Artists and thinkers coming together to promote fine crafts, innovation, and honest sustainability.

The best and brightest artists and thinkers coming together to promote fine crafts, original thought, and honest sustainability.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Weekly Featured Artist: Golly Bard Studio

I am quite pleased to present a delightful watercolorist this week. Golly Bard just makes me smile. Holly (artist behind Golly Bard) has a knack for capturing the delight of nature is a lovingly clean and simple way. Enjoy!


Name: Holly Ward Bimba
Business Name: Golly Bard


www.gollybard.etsy.com
www.gollybard.blogspot.com


The Basics: I have been making art my whole life. I studied the fine art of printmaking, papermaking, and book arts. Watercolor painting is my favorite medium, my first love. I work from my home studio in Virginia. I live a pretty simple life with my dear husband. I read voraciously, listen to music, watch lots of movies, take long walks, and watch birds. I love nothing more than spending time with family and friends. In case you are wondering, Golly Bard is a nonsense nickname given to me by my family.



1. What five words best describe you?
inquisitive, quiet, silly, bookish, nerdy

2. What five words best describe your work?
curious, quirky, whimsical, stylized, patterned

3. What was the very first art form you fell in love with, and, do you still do it?
Watercolor. I still paint with watercolor.

4. What was your very worst ‘real’ job?
Working as an administrative assistant was not very interesting work at all. It was quite dull, actually.

5. Is artwork your full-time life? Or, if not, are you planning to make it that way? If so, what’s your favorite part about being a full-time creative?
I am a full time artist. I enjoy working on my own and charting my own course.

6. What do you think is the single most important thing you could tell an artist just starting out?
Work, work, work and make more work!

7.What is your favorite way to distribute our work (craft shows, online, galleries, etc…), and why?
I have done a bit of everything and I would have to say I love selling my work online. It enables me to reach people all over the world, which is amazing.

8. What are your five favorite blogs and/or websites?
the selby, book by its cover, all about birds, morbid anatomy, the jealous curator

9. Favorite artist?
Who can name just one? Francesco Clemente, Louise Bourgeois, David Hockney, Annette Messager, Leonard Baskin

10. Guilty pleasure?
Buying books and music, though I really don’t feel all that guilty!







Last Week's Giveaway Winner: Angie - We hope you get better quickly!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Tutorial: Make your own sandals!

Ok, I'm sure everyone and their sister saw this tutorial already, since it is direct from the mother ship (Etsy), but I thought it was so freakin' awesome that I wanted to re-share. The full tamale can be found here.... but here are the highlights:

What you need:
- Flip flops (remember, used flip flops work great, and are more eco-friendly)
- Scissors
- Piece of chalk or marker 
- Craft knife
- Heavy duty waterproof glue
- Recycled T-shirts
- Screw driver
- Flat butter knife or thin plastic ruler to stuff fabric into the soles
- Clamps (or heavy books)











Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Weekly Featured Artist & GIVEAWAY: SpaceDog Studios

As if the name isn't cool enough, Sarah from SpaceDog makes some of the coolest journals EVER! Personally, I am a bit of a nut for all things paper, especially if they are make by the hands of real people. No yucky glues, no mystery virgin forest paper, just hand-bound, beautiful books with the perfect amount of playful whimsy. Enjoy!


Your Name: Sarah Hansen
Your business name: SpaceDog Studios


www.spacedogstudios.etsy.com
www.spacedog.us
http://www.facebook.com/spacedogstudiosfan


The Basics:
I graduated from Kent State with a degree in Fine Art, got some jobs, did some work, agonized over not being "creative" and then took a Book Binding class through the adult education program at the Columbus College of Art and Design here in town.

And I've been binding books ever since. I've always loved books, whether it was a book to read, a journal to fill up, or some old beat up dictionary from the '30s that was completely falling apart but was still wonderful. So making books was really a logical step for me. Creativity+books=creating books. Clever, yeah? I really don't know why I didn't think of it sooner.

Otherwise, my life is pretty normal. I have an awesome husband, a studio with nice sunny windows, a dog that runs agility courses (I make it sound easy but this was a really hard thing to do), and a nice cup of coffee every morning.


1. What five words best describe you?
I'm sensible and creative... I love being outdoors. I'm a really good listener and a scathing movie critic. (You never want to watch a movie with me, I will ruin it for you!)

2. What five words best describe your work?
Found objects, nostalgic, personal, one of a kind, vintage inspired

3. What was the very first art form you fell in love with, and, do you still do it?
Doodling, I think. I drew little pictures of talking mice saying funny things to give to my grandma. Of course I still doodle and draw goofy talking animals -- I always have some emergency pens and paper on hand in just in case.

4. What was your very worst ‘real’ job?
The worst was pretty bad. In college I worked in the cafeteria as a "scrapper." Basically, after eating, everyone would put their dishes and trays on a conveyor belt, which went behind this wall, and behind the wall was me and my (now) husband. We had to take all the trays and knock the food off of the dishes into this trough of running water. . . . basically it was two hours of half eaten food and foamy water full of lettuce pieces and soggy bread turned pink from ketchup. It was really, really gross.
After work I'd go right back to my dorm and boil myself in the shower.

5. Is artwork your full-time life? Or, if not, are you planning to make it that way? If so, what’s your favorite part about being a full-time creative?
It is my full time life. What I love about it is having some freedom in my schedule, I'm home to walk the dog throughout the day, take care of errands, and I can choose to take a morning off to see a friend and then just work later into the evening.

6. What do you think is the single most important thing you could tell an artist just starting out?
First off not to get discouraged by a lack of sales or initial interest, sometimes it just takes a while to get started. But also, to be objective you should be able to step back and think about why something isn't working. Is it too expensive? Too small? Too big? Is it even a good idea? You shouldn't avoid taking time to really think about what you're making, the design of it, the look and feel of it, and then make adjustments. Just because you made it, doesn't mean it can't be improved.

7. What is your favorite way to distribute our work (craft shows, online, galleries, etc…), and why?
I'm really torn on that. I love Etsy because it's simple and direct, and I can reach people from all over the world. But I hate the time I have to spend listing things item by item.
On the other hand, I love craft shows because you actually have a chance to meet your customers, show them your work in person, and tell them about your materials. However I hate that you have to pay shows fees, can never plan on making either 500 or 5 dollars, and suffer the wear and tear of moving your products and having them handled by so many people.

8. What are your five favorite blogs and/or websites?
Ok, I love Etsy. www.etsy.com
Wikipedia - I name all my journals because I'm crazy, I'm always on Wikipedia looking up the names of all the shades of blue. Plus it just makes me feel so darn smart, I can know anything at any time.
Facebook which I never wanted to join because I knew I'd spend too much on there, and then I did join, but now I spend too much time on there.
Amazon.com - Universal wish list I love you.
And, I love the Nike Plus site that syncs to my ipod and keeps track of my runs - http://nikerunning.nike.com/nikeos/p/nikeplus/en_US/plus/#//runs/ I've been following the training schedule and so far, it's motivated me through 170 miles of running this summer. It's an amazing site.

9. Favorite artist?
Andy Warhol
Henry Darger
Walton Ford

10. Guilty pleasure?
Jeni's ice cream, it's way too expensive, but way too good and totally worth it . . . Cucumber Sake Sorbet, mmmmm.




~~~ GIVEAWAY ~~~

Sarah has generously offered one winner: 
A special gift certificate to her shop, good on any item or items worth $30.00!
TO ENTER:
- Go to Sarah's Etsy page. Find your very favorite item.
- After that, come on back and leave a comment below telling us what your favorite item was and why (the 'why' is the part we really look for when deciding on a winner... so be creative! Tell us how you would use it, why it appeals to you, what you find unique about it....that sort of thing).

You may enter only once (but keep reading for the loophole on that). The contest is open until 4pm Pacific time on the Monday following the original feature (so it's open for about six days). Winners will be posted on Tuesday morning, along with the new featured artist's piece. If you have any questions, please contact me, not the artist.

IMPORTANT: If you want to be contacted (if you are the winner), you need to leave your email address in your comment (I suggest spelling out the @(at) and the .(dot) to avoid spam from internet crawlers, or you may also leave your Etsy screen name, if applicable. If you don't leave either, you need to check back and contact me by the Friday following the contest ending to see of you won, and will need to email me (see Winner's Box in the upper right sidebar).

Bonus Entries- **You can earn an extra entry for each of the following: Follow my blog and/or follow me on Facebook. Both links are on the right-hand sidebar. Just make sure you note that you did these in your comment below (no need to leave multiple comments, you'll get an entry for each thing you do, just put it all into one comment)!**

Please note: The winner is chosen by me and the featured artist based on your responses...so make 'em good! We make no claims that the selection is random:) It is between you and the featured artist to coordinate the getting of your loot. I make no personal guarantees about time-frame for delivery, value, or condition of the winning item.

~~ Last Week's Winner: Amoeba! Rock on with your bad self! ~~

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Announcing Makeness!

As some of you may have noticed, I have not posted a new biz tip in a few weeks. The reason is, I have been working super hard at a brand new business concept that is ALL about business for artists, crafters, and designers. As my lovely ZIP & RUTH blog has grown, it has come to my attention that many of you lovely people are not 'makers' (which is awesome, by the way). Once I realized this, I also saw that it made my regular Thursday business tip series seem irrelevant to many of you, and we just can't have that! So, for all you makers out there.... please check out and follow my new entity, Makeness!

In th coming weeks and months, Makeness will be growing into a hub of ebooks, marketing info, blogging tips, branding help, and much more. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Weekly Featured Artist & GIVEAWAY: Metalogical

Anyone who knows me know that I have a ridiculous obsession with kick-ass belt buckles. So, naturally, when I found Metalogical, I fell madly in love. Chris' work is incredibly unique and classic at the same time. I mean, how often do you come across a belt buckle that looks like modern art AND opens your beer for you?!?


If you have ever wondered about how metal artist do their thing, take a sec and watch Chris's video, it's really cool!




Name: Chris Alexander
Business: Metalogical


Where to find Metalogical: 
www.metalogical.etsy.com
http://meta-logical.blogspot.com/
http://twitter.com/metalogical
Facebook

The Basics:
Hi, my name is Chris. I make metal products by hand. My wife helps out with the business side of things, design, and occasionally some metalwork. We have a two year-old daughter who does her best to make sure we don’t work too much! I have always had in interest in metalwork, but I didn’t get totally hooked until I discovered blacksmithing and the heat of the forge. I put a great deal of care into each piece I create to ensure only the highest quality work is sent out to my customers. 
I started selling online working from a small home workshop in the suburbs of Denver. Our last home was in an old 1930s neighborhood and all the houses were close together. My work is really loud and involves a lot of fire, so it wasn't the greatest location and I'm sure the neighbors don't miss me too much. Our new location is out in the country and there is nobody around to be bothered by my noise. It's so exciting to be able to work any time I want!



1. What five words best describe you?
easygoing, honest, introvert, quirky, idealistic

2. What five words best describe your work?
useful, simple, fun, durable, affordable

3. What was the very first art form you fell in love with, and, do you still do it?
It may not meet a strict definition of art form, but building custom motorcycles is what originally got me into metalwork. I used to work on my first motorcycle a little. Then when I bought another bike, a vintage motorcycle, it had some problems, so I thought I might as well tear it down and build something unique. I have one right now that I am finishing up. The cool thing about trying to build motorcyles is that you can potentially get into all areas of metalwork.

4. What was your very worst ‘real’ job?
I've had a lot of bad jobs, but the hardest job I ever had was working for my father-in-law's lawn service business. I ended up working for him off and on while I was getting started in metalwork. I ran the mowers, which were the walk behind commercial type. Sometimes, we'd put in over 12 hours in a day with just a few short breaks. That's a lot of walking. There were times, especially during heat waves, where I thought I might just lie down and die. I don't think I'll ever have a harder job than that, so no matter how hot it gets forging in the shop, I can think about that job and it puts things in perspective. I also learned a lot about running a small business from my father-in-law.

5. Is artwork your full-time life? Or, if not, are you planning to make it that way? If so, what’s your favorite part about being a full-time creative?
It's my full-time career. I'm still working on making a full-time living at it, but I pursue it full-time. I'd have to say my favorite part is the freedom that comes with working for yourself.

6. What do you think is the single most important thing you could tell an artist just starting out?
Make sure you keep creating. Sometimes I get stuck in a rut and feel like things aren't going exactly how I planned. I'll stop working on whatever I'm doing right then, and do something totally unrelated, that still requires some creativity. I'll work on a motorcycle project, for example, or fix some tool that I've been meaning to get to for a long time. It kind of presses the reset button for me and often leads to other ideas. Oh yeah, and if you are going to be working from home and selling on the internet, don't forget to brush your teeth!

7. What is your favorite way to distribute our work (craft shows, online, galleries, etc…), and why?
I like selling online because I barely even have to leave the house . Well, except to go to the mailbox and run errands. I'm going to try to get more involved locally, though. The only trouble with running an internet craft business from home is that when you get busy, you really never leave the house. I'm trying to incorporate some things that will get me out there in the world a bit more.

8. What are your five favorite blogs and/or websites?
www.sparetime.jp
http://www.gravel-crew.com/custom/
http://www.heiwa-mc.jp/
http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/?utm_source=nl_2009-09-28&utm_medium=email
www.floridata.com

9. Favorite artist?
There are so many genres and mediums that could be called art that I would have a tough time choosing just one.

10. Guilty pleasure?
Hmm … I think I need the top five format for this question. Just kidding – I'll go with staying up too late and watching streaming movies on Netlfix in bed.





~~~ GIVEAWAY ~~~


Chris has generously offered one winner their choice of ANYTHING (pick one item) from his Etsy Shop!


TO ENTER:
- Go to Chris's Etsy page. Find your very favorite item.
- After that, come on back and leave a comment below telling us what your favorite item was and why (the 'why' is the part we really look for when deciding on a winner... so be creative! Tell us how you would use it, why it appeals to you, what you find unique about it....that sort of thing).

You may enter only once (but keep reading for the loophole on that). The contest is open until 4pm Pacific time on the Monday following the original feature (so it's open for about six days). Winners will be posted on Tuesday morning, along with the new featured artist's piece. If you have any questions, please contact me, not the artist.

IMPORTANT: If you want to be contacted (if you are the winner), you need to leave your email address in your comment (I suggest spelling out the @(at) and the .(dot) to avoid spam from internet crawlers, or you may also leave your Etsy screen name, if applicable. If you don't leave either, you need to check back and contact me by the Friday following the contest ending to see of you won, and will need to email me (see Winner's Box in the upper right sidebar).

Bonus Entries- **You can earn an extra entry for each of the following: Follow my blog and/or follow me on Facebook. Both links are on the right-hand sidebar. Just make sure you note that you did these in your comment below (no need to leave multiple comments, you'll get an entry for each thing you do, just put it all into one comment)!**

Please note: The winner is chosen by me and the featured artist based on your responses...so make 'em good! We make no claims that the selection is random:) It is between you and the featured artist to coordinate the getting of your loot. I make no personal guarantees about time-frame for delivery, value, or condition of the winning item.

~~ Last Week's Winner: Melissa (the one who's email begins with 'wolverina'  ~~

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Tutorial: Lavender and Shea butter cold pressed soap

I have been hunting for a good soap recipe for a while, and this one looked pretty sweet! I am making an attempt to branch out from craft and art and into a little more bath and body. So, what do you think?


For the full (and really detailed/ easy to follow) tutorial, head here.




Recipe:
Equipment:· 2 mixing bowls, preferably stainless steel or tempered glass
· A cake mixer or a blender.
· A thermometer, scale and a rubber spatula
· Several measuring cups and spoons
· A microwave or a stove top (clean is good, sterile not necessary)
· Container/mold with cover
· Lots of paper towels
· Rubber gloves and safety glasses

Ingridients:
Olive Oil ~ 7.9 oz (225 g)
Coconut Oil ~ 4.4 oz (125 g)
Rice Bran Oil ~ 1.8 oz (50 g)
Cocoa Butter ~ 1.8 oz (50 g)
Shea Butter ~ 1.8 oz (50 g)
Alkanet root powder 1 ¼ tbs

Lye (3% superfatted) ~ 2.51 oz (71.2 g)
Water ~ 5.3 oz (150 g)

Additives:
Jojoba Oil ~ 0.53 oz (15 g)
Lavender and Patchouli essential oils ~ 0.4 oz (12 g)

Directions:
1. Suit up in safety goggles, gloves and long sleeves.

2. Add the lye to the water. Stir well taking precautions to not breathe in the fumes. Set the mixture to the side and allow it to cool to approximately 110F (~45°C ). You can put the lye water mixture outside if you are not in a well ventilated area.

3. Add all your fats and oils together and melt. Allow them to cool to approximately 110F, or within 5 degrees of the lye water.







For the whole tamale of the tutorial, follow this link: http://arctida.blogspot.com/2008/08/homemade-soap.html, and show them some love!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Weekly Featured Artist & GIVEAWAY: Iacua Jewelry

I love featuring other jewelry artists.... especially the ones that do amazing things that I have no idea how to do! So, this week, I am quite happy to present the lovely work of Ruby Iacuaniello. Her work is lovely, all handmade and totally unique. My personal favorites are her rings. Ruby has this lovely way of positioning stones in delightfully different ways and the bezels look like snazzy little crowns!

Name:  Kairi (Ruby) Iacuaniello
Business: iacua



Iacua can be found online at: 
The Basics:
I have been creating, painting and drawing my entire life. After five years in the fashion jewelry industry I decided to return to school. I studied metalworking at the Revere Academy in San Francisco and completed the graduate program. My sister is my business partner, she has an extensive background in marketing and journalism. She also brings many ideas to the design table. I have an adorable 10 month son, Aodhan Kai. It is just amazing to watch him grow and respond to the world... so exciting!


1. What five words best describe you? 
Happy, motivated, hopeful, dreamer, optimist.

2. What five words best describe your work? 
Organic, natural, botanical, elegant, modern.

3. What was the very first art form you fell in love with, and, do you still do it? 
I first wanted to be a painter, specifically an oil painter. I planned to live in Venice and sell my paintings to tourists. That has not happened yet….. I don’t paint at this point but I do want to get back into it soon.


4. What was your very worst ‘real’ job? 
I very briefly worked as a hotel maid. It was hard, unrewarding work. That was a job I never regretted leaving.

5. Is artwork your full-time life? Or, if not, are you planning to make it that way? If so, what’s your favorite part about being a full-time creative? 
I am doing my jewelry full time right now. I am a new mother so that is my other full time job…. I guess at this point I spend more time being a mom, however I spend most of my waking hours dreaming up new and interesting projects.


6. What do you think is the single most important thing you could tell an artist just starting out? 
I would say the most important thing is to just keep at it. There will be lots of rejections, just keep pushing. You can’t fail if you don’t quit trying.

7. What is your favorite way to distribute our work (craft shows, online, galleries, etc…), and why?
I prefer online sales because I have so little free time. That said it is always so rewarding to meet customers and hear how much they love a piece.


8. What are your five favorite blogs and/or websites?
http://etsy.com
http://www.ganoksin.com/ (the best metalsmithing resource)
http://etsymetal.blogspot.com/ (a wonderful group of metal artists)
http://dragonfireoceanmist.wordpress.com/ (a wonderful blog by a wonderful author)
http://bluechairfruit.com/ (I just got hooked on their jams….. so good)


9. Favorite artist?
I don’t know if I can pick a favorite…. Whatever I am looking at at the time! I really like Frida Kahlo for color, Arthur Rackham for detail, Bob Dylan for words… Right now I am really loving Mary Tivador’s work. http://shop.artist-xchange.com/title.php?ititlenum=18102

10. Guilty pleasure? 
Bath + wine + book.


~~~ GIVEAWAY ~~~

Ruby has generously offered one winner their choice of either of the following lovely little poppy necklaces:


TO ENTER:
- Go to Ruby's Etsy page. Find your very favorite item.
- After that, come on back and leave a comment below telling us what your favorite item was and why (the 'why' is the part we really look for when deciding on a winner... so be creative! Tell us how you would use it, why it appeals to you, what you find unique about it....that sort of thing).

You may enter only once (but keep reading for the loophole on that). The contest is open until 4pm Pacific time on the Monday following the original feature (so it's open for about six days). Winners will be posted on Tuesday morning, along with the new featured artist's piece. If you have any questions, please contact me, not the artist.

IMPORTANT: If you want to be contacted (if you are the winner), you need to leave your email address in your comment (I suggest spelling out the @(at) and the .(dot) to avoid spam from internet crawlers, or you may also leave your Etsy screen name, if applicable. If you don't leave either, you need to check back and contact me by the Friday following the contest ending to see of you won, and will need to email me (see Winner's Box in the upper right sidebar).

Bonus Entries- **You can earn an extra entry for each of the following: Follow my blog and/or follow me on Facebook. Both links are on the right-hand sidebar. Just make sure you note that you did these in your comment below (no need to leave multiple comments, you'll get an entry for each thing you do, just put it all into one comment)!**

Please note: The winner is chosen by me and the featured artist based on your responses...so make 'em good! We make no claims that the selection is random:) It is between you and the featured artist to coordinate the getting of your loot. I make no personal guarantees about time-frame for delivery, value, or condition of the winning item.

~~ Last Week's Winner: Alice! Hope you enjoy the Wanderlust!  ~~