Sunday, December 14, 2008

'HandMade Nation' Christmas '08

Average Jane Crafter showed me an invaluable stitch at Maker Faire this year. I call it the invisible stitch but I actually do not know what it's called. Being a 'Jack of all craft but master of none' I find this extremely useful even if I don't know the name or if I am even doing it correctly;) Instead of using a wip sitch to close a seam such as you would have when you sew right sides together and turn inside out, you can use this technique and the stitches are almost invisible.

Almost invisible! I used this technique while making coasters out of scrap material that I have from other projects.

Iused mostly material that I have purchased at The Quilt Store and Austin Craft-O-Rama, smaller scraps that I have saved from other crafts. I embroidered hummingbirds from Jenny Harts book Craft Pad on recylced linen I found at the Blue Hanger, a treasure trove of fabric for any crafter in Austin.

Many birdies and many bright, cheery fabrics, good stuff!

Jenny Hart makes it easy for novices to feel like they are creating something beautiful. She is really talented in her designs and I have been collecting her patterns for a while now.

I made several sets of coasters with a mix of various fabrics in the hope that adding color to the lives of my loved ones will be well received:) I like making coasters as gifts because everyone needs them but we don't neccessarily buy them for ourselves. After you unwrap them, you don't even need to 'put them away', you just toss them on the table!

Ahhhh!! Crafting Sublime*

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Some eye candy for you!

Venus Art is a local artist here in Austin. I either run into her at craft venues or her art at Craft-O-Rama. Her wares are as unique as she is and I love to pet her one-of-a-kind yarns, she even spins sequins into her yarn! Venus Art goodies are created by Amanda Jones in Austin Texas. Focusing on mixed media, her constructions range from unique jewelry to glittered-to- death assemblages. Add in some crazy handspun yarn, crochet, collage, and (lot's)of sparkle and a Constructed Absurditiy is born! Need a baby gift? Check out her fabulous sister's shop at for sweet vintage inspired treasures!*
This little gem is a beautifully crafted clutch for knitting needles. You could use it for anything really. The vibrant colors and patterns are eye-catching.

Amanda is also a graphic illustrator and her art is expressed in cards she makes for her Etsy shop. Thank you Venus Art for such lovely eye candy!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Acknowledge Me!

I Love Mike Litt part 2! We had a great time downtown at Mohawk with live music and getting to know fellow 'Makers' in Austin. We had the pleasure of meeting Jennifer Bryan of Lucy Blue Studio.

The pretty ladies of Studio 3 were silk screening t-shirts or whatever you were wearing. One motivated client took off her skirt so she could get a tri-cycle stamped on her wardrobe, she was wearing tights underneath but it made for a great story.

Danielle was very interested in Dave's kaleidoscope and they bartered for a few minutes, long enough to distract her and film her in her golf-costume. She was a very lively creature and I am a better person for having a chance to get to know her and her fantabulous fanny pack which she 'borrowed' from her mother!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Acknowledge Me!

Craftiness was lucky to be a part of 'Acknowlede Me' last year at Scoot Inn. This year, Acknowlege Me will be at Mohawk this Saturday 8PM til..... This is a very austintatious event by Mike Litt.

For the 2nd year in row, we’re using Acknowledge Me as a platform to raise awareness of local Homeless Issues. This year, we’re supplementing House the Homeless‘ winter drive for Beanies and Gloves as well as the ARCH (Austin Resource Center for the Homeless) need for toiletries.

In addition to this collaboration with homeless groups, Acknowledge Me as an event is an opportunity to bring together a rich and varied slice of Austin’s many talented individuals, whether you devote yourself to D.I.Y. Arts & Crafts, Zines and Indy Media, Social Causes, Music and more.

The event is an opportunity to showcase yourself to a like-minded and enthusiastic audience, one of the reasons Austin continues to flourish as home for all of us. Your purchases, attendance and participation is what makes it possible.

iLoveMikeLitt is a social organization that promotes the arts, culture, progressive ideas, and people doing their own thing. We take these interests and put together events that try to entertain and involve a lot of different people. We also have regular online features and a print zine. We’d love to have you involved!

Team Etsy Austin!!

Craftiness is a very proud member of Team Etsy Austin. This new collaboration amongst Austin crafters on Etsy is inspiring to us. With the internet bringing crafters closer together that would not be possible 10 years ago is very inspiring, anything is possible. Here are a few goodies from this fantabulous group of crafters.

Beautifully detailed bird hangs from a simple chain with deep blue glass beads.This necklace measures 20 inches long. The bird measures 3 inches across. Find more Miss Snappy on Etsy**

A shadow between husband and wife threatens marriage! He married money and settled his debts to Vicky's horror. Could this suave gentleman only care about one thing and it be not her vixen looks? Drama!This journal is made from the original vintage book cover, back and includes 8 pages from the original book, steamy passages and all.This is a one-of-a-kind journal bound in black wire filled with 70 blank sheets as 8 pages from the original book. The wire binding allows the book to lay flat or wrap around for an easier writing experience.This unique journal is a great present for adult or child who loves to write or sketch.The Run-Down:-one of a kind vintage book used-70 blank sheets and 8 original book pages-4.5in x 6.75in or 11.4cm x 17.1cm-sturdy black wiring. Find more Pigsey Art on Etsy!!

Elsa the elephant is very playful. She loves telling goofy jokes, & is always up for any game or sport. She’s kind of clumsy though, so don’t get under her feet! Elsa is very outgoing, but is also happy walking along by herself, picking flowers & enjoying the warm sunshine. You may find Elsa at SnudggleHerd on Etsy**

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

We have a brand spankin new website! It was and is a lot of work but an absolute joy to do. We will continue to have our regular Etsy Store for all of Davids fans, he loves the Etsy community and will still be heavily involved in all of its awesomeness:)

If you are thinking of Christmas shopping and don't know quite what to give your hard-to-shop for loved ones, mosey on by our website at for fine pens & unique gifts. Take an extra 15% off your purchase with coupon BLOGALPHA during checkout, good until December 12th.

Happy Holidays to you and your family**

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Busy, Busy David*

While trying to stock our Etsy store, David has also been making inventory for the Caswell House and our new website. Busy, busy!! First we have the Dymondwood European Style Ball Point Pen with a center twist, perfect for the man in your life that needs more color in their life. Second is the theme-clipped slim pens. This one is a yellow ribbon and there are more themed pens on our Etsy site for the armed forces. Thirdly we have A very unique segmented pen also in the European Style. Euro style pens are hefty, so a great gift for manly hands.

Lastly we have the rose end pen. A delicate symbol of love perched upon the end of an African Blackwood Baron Rollerball. Rollerballs are great to write with, especially with fine stationery. They have a water based ink like a fountain pen but writes like a ball point pen. The character is quite romantic. The pen is easy to use. A great gift for anyone.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Team Etsy Austin, The Mystery Artists Uncovered!

Lori Hooks is a local jeweler who has been making jewelry for friends and family for many years. She has recently completed a metal smithing class and has already created several bridal sets. She is a member of ETSY For Animals street team, and try to sell a few items a month for PAWS of Austin, the all breed rescue specializing in great danes. She also volunteers with her avatar dane, Tica, for Therapy Pet Pals of Texas. She visits the kids at the Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Services at the state hospital twice a month. Tica really enjoys her visits with those kids, since she gets so much love and attention when they are there.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Marketing, Growth and Recession, OH MY!

I recently took a series of business classes from Jennifer Perkins of Naughty Secretary's Club at Craft-O-Rama. The info was great and the marketing class was inspiring. The article at Indie Fixx sums up a creatively alternative approach to business. Since taking the series of classes, I have made changes to our blog, added a signature to our e-mail, tweeted, flikrd and schwagged. I have also downloaded a slew of marketing podcasts, some great, some not but all were entertaining. My favorites are Internet Marketing: Insider Tips and Advice For Online Marketing , Duct Tape Marketing , Start-UP nation and Wall Street Journal Small Business, all from I-Tunes. I have been persuing all these creative outlets not because I am bored and have nothing else to do, but because David and I are working on launching an e-commerce website where David can hawk his finer pieces to patrons on the wide world of web (sounds better if you say it with a twang). The project has been very exciting and learning about marketing, search engine optimization, cultivating loyal client relationships, manufacturing, distribution, bots, social networking all seem like a perfect fit for someone with a science degree, right? I thought so too. It's been a great roller coaster and the site isn't even launched yet. Hopefully in 2 weeks I will be telling you about this brand-spankin-new website of ours, so stay tuned for more updates as we navigate the ups & downs of our latest adventure during a recession. Until then, feel free to browse Etsy for all things wonderful and handmade.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Craftiness will be at West Oak Woods Baptist Church Holiday Bazaar!

Get Started on your Christmas Shopping! Avoid long lines at the mall and grouchy crowds!!

Craftiness will be at West Oak Baptist Church Saturday, November 15th from 9am-5pm. The Holiday Bazaar will be at 2900 Slaughter Lane between Brodie and Manchaca.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Gem Stone, Craft Fairs and Screenprinting

This beautiful fountain pen is made of Jasper gem stone that has been ground to a powder and then set in resin for stability. The gem stone pens are absolutely stunning! David has also made them out of Turquoise gem stone.
David had his usual fun at St. Johns Episcopal Church Harvest Fair this past Saturday. This is a very local event where the community gets a chance for some early Christmas shopping. I painted the banner behind David. I used acrylic paint mixed with textile medium on cotton duck. I then used an eyelet tool and punched about 20 holes.

DD and her friends made a fantabulous mess in my kitchen learning to screenprint. We used a method taught to me by Haylee at Craft-O-Rama and also in the book Printing By Hand by Lena Corwin. I was busy helping the girls so I didn't get a chance to screeprint but that looked like it was so much fun I am going to have to give it a go sometime.

Friday, October 31, 2008

An International Etsy Collaboration!

David initiated an international collaboration between Craftiness and RaisinLike on Etsy. David provided two partially finished pen barrels to RaisinLike in Israel. Sharona from RaisinLike created art on the barrels and sent them back to David to finish making into pens. The result is a beautiful pair of pens, one for David and one for Sharona. Sharona drew a bear on one and signed it in Hebrew. The other pen has a dove with an olive branch in its beak and says "Etsy Peace" in Hebrew.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Craftiness will be at St. Johns Episcopal Church!

Craftiness will be at St. Johns Episcopal Church for their annual craft venue. This was Davids first craft fair so it is quite nostalgic for us. Miss Snappy will also be there again this year. Come see some of her fabulous jewelry designs. Craftiness and Miss Snappy are both proud members of TeamEtsyAustin.

Come and visit the local crafters and kick-start your holiday shopping. The event is located at 11201 Parkfield Drive at Braker Lane.

What has David been up to?

These wine stoppers are perfect for those unfinished bottles of wine. No more trying to shave corks to get those thing back in the bottles, you know what I mean. This beautiful batch is made of Siberian Pea Bush and each one is a one-of-a-kind piece of art.

This is a wine stopper/cork screw combo. The cork screw seats inside the stopper part. Great invention made of ebony wood.

This piece is an acrylic Baron-Style rollerball. The swirls are dreamy! David is busy getting ready for the Christmas at the Caswell House Art Venue.
He just finished putting on all the bar codes and is excited about this new venue. He is working hard producing for all the venues he wants to participate in and maintain his Etsy site. This is the busiest time of year for all crafters and exciting at all of the opportunities afforded.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Maker Faire!

Maker Faire! Day one: "Where do I start?" OK, get your thoughts together, you have only been waiting all year for this (Just missed last year). In case you have been living under a non-crafty rock for two years, perhaps a non-felted one at that, Maker Faire is produced by the creators of two relatively new magazines Make and Craft. These magazines will document the DIY craft and make movement that has been gaining momentum since the internet became widely accessible. Anthropologists 100 years from now will use this magazine as a text book to chronicle this 'curious movement'. Any-hoo, first on the agenda for Saturday is the bubbly and inspiring Crafty Chica, Kathy Cano-Murillo. If you have ever heard an interview with the Crafty Chica, you know how inspiring she can be. If you ever dreamed of making crafty goodness as a living, start with her. She chronicled her start and her path in such a short time. Her crafty wares can be found at Michaels craft stores. You can also listen to an interview of her with Vickie Howell on her podcast CRL, Craft Rock Love. Next up, the lovely Jennifer Perkins of Naughty Secretary Club. Ms. Perkins is a founding member of Austin Craft Mafia, an author and craft show host for Craft Lab and Styleicious. She also gives crafty business classes at Autin Craft-O-Rama.
There was so much to see and experience that I had to come back on Sunday. I still didn't see everything there was. It was a gluttony of creativeness and inspiring ingenuity. The robot wars were incredible! Basically a fight to the death with radio controlled robots. There were spinning blades, fire breathing robots and levers that flipped the other robots over in an attempt to disable them. This was a large contest of which I don't really know the extent of. I believe it's an elimination contest with possible big money prizes, not sure, anyone?
The fire-breathing robot in this pic is called 'Texas Heat'. He received a lot of applause. Mouse Trap was the brain child of Mark Perez. 15 Years worth of hard work and this masterpiece is spectacular! I had to watch two shows, it was that good**

Under The Licorice Tree deserves special attention since it held the attention of my DD and her girl scout mate for several hours. I couldn't believe it, needle felting for 12 year olds. they couldn't stop stab-stab-stabbing.... even while they were playing on the oversized teete-totter:P
Needle felting involves wool, a barbed felting needle and a cusion to protect your lovely furniture from becoming swiss cheese. The possibilities are absolutely limited to your imagination. Here there is a human-like rabbit on a bicycle and a zombie with branches for arms. How creative is that? I have tried to tap into my inner creative self and asked a few artists at the maker faire how they found their inner artistic selves. Apparently it's there in all of us, we just need to look for it. I haven't found it yet, I just craft from patterns but to truly create from your imagination, well, that's what it's all about.

Trina Brielle taught how to turn plastic grocery bags into 'Plarn' for crocheting and knitting. This really enthralled my recycling earth friendly girl scout. She was especially interested since she just learned how to knit at the Faire.

R2D2 made an appearance, he made the crowd part like moses did with water.
Steve Wolf with Science in the movies explained how 5th grade science helps make special effects for movies.

Robo Spin Art include pumps that reminded me of IV pumps I work with in a hospital, ink and centrifugal force. Why can't I come up with this stuff? Hmm..... Need to work on that imagination thing.

David and I had the wonderful opportunity of meeting Millie and her mom, the Etsy Texas Crafters Gurus. These ladies spend their valuable time promoting Texas Etsians. They actually recognized me as Davids wife because of the T-Shirt I was wearning with '' emblazoned with all the color and glitter I could come up with.
DD and I loved the hula hoop demo area.

The Austin Bike Zoo made their appearance with the Rattle Snake bike monster. This is actually the second time we came across the Austin Bike Zoo. In a previous post at the Sunset Valley Austin Farmers Market, DD had the opportunity to ride the butterfly.