Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Win a set of Cards

I'm very excited to announce a give-away of a beautiful set of 3 warpeDesign Snail cards on Nerdlike.    Here's a picture of those three beauties.  Closeup and more info on how to win is available on Nerdlike.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Teasers for this weekend's show

One of my favorite things about getting involved in the handmade and craft world is the wonderful, creative people I meet.   I'm constantly inspired by their determination as much as by their talent.   How can you resist this stuff?

May Luk Ceramics:

This is just a small taste...  Join us for the full meal and see what I mean about inspiration.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

This weekend at the Market

I'll be at the Can Factory Market in Brooklyn this Sunday.   Going to try to bring the Melting Teardrop Lamp so if you want a peek at it in real, now is the time.   I'll also have several other lamps, including Overlap and String Theory.   And, of course, there will be lots and lots of cards to chose from!

Hope I see you there!

Monday, September 21, 2009


Ever been overwhelmed by your font choices? Serif or sans sarif? Modern or caligraphy? Italics or not? Outline or Underline? Oh man... the options... the designs... I do love them. And while I wish that they all translated well to my punctured paper technique, I've had a few fumbles... and several hurrahs. I hope over time to post most of the alphabet here. While not everything is currently available on my etsy shop, I can remake almost everything I post here. Just ask me! Starting with "A is for..."

And then, of course, there's "B is Beautiful"

and "C is for Cookie"!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

The New Amsterdam Market

I'm really, really hoping that the boom in independent markets is not a fad. I love them for so many reasons. I love talking to the sellers (often the makers) about what foods would go well with the cheese I just tasted or different ways to prepare the 2lb sweet onion I just bought. I love running into my next door neighbor while checking out the apples and then going to have a cup of hot cider with them. And I truly believe that everything tastes better when it's freshly picked or prepared!

As a wonderful celebration of New York's local food suppliers, the New Amsterdam Market couldn't be a better example of what I'm talking about. Set under the highway just one block north of the South Street Seaport and right in front of the former Fulton Fish Market, it was a glorious conglomeration of fresh and prepared foods, none of which had travelled more than 2-3 hours to get there. Their list of vendors is very impressive. I wish I could convey taste over the internet (don't try licking your computer screens!), but almost everyone had samples out and, if it was in arm's reach, I tried it!

The Orignal Cider from Bellwether Hard Cider was one of the best, light ciders I've ever had. While they aren't in NYC yet, I don't think it'll be long before they are!

The ladies at Liddabit were offering very tasty candies made all the way in... yes... Williamsburg! They had some of the best jellies (think Gummy Bears made with real fruit) I've ever had.

The boys from Stella were busy shucking oysters. They'd lost track of how many they'd done.

The flowers from Native Farm Flowers were absolutely stunning. I think their chaotic bounty of colors felt so anti-Martha, that I wanted to cheer.

One of my favorite displays had to be this colorful string of pasta from The Ravioli Store. Gourmet pasta made in Long Island City!

And not to be missed - The People's Popsicles! The colors of their ice cream are as glorious as their flavor combinations. There's nothing tentative about Cantaloupe & Tarragon!

There were so many other things I tried: cheeses and breads, wines and yogurts, pickles and Maple Bacon Brittle... It was a smorgesboard. If you go, don't think this will fill you up (it is all small bites), but do go with some cash in your wallet because you will find something you want to take home.

While, sadly, the New Amsterdam Market isn't open every weekend, it is now a monthly event. Which is a huge improvement from only once a year. They will be setting up again on October 25th, November 22nd, and December 20th. As it is all outdoors, they will be shutting down over the winter months, but based on the huge turnout I saw last weekend, they will definitely be back in the spring!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Shopping the artist spirt in everything

I love shopping. It doesn't matter if it's at Macy's, Payless, The Container Store, Brooklyn's Artists & Fleas, or other any other venue. It's not just the joy of buying something new. It's the joy of seeing someone's creativity and passion on display. I know that somewhere, be it just behind the table or lost in the mists of a design & manufacturing process, that somewhere there was a creative person who put a little bit of their soul into the product I'm examining.

It's easy to forget that when you're at a big department or box store. They spend so much time and money on advertising and display. So much that it obscures the sweat and tears that go into bringing a product to the masses. Having worked on the manufacturing side, I know all about those tears and sweat. I know how many revisions go into a design. I know how often suppliers can't meet the demands. I know how often machines break down causing delays (and grey hairs). I know how difficult it all is.

Those same challenges exist for small businesses. Which is why I'm in awe of anyone who is willing to dive into it. (and yes, I think I'm nuts sometimes too!) When it's just you (or a few people), there's no one else to solve problems (or blame for them). You do EVERYTHING! You may get into it because you love baking/sewing/carving/building/etc... but then you have to reproduce your work repeatedly. You need to market it. You need to network. You need to track sales. You need to file invoices. You need to do your taxes...

It's certainly not the side of business that I enjoy. At times I seriously consider looking for security under the umbrella of a larger company. I'm sure I'm not alone. But what's amazing, and I don't know if it's the American thing to do, but when the going gets tough, many people seem to look towards themselves, look inward, look at their own resources. And, when they lose their jobs, they sometimes think of it as an opportunity, that kick in the pants, to finally do "what they've always wanted". It certainly might explain the blossoming of independent markets that I see around me. The markets that are all about the small business. The individual risk taker.

And the markets are some of the most fun places to shop ever. Because at the market, I can look into the eyes of the person who grew the tomatoes, or sewed the shirt, or threw the pottery, cooked the jam... I can talk to them. Ask them questions. And almost touch their passion and excitement. Which for me, makes the tomatoes taste better, the pottery more beautiful, the shirt more special.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

On Friday, September 18th from 5-9pm, the very cool people at Craftland at 235 Westminster Street, Providence, RI are hosting a shindigity-party to celebrate the opening of their store. They've got amazing handmade arts and crafts for sale (including my cards and lamps!)

So go check them out, enjoy the food and booze, say "hi", and shop!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Beginning the season

The Fall Handmade Cavalcade was a great way to get back into the swing of things. As much as we all love time off (which August was for me), it's never easy to start working again. But when you have to do it, it doesn't get any better than Beacon this weekend.

The friendships I've made and continue to build in the {NewNew} are a fantastic support group to lean back on. They are wonderful people who I can bounce ideas off of, who's creative spirits keep inspiring me, and who continually challenge me to keep looking towards the horizon instead of just at my feet.

This weekend was the most difficult show I've ever done. Never before have I been so deeply involved in the pre-show development. It was a big learning experience on what goes into the networking, advertising, socializing, pamphleteering, posting, chatting, emailing, etc, etc, etc! Add into that it was my first show out of town... in fact, my first one off the Long Island (and, yes, for those of us who forget, Brooklyn & Queens are on the tip of LI!)

All I can really say is: Thanks, guys, for inviting me into the fold!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

How can you get to the Fall Handmade Cavalcade? Well... you could drive or take the train. If you're driving, here's a map for you:

If you take the train, use Metro North out of the city and head to Beacon. You can walk from the train station (see the map above). Or take a cab from it. Walking is about 10-15 minutes. Cab is 5.






Friday, September 4, 2009

The Market at the Old American Can Factory

One of the best things about New York is how much old architecure exists... and how often people rejuvenate it with new purposes. The Old American Can Factory in Gowanus, Brooklyn is a great example. As part of XO Projects Inc, it's being recycled into a creative center with studios, offices, and now a market for all types of creative people. The building houses ceramicists, chefs, sculptors, film makers, painters, writers, and so much more.

On alternating Sundays in September, and then every Sunday in October through December, they will host The Market, a "curated Makers Market of Art + Design Products + Services", of which I'm flattered to have been invited to partake. There are many other amazing artists showing, so it's a wonderful place to spend a Sunday afternoon. Hours are 11-6 pm. And both dates this September - the 13th and the 27th - will have live music in the Courtyard from 4-7 pm. On the 13th it'll be curated by the Issue Project Room.

I'll be at the Market on the following dates:
September 27th

October 25th

November 8th

November 22nd

December 13th

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Mother of Invention is in the Gut

I started making lampshades a few months ago using basic circle wire frames. At it's simplest, it consists of two rings set a certain distance apart with paper wrapped around them to form either a column or a cone. The wire circles dictate the shape as well as supplying the support and method of attachment. Add base and bulb and - TA-DA -You have a lamp!

A few weeks ago I was working with a piece of paper I'd punctured (say that 3x's fast!) with the pattern I call "Melting". It was supposed to fit around a 10" diameter wire frame but somewhere I'd measured something wrong and it was too short! There was no way I could hide a 1" gap. But there was also no way I was going to junk this beautiful paper I'd spent hours creating!

I happened to have a 6" diameter frame sitting out for another piece. I had laid down the "Melting" paper beside it. Without thinking too much, my hands reached for both and began assembling... (The mother of invention must be in the gut, not the brain!) There was a good chunk of painstakingly punched paper I was going to have to cut off for this smaller frame, IF I made it into the standard column. If. If. If...

And that's how I created the Melting Teardrop Lampshade!