Wednesday, December 03, 2008

BUST Magazine's First Ever Los Angeles Holiday Craftacular

You read that right, the infamous BUST Magazine Holiday Craftacular has finally made it to Los Angeles and we're beyond excited to be participating as a vendor! It's only 3 days away.... Saturday, December 6th, at the Echoplex. If you'll be there please look us up in booth number 43.

Here are some other awesome vendors you'll see there:

AC Clothing and Bags

I Heart Guts

Michelle Caplan

Monica Burnett Hats

Mucha Muchacha Jewelry

Sprout Studio

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Felt Club + Swap-O-Rama-Rama = Super Happy Fun Time!

Thanks to everyone who came out to see us at Felt Club on Sunday the 16th! Hopefully you all had as much fun as we did. This event just gets bigger and better every year. Lots of people were much more *ahem* timely with their posts so I'm just going to give you some good links in case you're interested in a post-game wrap-up.

Swap-O-Rama-Rama photos are here in the official Swap LA flickr group. Please add your photos to the group, we'd love to see them!

Here's a wrap-up from Swap organizer Lori at Hip Line Media. She has links to some of the terrific designers who worked at this Swap so be sure to check them out.

Great article about Felt Club & Swap in the LA Times.

Stephanie Girard, of Sweater Surgery fame, has some great Felt Club photos over at Craftside.

Nice Felt Club/Swap slideshow over at Metromix.

Heidi from My Paper Crane has a little wrap-up and some great photos. The one of her with Leslie Hall is so awesome!

And last but not least here's a great post about Felt Club from Sean and Aldo of Social Studies Design. And here's a really cute photo I got of them before the show:

Thursday, October 09, 2008

The First Rule of Felt Club.... talk about Felt Club! Lots of great stuff happening behind the scenes in preparation for this year's Holiday Felt Club. It has doubled in size with approximately 150 vendors and is being held at the Shrine Expo Center. Don't forget, Swap-O-Rama-Rama will be there too and we're still looking for volunteers. Contact Lori if you can help! We've got tons of web banners up so please help us spread the word and put one of these little beauties on your blog or web site. It would be ever-so-nice of you and we'll be your best friend forever!

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

The Coveted Mario Mushroom

Found this adorable little Mario mushroom at Cost Plus the other day and couldn't resist getting it. We're going through a serious Mario Kart (Wii) addiction lately so we seem to be noticing Mario stuff everywhere. And the songs keep getting stuck in my head. Maybe I need to scale it back a bit. Right after I finish up the Mirrored tracks, I swear!

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Them's Fightin' Words

It's that time crafty friends! Time for Felt Club! Hooray! Applications are now being accepted through the web site and you only have until August 22nd to get yours submitted. As always you *can* share a table with a friend but the cost goes up a bit to $100 per person. Felt Club's Holiday 2008 event is being held Sunday, November 16 at the beautiful Shrine Auditorium Expo Center and it's going to be a blast! It will be the usual melange of great music, your favorite vendors, crafty workshops and this year Swap-O-Rama-Rama has been added. Keep checking back for more info as it becomes available but the important thing right now is to apply! Go, do it now, you know you want to.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Swap Success!

Holy Cow did we have fun at Swap-O-Rama-Rama! The above photo of our core group of organizers was taken after a long, hectic but awesome day of sewing, screening, and swapping. Lori Petitti (far right) has organizational skills like you wouldn't believe and produced another awesome show. On top of which she manned a sewing station all day! Everyone really got into the spirit of the event and helped each other work on projects, find clothes and come up with ideas for altering and embellishing their finds. One of the rules for SORR is no mirrors which is to encourage people to interact with one another and ask someone else for their opinion. I have to say it definitely worked! There was a lot of teaching and helping going on among participants at the sewing stations too and that's exactly how it's supposed to happen. We've got another one coming up in November so keep checking back for details and I'll hope to see you there!

Monday, July 07, 2008

The Grass is Literally Greener

I'm a sucker for all types of alternative processes especially when it comes to photography. (You may remember another post on photosynthesis and photography from way-back-when.) So I think these giant images made with grass are just terrific! Artists Heather Ackroyd and Dan Harvey created large panels of grass to act as the photographic paper, and in a darkened room projected a negative image onto the grass while it was growing. Here's an excerpt from the article:

“Ackroyd and Harvey stumbled onto this technique after producing an installation that involved covering an indoor wall with living grass,” he continues. “A ladder was leaning against the wall, and the artists noticed that even after it was removed, a faint outline of the ladder remained on the grass. They set about experimenting with ways of enhancing this effect, and soon they were using a slide projector as an artificial light source for growing their unique photographs. A typical exposure time is just over a week, with the image projected for 12 hours a day.”

Here's a photo from flickr user bowdie of some other grass images they created. Brilliant!

via Creative Review

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Did you know you can now customize your M&M's® with PHOTOS?!! Holy cow this is the greatest thing since sliced bread. Well, close anyway. I thought it was pretty neat when they let you customize with words but adding the photo option is awesome. I see on the home page that they also have team M&Ms® but they're only for baseball. Sadly, hockey gets no love. Oh, you can put logos on too! That might be fun for a craft show giveaway but not as memorable since people would just eat them right away. heh Looks like you can also customize the message inside of Dove® candy wrappers which would be fun. I think the nieces and nephews may have to get some Uncle Dan Rocks M&Ms® this year. muah ha ha

Monday, June 23, 2008

Sneak Peek for Swap-O-Rama-Rama Los Angeles This Saturday

Just a reminder that Swap-O-Rama-Rama is coming up this Saturday (ack! So much to do!) and a little peek at someone's designs for the silkscreening station. I hope you can join us, it's going to be a lot of fun!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Picture Frame Corkboard Idea

I saw a brilliant idea in the summer issue of The Nest magazine. Yes, I know the magazine is aimed at newlyweds but I didn't realize that when I signed up for my free trial subscription. heh It just goes to show you never know where you'll find ideas that will strike a chord with you. And my husband found a recipe or two that he'd like to try, so it's definitely useful. (Am I sounding defensive? ha ha) Anyway they did a feature with the owners of an online store called The Curiosity Shoppe, which carries some really cute things by the way. Come to find out these two are the Derek & Lauren of Design Sponge DIY Wednesdays fame. So The Nest showed many lovely photos of their apartment and mentioned the above pictured wall covered with photo frames which have cork in them. The suggestion in the magazine is to "Buy frames from a thrift store, spray paint them bold colors, pop out the glass and cut the cork to fit the rectangle." Ingenius says I! You could just switch out the artwork or photos whenever you wanted. I especially like this idea for use as an inspiration board in my office. Much better than a traditional rectangular bulletin board.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Vive Le France! and Thailand Too!

We have some new 1" pin-back buttons in the Etsy store. This is the start of a new series showing canceled stamps taken from our childhood collection dating back to the 1970's. Unfortunately the stamp collecting bug didn't stick but we've always loved the look of some of these older stamps that our Maman exceptionnel snagged for us when she worked at the geological society.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Moo moo Moomoo Moo-Moo

I received my Moo Card prize package (which I won through the Illustration Friday blog back in February) a couple weeks ago and finally have photographs to share. I'm extremely impressed with everything! The Moo MiniCards are really adorable, with a beautiful satin finish, and I think they generate extra interest because of the unusual size. The stickers are gorgeous and really, really shiny which I like. The only thing I didn't like, and I'm sure it's my own fault, is that multiples of the same image weren't grouped together on one page when printed. I wanted 6 of the same image on each sticker page so that I could tear out pages and give them to people but they were all interspersed and distributed randomly throughout the 15 pages. I'm sure there's something I should have done when ordering that would have fixed this. The postcards are nicely done and the colors came out just as I had hoped. I have to say the MiniCards printed a tad darker than I would have liked, which I have heard before from others, but now that I've seen it firsthand I'll just adjust for it in the files I submit in the future. I was also going to say that one drawback of getting so many different images is that it was a little time consuming to pick them out and get them uploaded. However, my husband pointed out that I'm a hopeless perfectionist and a normal person wouldn't have had to spend so much time on it. heh.

Final verdict: these Moo products look fabulous and are reasonably priced. I'm going to be ordering more very soon. Not only are they perfect for self-promotion efforts but I'm thinking of all kinds of gift ideas now.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Craft Tutorials Blog Has Moved

You may remember that last year I started writing for the Craft Tutorials blog. It's changed hands a couple of times since then and now has a new home at Vernon is doing a great job of getting things all spruced up and adding new content. Don't forget to change your bookmarks to the new address and also swing by the flickr pool to see what everyone's making.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

LA Craft Mafia is Bustin' Crafty Kneecaps

Last Tuesday Lori and I attended the Los Angeles Craft Mafia's monthly meeting in Venice to see what they were up to and spread the word about Swap-O-Rama-Rama. Founders Nichole and Morgan were super-nice and are doing a great job facilitating some crafty togetherness. They have a blog and an Etsy store and are planning to do some craft shows too. The guest-crafter for this particular meeting was Sonya Nimri who showed everyone how to make cute bracelets and necklaces by hand-twisting beads onto wire. Sonya manned one of the designer sewing stations at the last LA SORR and she'll be helping us out again in June. She also has a book out called Beadalicious and it looks really fun. Nice to see the Craft Mafia finally make it to Los Angeles!

Monday, June 02, 2008

Welcome StartUps Readers!

If you found us through the summer issue of Entrepreneur's StartUps Magazine then let us say welcome to our blog! And thanks for taking the time to visit. If you haven't seen StartUps Magazine before you should check it out. Kim Orr wrote a great article about building a business from your crafty hobby and she was kind enough to mention us. You can read part of it online but it's definitely worth it to get the full issue. Lots of good info for all of us entrepreneur-minded people.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Swap-O-Rama-Rama in Los Angeles!

Mark your calendars for Saturday, June 28th because Swap-O-Rama-Rama is back in LA for the second time! What is SORR you ask? Basically it's a huge clothing swap which encourages creative reuse of recycled clothes. First, clean out your closets and come to SORR with a bag of clothes you don't need anymore. All of the clothing for recycling is sorted into piles by volunteers and then you get to search for new clothes to take home. We'll have DIY stations set up for specific projects as well as sewing stations run by clothing designers who will help you alter and refashion your clothing picks to create something new. It's only $5 if you bring a bag of clothes and $10 if you don't and you get to leave with all the clothes you can carry!

Lori from Hip Line Media is producing the event again this year, this time with the help of AfterCraft, a newly formed group of crafters focusing on recycled and upcycled crafting. (That's where Four Idle Hands comes in!) Swap-O-Rama-Rama is a non-profit organization and all events are run by volunteers. We're still looking for help for the June 28th event so please email Lori if you can help.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Great Minds Think Alike

I recently ran across the web site of illustrator Melissa Kojima and discovered she's a kindred spirit when it comes to a wonderfully offbeat and quirky aesthetic with some dark humor thrown in for good measure. Her illustrations are filled with the most interesting characters and if you look closely you'll find some pretty amazing details. (I'm talking to you, girl with 4 legs in the illustration below!)
She has a terrific web site (check out the illustrated rollovers on the homepage - love those!) and she even shares images from her sketchbook. (Don't you love when artists let you see their sketches?) She also has a great blog where she features artsy finds and local happenings here in SoCal. Go check her out, you'll be glad you did!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Best Cookie Site EVER

Seriously, how can you go wrong with a site named Cookie Madness? I've been craving a certain type of chocolate chip cookie lately. Something thick and chewy with some good heft to it; not a flat crunchy type of cookie. After a few failed attempts at new recipes I finally figured out that maybe I should be looking for bar cookie recipes to get the type of texture I wanted. BINGO! The Cookie Madness site came up in my search results and my wonderful similarly-cookie-addicted husband found this Congo Bars recipe for which we just happened to have all the ingredients on hand. They were absolutely delicious! They're super easy to make, which is part of the appeal of bar cookies of course, and they received rave reviews when I took them to my crafty-superfriends meeting. (I'm sorry to say this isn't a photo of the ones I made. It's from the Cookie Madness site.) For our cookies we omitted the coconut and ended up baking it longer than 25 minutes but we a) have a wonky oven and b) used a glass pan so that probably explains it. Next time I think we'll try milk chocolate chips and macadamia nuts. And really, the basic cookie part of these bars is so good it seems suitable for all kinds of different combinations of chocolate and nuts and who knows what else. This weekend we'll be trying the S'mores Bars and next on my list will have to be Sweet and Salty Double Nut Toffee Brownie Bars. [drool]

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Who Doesn't Have Boogers

LinkI absolutely love these little tissue holders from our insanely creative friends at Social Studies Design. It's the little green beads under the nostril that really *make* this piece as far as I'm concerned. Check out their web site to read a great post-Maker Faire/Bazaaar Bizarre write-up complete with tons of photos!

Monday, May 19, 2008

More Non-Creepy Body Part Art

As long as we're on the subject of body parts, have you seen Margaux Lange's work? She makes beautiful jewelry using everyone's favorite childhood style icon, Barbie. And it looks like Ken is showing up in some pieces as well.
I love how adept she is at creating a well designed piece of art that integrates the doll pieces perfectly. She has an Etsy shop and you should check out her blog too!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Oppose the Orphan Works Bill With One Click

I posted about this earlier, and now the Illustrator's Partnership has set up a site which allows you to easily email your Senators and Representatives letting them know you oppose the Orphan Works bill. Please help spread the word!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Printmakers of Etsy Unite!

I recently joined an online group called Printsy. It is made up of Etsy printmakers who have banded together to talk about, share, and promote printmaking. The nice thing is that they are including only Etsy sellers who create original hand-pulled prints; not digital inkjet prints or other reproductions. Marissa of mLee Fine Art has just posted the first in a series of member-to-member interviews on the blog and she did a great job. The first interviewee is another Marissa, or fustian as she is known online. I always enjoy reading about other artists and how they work. Printsy also has a Flickr group if you'd like to see more!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Another Handy Item

Continuing with our hand theme, I can't believe I haven't yet shown you these little beauties! I absolutely *LOVE* these hand soaps by Foliage on Etsy. They're hand soaps that look like little baby doll hands.
Isn't this the best idea you've ever seen for hand soap? I've heard that some people think they're a little creepy but I don't see how they could be....they're BABY DOLL HANDS! They should flood your mind with happy, nostalgic, childhood memories. Don't you love how fat and chunky they are? I'd also like to see a bunch of these cast in ceramic so that I could display them all over my house. THAT would be even "awesomer."

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Lend a Hand

Found these really great candles while surfing around on Apartment Therapy. As you might imagine we like almost anything and everything having to do with hands around here. They're from a company called Wakey but they only have a placeholder for a web site. Looks like I'll have to plan a trip to France to pick up these lovelies. Twist my arm!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Action Required - Protect Current Copyright Law

Take a look at this post from Illustration Friday and then read the comments for more links that explain the Orphan Works bill and how devastating it will be to everyone, especially those of us who make a living in the visual arts. Here's some good info from the Illustrators' Partnership:

Orphan Works - No Myth
Orphan Works Resource Page for Artists

You can also download copies of the House and Senate versions of the bill right from their homepage.

We need as many people as possible to take action on this. Please email or write to your representatives and senators asap to let them know you're opposed to this bill. You can find contact info for them here.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Old Habits Die Hard

I'm a little late to the party on this one (tons of people blogged about it when it first came out, which is why I've always had it in the back of my mind that I needed to read it when I got a chance) but you never know when a book or an article might hit you just right and give you some inspiration just when you need it. So I'm going to go ahead and tell you about Twyla Tharp's book The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It for Life and hopefully someone else will find it as helpful as I have.

Here's one of my favorite parts of the whole book. She writes this under the heading of How to Be Lucky:

"Be generous. I don't use that word lightly. Generosity is luck going in the opposite direction, away from you. If you're generous to someone, if you do something to help him out, you are in effect making him lucky. This is important. It's like inviting yourself into a community of good fortune."

Now, of course we all try to help people whenever and wherever possible. But to frame it in this way, by pointing out that generosity is really luck going in the opposite direction, somehow puts it in a new light. There's a lot of power in the realization that you can positively affect someone's situation, make them "lucky", just by being generous.

Tharp goes on to say that whenever she's "....working in a groove it's invariably because I feel I am being the benefactor in the situation rather than the beneficiary. I am sharing my art with others, lending my craft to theirs, interest-free with no IOU. I want the dancers to look great, so I try to give them great steps. In return, they live up to the potential I see in them. Then I am the one who feels lucky. In the luck equation, who is the winner here?"

Isn't that a great way to put it? I checked this book from the library but I'm definitely going to get my own copy because a) it's the kind of book that you could pick up at any time just for a mini-dose of inspiration and b) there are a lot of good creative exercises that don't necessarily need to be done all at once. Again, you could pick it up and do one of the exercises when you need to shake things up a bit.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Home is Where You Hang Your Hat

I was very excited to see these Knife Wall Hooks because they go nicely with my Voodoo Knife Block. They're a little pricey (they are a limited edition after all) so I started searching around to see if anyone else was making something similar. This led me to the Stuck On You hook which looks like a saucepan sticking out of the wall:
I also found these arrow hooks and hand hooks :

And then, I found Lightbulb hooks! Made from concrete! I just love these. In fact, I'd like a bunch of them (minus the lag bolt of course) to display in a bowl as a centerpiece. Beautiful!

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Internet Don't Fail Me Now

I've been surfing around looking for inspiration lately so I thought I'd share some fun things I've run across:

Book By Its Cover - amazing peek into the sketchbooks of some artists and illustrators you might recognize including Ashley G, Takashi Iwasaki, and Meg Hunt
via five and a half

TED talk by Paola Antonelli: Treating design as art

You can never go wrong with Dru Struzan's work, check out these drawings

Nice little interview with Lisa of U Handbag. Lisa's blog is chock full of inspiration and will make you stop whatever you're doing and go sew a bag

What's inspiring you lately? I'd love to hear about it!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Misty Watercolored Memories....

My Mom is testing out her new camera and sent this photo of my brother. I can't even tell you how many photos he has "enhanced" over the years by adding a little something special.....a middle finger, a buttcrack, a nosepick. Let's just say a lot. Maybe even enough for a blog dedicated just to him. (hmmmm, that gives me an idea!) This photo makes me homesick....I teared up a bit. I miss the nosepicking. sniff sniff

Tuesday, March 25, 2008


Get it? Instead of Koo-koo-ka-choo? I crack myself up sometimes.

February 4th was my lucky day last month because I won the Moo giveaway from Illustration Friday! I was delighted to learn that I won a free pack of MiniCards, Stickers and Postcards. My dilemma now is to figure out what is Moo-worthy enough to put on them. I'll post photos of the finished products as soon as I make a decision and get them back.

Here's the Moo Flickr group if you'd like to see what others are doing with these adorable little cards and stickers.

Many thanks to Illustration Friday and the Moo team!