Monday, December 14, 2009

it was a ___ weekend in astoria

"have yourself a merry little christmas"

the song runs through my head, played by Chris Botti on the trumpet. very jazzy. i write this as i listen to a Christmas station on Slacker Radio. memories of this past weekend, filled with the holiday spirit and hundreds of people dressed up as Santa Claus, running through the streets of my little neighborhood.

what is this? a parade? an audition? a mind trick? no. it's Santa-con, as we found out later. this image was taken from our kitchen window, looking out on our street! i was working in the studio when Brian called out to me. we sat waving at all the Santas for about 20 minutes, and they kept coming! from the subway station, we think, which you may be able to see in the distance. there are too many websites about this "convention".

this was Saturday, which i spent in my studio, preparing for Winter Blast. the craft fair was on Sunday, and i had been preparing for a number of weeks [[perhaps even months]], and had some last minute preparations to do.


Sunday brought with it hopes of a day full of meeting people, showing off my work, and i was crossing my fingers for some sales. from reading a lot of forum posts about craft fairs, and some blog posts from crafty friends who have sold at fairs, i had little to no expectations about the day, it being my first craft fair and i had no means of comparison.

Brian and i woke up fairly early for a Sunday morning [[7:30am]] and started loading up the car. it was like a very good omen that the car started immediately! we had given ourselves some extra time to heat up the car [[long story short - the ignition for our Saturn Ion needs to be heated up via heating up the key on very cold days]]. we got to the hall to sell in good time and started setting up! i had brought a mish-mosh of table cloths, what i had in the house, but i loved the multi-color feeling of it. [[more on this later]].

my table right after setting up.

the show started with no real organization, people started coming in the doors before a lot of the sellers were done setting up, including myself! but by 10:30am my table was ready and Brian and i were manning the booth! excitement coursed through my veins as i anticipated meeting my customers face to face, different people looking at my work, being surrounded by fellow crafters!




still no sales. i was beginning to be disheartened. Brian and i started coming up with every excuse in the book why we weren't selling.

1. the downpour of rain that day.
2. bad advertising
3. weird location
4. rain


by this time, i started writing down some trends i was seeing, what was selling, what was popular, what other sellers were doing. i walked around a bit and talked to some other sellers, i wasn't the only one there selling for the first time at a fair! i wasn't the only seller disheartened by the poor turnout.
popular vendors:
-beaded jewelry

-solid tablecloths, to make the product POP!
-a lot of the vendors didn't have a sign with their shop name - strange
-donating an ornament for the raffle was a good idea, even though it didn't bring many sales, it did bring people over commenting on how they liked the ornament!


Brian was such a great support. if it weren't for him, i wouldn't have made it to 4pm with no sales.


my first and only sale! a fellow craft vendor bought an ornament, which i unfortunately don't have a photo of. at this point i was offering 10% 0ff everything at my table. "end of day sale"


we started packing up. i left without talking to anyone, or saying thank you, because frankly, i was very disappointed. i really don't know if i will do an event with this company again, and i'm definitely not going to do another craft show until i have a more cohesive look and more stock. [[more on that in a later post]]

if anything at all, Sunday was a great learning experience for me. i feel it was money well spent [[$80 for an 8-foot table]] and despite the extreme exhaustion i felt in preparing for the show, i am happy that i was able to participate in something, spend a lot of time in my studio the past few weeks, showcase the work that i'm proud of and get feedback! there were quite a few people that stopped by my table, and even though they didn't purchase anything, some signed up for my mailing list and most took a business card! so who knows what will happen. i'm staying positive.

the vendors across from my table. the jewelry lady and i liked to make fun of the DJ when there were no customers around.

news for this week and the weeks to follow!

update :: Pink Graffiti will be hosting a giveaway at my blog! keep your eyes on the blog, the giveaway will be starting this weekend! sorry about the mix-up, i am a bit under the weather this week.

Pink Graffiti is also going through some changes, which i will go into greater detail after the holidays. i'm going to be taking some time off from crafting to go back to the "drawing board", so to speak. lots of sketching, new ideas, retiring some current items, etc.

happy holidays and i wish everyone luck with all their preparations! [[this image and the first are of our Christmas tree]].

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


i would like to thank Gordon from Ohio for purchasing a pair of my puzzle piece earrings from my Etsy shoppe.

dear Gordon from Ohio
thank you for visiting my shoppe
thank you for loving something so simple
dear Gordon from Ohio

dear Gordon from Ohio
i think i know how you found me
or at least how you found the item you found
the one you loved enough to buy
dear Gordon from Ohio

dear Gordon from Ohio
maybe you don't know, or maybe you didn't see
the other earrings waiting ..... waiting....
dear Gordon from Ohio

dear Gordon from Ohio
thank you for an email sent
for sharing your plans with me
a small gift for your wife, waiting in her stocking
dear Gordon from Ohio

thank you, thank you, dear Gordon from Ohio.

Monday, November 30, 2009

how i named my blog

so my mom has quite an amazing blog, which she calls "Synch-ro-ni-zing". she writes about many different things, like her poetry, her photography, her politics, her likes and her dislikes. she is the most incredible woman i know.

a few weeks ago, she posted a not-so-contest contest on her blog, asking her followers to write about how they named their blogs! "How I Named My Blog". so here i am, telling my story.

Pink Graffiti.

remembering. flipping through my sketch book. i found something.

about 2 years ago, i was starting up my Etsy shoppe, my business, my craft. i wanted a name, something different, something that had meaning to my life, to my work. but i also wanted something that was significant for me. at the time, this was back in 2007, i was meeting with a small group of women. we all wanted to be business women, entrepreneurs, mogulettes. they helped me to brainstorm ideas and thoughts.

i was really loving a poem that my mom had written about me, called Pink Grapefruit. inspired from a hat i knit from yarn i dyed from Kool-aid (which you can see in this post). the poem is so beautiful, and it inspired me to name my shoppe! PINK is such a rich color. it can be so stereo-typed, but used in the right context, it can lose its meaning completely. Pink Grapefruit, although a lovely name for a color of yarn, or a meaningful poem, was a bit too descriptive to name my craft shoppe.

but the words were so seamless. there was something about that combination. the sounds of the words together, the syllables playing off each other. [grapefruit photo from Google]

when i was living in Detroit while going to school, i was always fascinated by the constant graffiti i saw on every building, some magically artistic, some amateur. i started thinking about my work as graffiti, embellishing something that is already there, already has a life of its own. giving it new life. new meaning. i think graffiti is that for some people. their stamp, their trademark. something to remember them by.

Pink Graffiti.

the pink no longer holds any meaning. i look at the two words as a whole. representing my work. [photo from Google = literal representation]

my graffiti.

[i wonder if i ever told you any of that, mammas.]

i would love to hear how you named yours! leave it as a comment or give me a link to your blog post about it!

Friday, November 20, 2009

birds birds all for the birds

i have birds on the brain. it's intoxicating me! it's all i'm thinking about.

i'm a vendor in my first craft show! Winter Blast in Astoria, on Sunday, December 13th. mainly focused as being a holiday fair, i'm mainly going to be selling my bird ornaments! i have a few at my Etsy shoppe, all one of a kind and in all kinds of different colors.

the most recent bird ornament listing on Etsy. there are a few in this felt, which is not recycled, but recycled felt samples from my Interior Design job.

i mainly like to use Eco Felt, which is made from 100% post consumer recycled plastic bottles. pretty cool material, and so many bright colors!

like this bright green ornament! i have a huge stash of vintage buttons and gorgeous floral fabrics, so each one is a little different. they speak to me, the color and combination of buttons, the fabric backing....

Pink Graffiti was also featured on the Astoria Events blog, as i'm donating one of these ornaments for the raffle/givaway at the fair!

i'm trying to make at least 30 ornaments and possibly even some brooches for the fair, i have about 20 at home ready to start sewing and stuffing! last week i took 10 to Candy Plum to sell there, so i'm crossing my fingers!

i have so many beautiful colors of felt, thanks to Feltorama! i love custom orders, so if there is anything special you'd like to see, let me know! i can also embroider and applique words, so ideas are welcome! just send me an email or conversation at Etsy.

stay tuned for a tutorial!!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Featured Artist - Sweet and Dirty's Emporium

this month's featured artist is Sweet and Dirty's Emporium!

Dave and Logan's shop, i found them through the front page of Etsy, the brooch pictured above was featured, and i immediately fell in love with the colors, fabric and contrast! i interviewed Logan to see what she has to say about her work and the shop itself!


Tell us a bit about yourself, your shop, what you design/create!

Well where to begin… A little about myself.. I am a mom and wife. I’ve got a sweet husband who is my biggest support system in all that I do, and we are brand spanking new parents to a 10month old little ladywho calls all the shots. We also have a house that holds a dog and three cats.. Its crowded for sure…but warm and cozy.

I went to school for art, and after getting a degree in painting I spent a good two years at a job I hated. Finding out I was pregnant was just what I needed to get me on the path towards doing something I enjoyed. After some tweaking, my husband and I decided we could cut some corners and let me be a stay at home mom. My friends and family have always been on the receiving end of all that I make. With lots of encouragement and the desire to work for myself Sweet and Dirty’s was born. The shop is a joint effort, my husband helps me navigate the business end, because he is a more patient person than I am .. And he makes jewelry when he feels like it. He is also the ‘dirty’ to my ‘sweet’.. they are lovely nicknames from amazing friends. I do all the sewing and picture taking, usually around naptimes and bedtimes. I tend to focus my attentions on bags of all sizes, and recently I’ve begun making pins. I’ve found that the pins can be made during the baby’s awake hours…so its nice to be able to play blocks and sew at the same time, besides she loves the button jars!

When did you start creating things?

I’ve always been into making things…. But I haven’t always sewn. Sewing happened all by the encouragement of my husband who always saw my frustration with never being able to find the right sundress. Some questionably constructed outfits later I got the hang of it and became addicted to my machine. Now I am swallowing our house with fabric bins and buttons. It’s nice to know you can make what you need. I’m still working on my knitting….

You sell your creations on Etsy, how did you get started doing that? Do you sell your creations anywhere else?

Etsy had always been suggested by friends… and it honestly took the motivation of having a baby to make it happen. I loved the notion of doing what I enjoy and raising our daughter all from the comforts of home. So I just leapt into it from there. Its been so amazing being on Etsy, an entire community of artists with so much talent is so inspiring. I love it. I don’t have anywhere else that I sell permanently. I have sold locally and within the past year have engulfed myself in indie craft fairs, mostly in Asheville. Also this past summer we did our first music festival, which was amazing.

What kind of materials do you like to use? What are your favorite tools to work with?

Ive never met a material i didn't like... but mostly vintage fabrics, felt, and buttons. I've always got my trusty machine and needles and thread, so i suppose my favorite tool to use is my hands...

Do you enjoy any other crafts or hobbies? What do you do when you're not crafting?

I am a thrift store addict… its where I find almost all my fabric. Its so exciting to find hidden treasures on the cheap. I’m trying to become a better knitter… I have yet to make the perfect ending to a scarf. When I’m not making things I can be found on the floor with building blocks and a spunky little lady trying to walk. I spend the majority of my time with the little one and my husband… seeing what we can get into. My husband and I get one night a month to be grown-ups.. we tend to devote those to good beer.

Where do you look for inspiration?

Everything I make is all inspired by color and textures of fabric. I like bunching and shaping fabric into shapes and seeing what happens. Putting fabric together can take me forever, sewing is the easy part. I get really involved with color selection. I’ve always been a fan of Eva hesse and her use of color in her painting and drawings. I can't plan out what I make.. It all just happens… when I plan it ends up looking too tight and silly.

Any tips for other artists starting a craft business?

Just stick with it. There is always a market for anything and everything that gets made, just do what you enjoy and it will happen. My shop was slow going in the beginning and its just now picking up… you have to put yourself out there.. Its really rewarding in the long run. ☺

Where do you see your business going? Any future plans?

I hope it keeps chugging along… with a bigger inventory and whatnot. I’d love to have my own little physical shop one day too.. But we will see how that goes. The plan is really to just keep making the things I love and adding to our family…. All the while seeing it grow.

Anything else you'd like to share?

Im sure I could go on and on.. But I just want to say thanks so much for letting me be a part of this!


thank you, Logan! we loved hearing about your process and your work! you are truly inspiring to me, i wish you the best!

photo of Logan and her daughter. all photos provided by Sweet and Dirty's Emporium.

you can follow Sweet and Dirty at the following:
Etsy Shoppe
Facebook Fan Page

check back next month for another up and coming artist from my favorites!!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

sneak peek - holiday ornaments

i sit at my PC (which has been much neglected these days, thanks to our brand new Macbook Pro), while slowly tweaking my photos in Photoshop (ugh this is taking forever), but my heart feels happy to be sitting in my studio late on a Thursday night. i definitely don't do this often enough, especially after a long day at the office.

tonight was different. there's nothing quite like laughing for over an hour to get the heart rate up, your mood boosted and those smile muscles working on overtime. two words. Ricky. Gervais. he is utterly hilarious!! we saw him live at Carnegie Hall tonight, part of the New York Comedy Festival, hosted by Comedy Central. he made the audience fall out of our seats by reading us a book from his childhood about "Noah" and his ark. he was his usual self. he ended the night by coming out for an encore with Elmo from Sesame Street! not what i expected. but hilarious nonetheless!

(((i love the piano in this HTC commercial.)))

inspiration in the studio. i'm preparing for the holidays, more ornaments! these are ready to be sewn and stuffed. these were made with the eco-felt that i bought from Felt-o-rama! and the fabulous vintage fabric used for the backing was given to me by my aunt and my cousin. their grandmother had all of this lovely fabric, buttons, ribbon and lace stowed away in an attic, not being used at all, and instead of throwing it away, they gave it to me! i was, of course, happy to take it off their hands.

it is difficult to part with some of these buttons.

the eco felt is actually very easy to work with. i quite like it.

this fabric looks hand-drawn. i wish there was more of it.

check back this weekend! i will be listing these ornaments on Etsy and taking them to local boutiques!!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

so little time

i have so many ideas in my head, but not enough time in the day to accomplish.
my shoppe feeling buried lately, trying to get my head above water.
spending more time online than in my studio! but i have found some useful tools.

Unique Art Pendants, a very cool Etsy seller, posted a thread on the Etsy forums, very helpful! very long, but so inspiring. at the time she had her 2,000 sale, quite amazing really. she has some great advice for Etsy sellers especially, but it could apply for any crafter or business person out there, trying to get recognized in an endless sea of shops.

Etsy has really become quite overwhelmingly huge. with over 200,000 shops, you can read this blog for more statistics. Timothy Adam is an amazing artist, who sells on quite a few online marketplaces, but he also has a huge following on his blog! he has Etsy tips galore, and i have started reading his blog quite regularly for advice.

i wish all Etsy sellers luck, it is a tough world out there right now to be selling handmade, but i know a lot of sellers are still doing very well.


in other news, i am still getting lots of inspiration at work! since college, i have been following a company called Material Connexion, a library of innovative materials for architects, designers, and more. they are based all over the world, but the only physical library in the U.S. is right here in New York! they hosted an event tonight, called Bits and Pieces, which showcased a traveling display that incorporated the digital age with modern design. i invited my co-workers, and my boss even wanted to go! i've been chirping in her ear for over a year about this company, and she finally showed some interest! let's hope we can use this resource more often.


curling up with a blanket on the sofa, watching the Yankees game. tomorrow we see Ricky Gervais at Carnegie Hall.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

autumn sale at my Etsy shoppe!

check out my Etsy shoppe, all summer fabric earrings are 30% off! this is my first official "sale", i am trying to get my shoppe ready for the holidays. have some new ideas brewing, and did some work in my studio this weekend. more on that later...

some of my favorite shoppes of late:

ArtLab - based in New York, way hip clothing with lots of frills and ruffles

White Owl - based in Detroit, lacey necklaces made with vintage lace, so inspirational. my favorite is the peacock sequin necklace.

Adelaide's Homesewn - based in Kansas City, vintage-inspired clothing.

Odds & Ends Couture - based in Raleigh, NC, hand-felted accessories. simply amazing.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

lace and felt

inspiration for the weekend.

vintage lace (image found on Google). i have piles of vintage lace in my collection now, including lace ribbon.

recycled felt (photo by Feltorama). this stack of gorgeous colors is made from post-consumer recycled plastic bottles, with the look and feel of felt. and is currently sitting in my studio, just waiting to be made into ornaments and jewelry. Felt-o-rama is a new find for me, and i am ecstatic to have found a supplier who sells recycled felt! more on that later.

combining the two. the possibilities are endless.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

falling into autumn

autumn brings such warm feelings to my soul.
i feel re-born, the cool air and crispness, the leaves changing into such brilliant colors, everything is an inspiration to me.
the past weekend brought some cool weather, and so i spent a lot of time in my studio, cleaning, organizing, and actually crafting!

i have a lot of old sweaters that i don't wear anymore, so instead of donating them (again...i bought all these old sweaters from thrift stores), i am making them into shiny new things! i am keeping this one going, one of my best-selling items: leg warmers.

these are bright red cabled leg warmers, with a light Graffiti blossom applied to the top for a feminine touch. The blossom is embellished with bright yellow thread, and a vintage button, compliments of my Aunt Sally and cousin Lauren, who graciously sent me boxes and boxes of amazing vintage buttons, ribbon and fabric!!!

i've sold two pairs similar to these, but all have been one of a kind. what makes these interesting is that they are actually made from the sleeve of the sweater! the way the sleeve bells at the shoulder makes for the perfect bell at the top of your favorite pair of maryjanes.

close up of the embellishments. i just love the buttons, i have never seen anything like them.

in other news...

i have started a list of "Things to be Happy". basically made up of random things to start, new projects, or just plain fun things to do. here are a few of them:

-new knitting projects - i've currently started a test of making a cowl
-using our NEW CAR (it's actually my brother's car that he's loaning to us while he's in Hawaii on another cruise) to visit apple orchards and pumpkin patches
-learning new recipes - i'm currently obsessed with Fresh Direct, which has some recipes from different cookbooks and magazines! we order our food from them sometimes, as it's a pain to drag our cart full of groceries 5-6 blocks once or twice a week. can't WAIT to have a car!!
-decorate our apartment for the holidays!

what are your lists of fun things to do?

also in other news, i finally went and stood in line for an hour at the Social Security office to change my name to Robinson! not my first name...although that would be an interesting one!

stay tuned for more updates!!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

new featured artist - fglass knits!

there was a time in my life when i would spend hours upon hours perusing the glorious shops at, i was completely consumed by it. that was before my job started picking up and i started planning my wedding (although when that happened, i was perusing Etsy for all things wedding!). now that things have calmed down a bit, i find myself again drawn to Etsy's main page, which changes featured artists and treasuries fairly often.

the other day while taking a break from space planning at work, i saw an interesting item on the front page of Etsy. it was a very large knit cowl, something i was actually planning on knitting myself! fglass knits, a shop run by a wonderful knitter named Laura, completely blew me away with its creativity and interesting photography. she knits with large gauge wool yarn, all natural, and uses over-sized wooden buttons for closures that she finds at another Etsy shoppe.

this is Laura, modeling one of my favorite pieces. she also takes all of her own photographs.

the Etsy community is really one of a kind. i have found that most Etsy sellers are not only trying to sell their own work, but also very encouraging to others and their work as well. so, for Laura, instead of buying buttons from her local yarn or fabric store, she is supporting another handmade artist, it's just wonderful. All buttons in her shop are made by WoodenTreasures on Etsy.

a very original scarf design in one of my favorite colors, with more wooden buttons.

Laura has taken knitting to another level, it's modern, it's minimal, it's feminine. she likes to use bright colors, which stand out against the gray and white wall which she uses for her backdrop. she uses embroidery to make her knitwear one of a kind and interesting.

a capelet, designed by Laura. what a perfect accessory to wear to brunch on the weekends in autumn!

a simple button cowl with cherry blossom embroidery, another one of my favorites.

like me, Laura has a day job, but i think, like me, that she would love to knit all day long and sell her wares. it's sellers and crafters like Laura that inspire me to keep making, to find new ideas and follow the latest trends.

all of fglass knits can be found at her Etsy shoppe, see the link below. she specializes in custom designs, as well as the items she stocks regularly. good luck to you, Laura! thank you for the inspiration.

Buy Handmade

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


since getting back from the wedding and honeymoon, my main focus has been organizing our home and especially my studio space. i feel that when my space is completely organized, and i have a place for everything, i will really be able to start making again. in the meantime, i am trying to find some unique websites and craft marketplaces! there are so many out there, it's really a matter of which ones are right for ME and my crafts.

my shoppe has been on the back burner for almost a year, since we were engaged last August, and i am ready to start making some new things to sell. i have confidence that once i have some new goodies, things will start to pick back up again!

a few of the marketplaces and social networks i've found are ArtFire, Indiepublic, and of course, Etsy. ArtFire is brand new for me, through which i've found Handmade News, which looks to be a great resource for crafters all over the world! even though i've just started, Twitter seems to be a great place to market.

blogging is also a great way to market, which is definitely high on my list. new ideas, new trends, special artists that i fall in love with, great ways to organize my studio, new knitting projects. there are so many possibilities. i can't wait to start marketing myself more, and meeting new crafters out there!

New York is a great place to be, there are so many resources. in my spare time, i hope to really take advantage of them.

Monday, August 31, 2009


hello out there! we are back from our honeymoon and still loving NYC! the wedding was amazing, out of a dream!

our official wedding photos have been posted at our Bella website, if you'd like to take a look!

i am on a complete organization kick right now, and i feel that after i / we get everything organized, i can get my head into creating new things for Pink Graffiti! i have some new ideas clunking around in my head, getting a lot of new inspiration. i'm so excited to get some new items in my shoppe! i just hope that i can keep up with the new trends.

i have also joined Twitter, at last! trying to find new marketing tools, to get my shoppe going again. it's more interesting that i expected! following some fun people, like Martha Stewart, TheKnot, Etsy, Al Gore, and more. i recommend!

look for new goodies!

all photos by Mihaela Avasiloaie.

Friday, May 15, 2009

random photo of the week

preparing for a big furniture presentation at work, i'm searching for images of furniture pieces for the renderings that we're preparing.

this image came up under a search for a "wing chair". (it was a bit more specific than that, but still)

wing FF skateboarding in a rad pair of Nike's? (photo courtesty of


happy Friday!

Monday, May 11, 2009

finally 2009: the year i'm getting married

welcome to 2009, she said as she updates her blog finally. it's been wedding mayhem and chaos at work and i have no more excuses. the weather is so gorgeous outside, and my excitement is growing as our wedding day is closer and closer.

inspiration for our DIY farm day wedding! my parents are helping so much, with ideas and actually making the farm so beautiful for our special day. i couldn't imagine getting married anywhere else, and thankfully Brian was totally gung-ho about it too.
this is kind of a bad photo, but this is the stem of all my inspiration for the look and feel of the reception! a display at Anthropologie last year, i love the idea of long, rectangular tables, with the mis-matched chairs (although that idea sort of blossomed into something completely different and wonderful!)

lots of glassware, bell jars, old glass bottles and wildflowers! (photo courtesy of

lovely burlap tablecloths (unknown photo source).

i haven't been making a whole lot for my Etsy shoppe, mainly focusing on the wedding - still lots to do. this month, we're finishing up the invitations, escort cards, and purchasing miscellaneous items. it's been quite an adventure planning this entire wedding (which will be at my parents' farm in Michigan) from NYC, but i've loved every minute of it.

this month's distraction: ICFF - International Contemporary Furniture Fair, held at the Javits Center on the west side of midtown Manhattan. it's this week! and there are tons of parties all over the city, for us savvy designers.

to post soon: i'm knitting my mother a shawl for her to wear at our wedding, to go with her oh-so-couture BCBG dress! photos soon.