, so it can be a daunting task to wade through all of the applications and make our decisions. We have a process that seems to work really well for us. We each grade each application individually, and accept the artists who have the majority votes. Then, we usually have a selection of artists who were on the cusp and had split grades across the board. So for those applicants, we will go through them all as a group one by one and hash it out to make the final cut.
Do you have certain cities that you tend to select certain types of crafts for? More jewelry for Chicago, printers for Brooklyn or soap makers in San Francisco?
Our focus is to just have the best of the best at our fairs, so we rarely pinpoint things in that way. We do that in certain instances though - like when it comes down to two borderline applicants and we have to chose one over the other, we will choose the artist who has something more distinct than what we've already juried into that specific fair.
Which fair had the biggest turn out ever? Was there some piece of press or just awesome luck that lead to the massive turn out?
Our Chicago events have the biggest turnout, probably for a couple of different reasons. One, is that it's our hometown city and the fair has been happening there the longest (since 2003). It seems like year after year the fairs seem to get busier and busier. That fair also is held in the heart of Wicker Park - which is one of the busiest shopping/eating/drinking neighborhoods in the city. It would be like shutting down South Congress for the weekend in Austin, and setting-up shop! Because of that, it's so visible that it doesn't become just a destination event at that point. We get all sorts of passer-bys and looky-loos strolling through the fair and hanging out. We probably get at least 75,000 people to that event throughout the weekend!
How do you choose the “special features” portion of each Renegade Craft Fair?
We are always on the lookout for cool features to add to the fairs. We receive a lot of emails from interested groups, non-profits, sponsors, museums, arts organizations and the like who want to do interactive workshops at the fairs - and we highly encourage that kind of thing. We also research things ourselves, and sit down and brainstorm people who we could get involved to add something special to the fair and engage people. It works the same for food + drink vendors, dj's, roving performers, and other entertainment features. We like to have fun with it!
Wowsers Sue thanks for such a fun and informative interview! If you could ask one of the producers of your fave craft show a question, what would it be? I'm writing an article about craft shows and am curious.
Also check out the Renegade Handmade blog for lot's of features on some of the vendors you will find at this weekend's Austin show. Plus some tips for what to do and where to eat in Austin. You can always check out our articles on Austin as well. Plus wanna see my round-up about the Austin Renegade Craft Show from last year? What about all the loot I scored!
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
I love images from vintage books, cards and magazines. So much so that I thought I would share a few of my favorite Collage Curio Kits with you. Wondering what to do with all these random pieces of paper? Bust out the decoupage and skies the limit. I'm of course a fan of jewelry.
Ship Shape Collage Curios should be right up your alley so you can make your own.
I'm curious what kinds of Collage Curio theme packs would you like to see? Right now I have bunnies, Southwest, red heads, ships, bugs and more. On the flip would you rather have a random assortment?