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.