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 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

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.
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. - Universal wish list I love you.
And, I love the Nike Plus site that syncs to my ipod and keeps track of my 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!
- 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 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! ~~


Sidewalk Chalk said...

Thanks for hosting this giveaway. These are really beautiful journals and sketchbooks. If I won, I would pick the 5x& Red Fern sketchbook.
Since I was really little, I've been writing in journals, and have found that while it's important to have a space for creativity, it's just as important for that space to spark creativity. I like having beautiful journals that inspire other works, whether it be doodling, drawing, writing or collaging.

- JoAnn

Alice (fa11enan9e1) said...

Wow! What a gorgeous shop! I'll definitely be heading back to look at it. Everything in the shop is absolutely gorgeous, and I love that so much love has been put into each of the books. The journals are the perfect mixture between rustic, whimsical and just plain stunning. I adore the sketchbooks with the vintage embroidery on the fronts (I've always loved embroidery ever since I was a girl, cross-stitching was on of my favorite past-times and I always wanted to learn to embroider, but was too scared to) but my absolute favorite is the 8x10 board sketchbook - Bark. I would give it to one of my best friends, who is a biology major, but is also one of the most artistic girls I have ever met. She adores sketching and painting, and I know that she would absolutely love this sketchbook. The mix of nature and art would really fit her to the tee. :)

fa11enan9e1 at yahoo dot com

SNSpencer said...

Ahhh… the journal. A noun defined as a daily record, as of occurrences, experiences or observations. To me it’s a place to record my random thoughts of the day, ideas, reminders and anything else that I deem important enough to capture for future reflection. As a fan of the hand written word, as evidenced by my pen creations, I believe that the jotting down of words embraces a connection with thought by bringing it into the real world. Sure, Facebook, Myspace, email, texts and cell phones contribute to quicker dissemination of thought, ideas and other communication. But lost is the personal touch created by the handwritten note or the capture of one’s thoughts, feelings and ideas on paper. Would the impression left by Abraham Lincoln have the same relevance or “feeling” if it were recorded in a printout of an email? I think not. The idea that bearing witness to the inner thoughts of an individual, captured on paper, by their very hand, gives credibility to that individual’s inner being. I don’t know about you, but reading a hand written account of events, thoughts or ideas gives me more incite and connection to the author. There are more than just words on that page. The physical inflection in the handwriting can reveal the author’s feelings in that extra loop in that “O”. That coffee stain on the page, maybe it was a late night thought? Wow, that was important to be written in a different color ink! Who knows, you may find what’s scribbled in the margins more revealing or important than the body of the work.

But I digress… The journals created by this artist are outstanding. The quality of the binding is something to be desired and I would love to have a personal “how to” lesson on the process. I have made a couple of journals myself, some for personal use and a couple to sell. But they are nowhere near the quality of these. The funny thing is that I have such a strong inclination for the written word… and I have the worst handwriting!!

As a parting note. I would love to see you create “tribute journal” to your worst real job. Just think… a journal made with recycled lunch trays for the cover, and random stained pages for recording your left over thoughts.

Jef Spencer
SNSpencer at Yahoo dot com - Fan Page

Steph said...

I would love to have the binder and apple recipe cards. I have a one year old son and now that he is eating more "table foods" I've made a commitment to cooking and eating healthier for him and us! There are lots of recipes that I'm trying out so that I'm only cooking one meal for all of us. This would be a great way for me to keep track of the new dishes we try -- and have a beautiful display in my kitchen. I absolutely love the apple design on the binder and the recipe cards.

Thanks for the chance to win.

stephcrs339 at gmail dot com

Steph said...

I follow your blog via GFC


stephcrs339 at gmail dot com

Melissa said...

I love the large recycled pages journal - Airmail. It reminds me of my long-lasting journaling past (my first journal started in Kindergarten, I was fond of writing about my baby cousin and about board game nights with my parents) and would be a great inspiration for me to step away from the blog for a bit and get back to journaling


raena said...

I love the 5x7 wc sketchbook - Garland. Thanks for hosting this giveaway!

raena922 at yahoo dot com

Angie said...

I looked thru the entire store cuz I just wanted everything. I am a journaler...sometimes. But 3 weeks ago I was in a serious accident while on vacation. it really madfe me re-evaluate my priorities. One of the things I really like to do is record my experiences in the moment. I have kind of a long recovery road ahead. I would pick your Phoenix Kitchen sink jounal I think. The name should say it all:).

Thanks for the chance!
rennieangie at gmail dot com

TopHat said...

I like the Folktales sketch book because it reminds me of my grandfather for some reason.
hrfarley at gmail dot com

Elaine said...

I like the vintage bingo book.

clothed much, a modest fashion blog

AmbreRose said...

These journals are beautiful, just beautiful. I have been keeping a journal since I was in the 4th grade and write in it about once a week. Well I have filled a few of them and I am coming close to the last pages and need a new one. I think that, well I hope that my children will want to read them one day. I might not have the most exciting life, but there are some great stories in there.

If I won then I would choose between the 5x7 wc England sketchbook - Irish Sea or the Collection. I love to travel so that is why I would choose the map one. But I love the embroidery cause my mother does that and it makes me think of her.


dogwood said...

What beautiful books! Hard to say which is my very favorite... I would love to have a travel journal to stash away until I can travel to the place on the cover... doesn't matter where it is - I wanna travel all over! My daughter would love one your sketchbooks, especially the monkey one, I think. She's a budding little artist and sketches everywhere she goes.
sallybway at suddenlink dot net

Maria D. @ DownrightDomesticity said...

I like the Vintage Inventors Game Board Journal the best. One summer, when I was home from college, my younger sister and I decked out the walls of our shared room with old game boards for art. It looked really great! That game board journal brought back the memories, and I'd totally get that for my sister if I won the giveaway!

maria.the.uncommon at gmail dot com

Twistedhazel said...

Oh My Gosh - I LOVE the Colour your own Tapir one. They are my very favourite animal ever, sort of like a cross between a pig and an elephant (in my head they are anyway...) and plus when they're born they're STRIPEY, honestly it's true - STRIPEY! How much more fun looking can an animal be? I would love to win this so very much, please don't dismiss me as a crazy, rambling, tapir obsessed woman!
bowierat at hotmail dot com

Jasmine1485 said...

My favourite piece is the 'recipe binder - Snappy Apple', I LOVE to cook, and I'm constantly experimenting with recipes. I have a relatively small collection of favourites, or recipes that I made as a child with my family, and this would be a great way to get those together and easy to find. Also, the folder is adorable!

Kate1485 at

lo said...

First off I really love that there is a whole section devoted to books for travelers! My favorite book would have to be the Travel Journal with the map of NYC. I'm living at home for a bit to finish college and save money to go on an around the world trip so this would be perfect to use as my goals journal since I live in NY and will be starting my journey from here!

Thanks for the giveaway :)

@ByHandGiveaways said...

Id pick 4x5 kitchen sink journal - Blueberry

The color is amazing, it makes me want to sit outside and think which is perfect for a journal!

duhnellecarter [at] yahoo . com

Callie Callender said...

Well, first of all, I found this giveaway by checking out space dog studios shop, because I wanted to see the great things in my area! Yay Columbus! I love all of the recycled pages journals, but the BINGO vintage game journal has to be the best! I love games so much I decorated by wedding reception tables with them, so how great would it be to have a book of them! :-)
What a great giveaway, and all I can say is I would be lucky to win! :-)

Katy~The Country Blossom said... much to choose from! I just love handmade things! :) One thing I found and especially loved was the 4x5 kitchen sink journal - Summer. I love to journal, but by jotting things down, drawing pictures etc. This little journal sounds great!

I also loved this line in the description: "Every page of this book has been lovingly cut, folded, trimmed, stabbed, and sewn by hand."
It just makes the journal even *more* wonderful-sounding! :)

Thank you for this chance to win!
I am a blog follower of yours too! :)

thecountryblossom at hotmail dot com

Kari said...

What gorgeous journals! I love the all - but if I had to pick one I would choose the The Zoo 5x7 wc sketchbook. I am a jewelry designer so I love to jot down my ideas in something that sparks my own creativity!

kari dot rowles (at) gmail dot com.

Grace Cooper said...

Out of the many simply gorgeous products on Sarah's page, my all time favorite is the '8x10 wc sketchbook - Medallion'. I first saw this sketchbook at the 2010 Eco-Chic Craftacular at the Whetstone Center. I had the chance to speak with Sarah about how she collected the fabrics for the sketchbooks. I must say, I was instantly inspired! And as a fellow fine arts student, I feel very encouraged to move forward with my artistic plans! Thank you again for your inspiration!



siilenti said...

I am in love with the 4x5 kitchen sink journal - Nymph. I am a writer and I've been desperately craving something hand bound to carry around in my bag to write on. And how perfect is that journal? It's funky and colorful, it demands to be used! I have a pen that would love to have its way with that gorgeous journal. Ill love him and cherish him and fill him full of words and doodles :)