Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Holiday Gift and Handcraft Faire

This Saturday November 27th you can catch some Etsy Austin team members in San Antonio. This show looks like a lot of fun there will be actual reindeer and penguins on site, as well as a tree lighting and a chance to make any last minute updates to your list with Santa. With so much to see and do it will be a great place to spend the day with your family. The Holiday Gift and Handcraft Faire will be held at the Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort and Spa 9800 Hyatt Resort Drive San Antonio, Texas 78251. The show will run from 12:00 pm - 8:00 pm, and is free to the public. It is indoors, and will be a great place to pick up some gifts for the holidays in a beautiful setting.

I am sure you will find something for everyone you know from LipGlosserie who makes lip balms in flavors from refreshing mint to sweet butter pecan.

AJ The Purple both knits and creates prints that are sure to warm both your heart and your neck.

Crab Apple Designs will have you covered with stationary, journals, and pins. Wonder Woman pins folks.

Linden Leaf Studio will be displaying her modern hand hammered silver, copper and brass jewelry that would be a great gift for anyone.

Robo Roku will be out with magnets date books, and you can even order shoes with the original characters they create.

You will also see Hammer It Out with hand hammered stainless steel home goods.

We hope you come to this fun family event and check out the wonderful gifts you can give this holiday season.

Monday, November 22, 2010

This Program was Brought to You By

The 3rd Annual EtsyAustin Craft Riot is a wrap and was a huge success! Thanks to everyone who came out and made it so, and the extremely talented vendors who created such an awesome mecca for handmade shopping! People were lined up over an hour before the doors opened each day.
Kudos to our lead coordinators, Beth Albrecht of Paired Hearts and Debbie Carroll of Debbie Carroll Designs, for many months spent plotting, planning and organizing, plus the numerous other EtsyAustin members, friends and family who volunteered their time to help pull it all together.
And of course where would we be without the support of other local businesses? An enormous thank you to all of our fabulous sponsors who made Craft Riot bigger and better than ever! A full list of our sponsors can be found here and this year's shining Platinum Sponsors were:

On behalf of the EtsyAustin team, thanks again to everyone for their support! Oh and mark your calendars... only 363 days until Craft Riot 2011!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Meet Craft Riot Vendor: Tina Lewis

Tina Lewis
Facebook Pottery page: http://artist.to/tinalewispotteryceramicart/
Blog: http://tlceramics.blogspot.com/ 
Website: tinalewis.etsy.com

Give a brief product description.
Wheel-thrown or handbuilt pottery and ceramic art.  I use porcelain and stoneware to create useful pottery, beads and ceramic art.  Most of my work is glazed with my studio mixed glazes. 

How did you get started? 

 I started making with clay in high school and took enough art in college to get into ceramics class.  After a 25 year break I startee making in clay again in 2007.   

Where do you get your inspiration? 

Everywhere, history, art, other craftspeople and artists. 

Describe your workspace/workroom. 

I am lucky to have a home studio in a converted 2-car garage.  
It has glass sliding doors onto a patio and lots of room for my kiln, wheel and supplies. 

What has been your favorite winter holiday gift to make or receive? 
I like to give bowls, berry bowls.  I like to receive anything hand made, useful and/or art. 

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Meet Craft Riot Vendor: Pixie Worx

Julia Chambers
My own website with galleries: http://PixieWorx.net

  • Give a brief product description.
I'm a juried and published crochet designer who occasionally has a few digital projects on the side.  Sometimes my 13 year old daughter and I collaborate on projects.  She draws and works with polymer clay.  My handmade products, patterns and supplies are largely related to advanced crochet design.  I use a variety of custom tools, fibers and techniques to achieve my one of a kind designs and lecture occasionally on the variations these elements of the art achieve.  Working with 3-dimensional fiber is different than working with a flat surface and the way we perceive color changes based on texture.  My most popular items are my soft and stylish newsboy and eared hats, and my gothic jewelry designs and during the Fall season, my spider webs and costume accessories.  However I create anything from tapestry crochet wall hangings to muffatees and about 1/3 of my business is driven by customer requests, from scarves and headbands to guitar straps.  I also carry crochet patterns of my designs and supplies and hope to be adding handmade crochet hooks to my product line soon.  ZombiesAtPlay is for cannibalized parts that receive a new after-life.
  • How did you get started?
I've been crocheting and creating all my life.  My crochet tutelage began at the age of 5, with my left-handed Mom and two crafting gurus as grandmothers for guides. I was immediately enraptured by the hook, and crochet has been with me ever since.  My grandmother always supported in me the idea that I could do anything outside of the box if I really wanted to.  And that set me free.  I began seeing that I could crochet with almost any fiber and turn it into almost any shape.  It became what I call today yarn sculpting.  Selling my work was almost an accident.  I crochet constantly anyway - it's very meditative to me.  Even when they were little, I often had to wait somewhere for my kids with their various projects, classes and activities.  And after a car accident, I spent over a year weekly seeing doctors and in physical therapy to regain use/strength of my left hand.  Then and now, I often have my yarn with me and crochet while I wait, even getting input from whoever's around.  It was good therapy too!  People started noticing what I was making and wanted me to make one for them too.  Before I knew it, I was selling my crochet!  
  • Where do you get your inspiration?
I'm not sure I always know.  All my crochet work is designed by me - often without even knowing for sure what I'll make until the yarns are in hand.  Much of my work designing hats, however, is influenced by the needs of chemo patients.  There have been many victims in my family, my grandma Dorothy being quite an example as she crocheted herself a new hat everytime she went through a round of chemo and lost her hair.   I now often crochet with their needs in mind; choosing the softest, highest quality materials I can find for the tenderest skin going through chemo. Things that are easy to care for and yet don't look like chemo caps and are more comfortable for their sensitive skin.  I've heard from too many women, I just want to look in the mirror and see a pretty lady again.  I don't want to look like I'm dying.  I’ve also received a lot of highly appreciated input from survivors over the years that has led to the development and creation of these unique designs.  I guess my inspiration in part comes from the need for comfortable beauty during times of stress.  I truly wish to infuse my creations with healing and joy and make a difference for others.

  • Describe your workspace/workroom.
Most of my work is very portable, so my workspace is anywhere I can get a seat.  I am often seen working while waiting for appointments or my kids.  My local coffee shop is also nice.  Otherwise my couch or kitchen table. I look forward to having a real studio someday.
  • What has been your favorite winter holiday gift to make or receive?
If we're being specific to holiday fare....  Some of the kids from school got eared hats from me one year and then wore them on a ski trip over Christmas break.  Apparently the ski instructors really liked their funky hats and they received a lot of comments from other skiers.  They were the coolest (and warmest) kids on the slopes and came back from their trip on top of the world.  It's smiles like that I strive to give people through my designs.  That felt pretty good for a mom who lives in Central Texas and hasn't even skied in some 25 years.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Meet Craft Riot Vendor: Gem Junkie

Kelly Owens Pratlett
Blog: http://gemjunkie.tumblr.com/
Facebook Fan Page http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/GemJunkie/340693226989

Twitter http://twitter.com/gemjunkie

Give a brief product description.

Gemstones and Jewelry Supplies online, handmade earrings and necklaces in person
What is unique about your product? I try to choose really fun, bright, colors and whimsical shapes for my supply shop so that the selection is different than what the average jewelry supply shop carries. What makes my handmade jewelry unique is the price point. All my earrings sell for $5/pair. I do this because I think it's really important for women to have fun, funky, unique accessories that don't cost a small fortune. I love variety and I like my customers to be able to afford variety as well.

How did you get started? 

My sister saw a necklace that she loved in an Anthropologie catalog. It was over $100. She couldn't afford it and she thought she might be able to make something similar. So, she did some research online, ordered some supplies and a month later she taught me how to make jewelry. The rest is history.

Where do you get your inspiration? 

I am inspired by everything: nature, gemstones, bead stores, other artisans, my family, magazines. There is style everywhere and you can use what you see and morph into something totally your own.
 About a year ago, my husband allowed me to take over the second half of our office. So, I hung one of those old accordion-shaped drying racks on the wall. Then, I hung hundreds of strands of beads, in rainbow order, onto the rack. I call it my "inspiration wall". Any time I get stuck and need an idea, I just stare up at all the gems and beads hanging there and something calls my name. It's instant jewelry-making gratification!

Describe your workspace/workroom. 

My workspace is one of our spare bedrooms. It has a vintage couch, a teal-blue accent wall, two desks (one for making jewelry and the other for packing orders) and more shelves than you can shake a stick at.

What has been your favorite winter holiday gift to make or receive?

There's not one single thing I recall having made as a gift that stands out in my mind. However, there is something I do every year that always makes a great gift. It's kind of a story. Every year, before Christmas, I listen to my mom and sister talk about the things they want or wish they could make, jewelry-wise, that is. And I usually keep a little list going. Then, come December, I choose from the ideas they've been "wishing" for and teach myself how to make one of those jewelry items for each of them. Sometimes it's the same for both of them and sometimes each gift is totally different. I figure I know it's something they'll enjoy because they commented that they wanted it and it's extra-special because it was handmade by a family member! 

Craft Riot Vendor: SweetWolf

Cathie Fuentes
SweetWolf on Twitter

Give a brief product description.
Handmade funky and functional items. unique one of a kind items, upcycled and new materials.
How did you get started?
I started sewing in second grade and had my first business back then, selling tooth pillows. I have been pretty crafty my whole life, and I enjoy making a wide variety of things in all kinds of mediums. When I found out about Etsy it seemed easier than sitting outside in the Texas heat all day and it has turned out to be a great way to sell online. I do work a regular full time job, so this business is like stress relief and a way to earn money to buy more supplies.
Where do you get your inspiration?
From all over the place! I don't have a muse per se, but I find inspiration in many forms. I only wish i had time to daydream more and play more!

Describe your workspace/workroom.
It's pretty cluttered and sort of organized. I actually just took over a 2nd room in our house to have more workspace. Thankfully my husband is very accommodating and supportive! I now have one room for sewing and one room for 'other' crafting. The Other room would include all the weird junk and stuff I have accumulated and saved for use in some kind of imagined project. The Sewing room has a wall of shelves which is stacked high with my big ol' fabric stash.
What has been your favorite winter holiday gift to make or receive?
This is a tough question! I always have a hard time picking favorites...

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Craft Riot Vendor: Pommes Frites

Kristen Pumphrey
Pommes Frites

Give a brief product description.
I make housewares and accessories using old, reclaimed & eco-friendly products. I turn forgotten books into one-of-a-kind book safes, old sheet music and atlases into magnets, and make sweet, owl-shaped candles with soy wax. I love to create items with a sense of humor - items that are equal parts a little bit geeky, clever and beautiful.

How did you get started?
I've always been crafty - I never had a knack for drawing, so I tended towards the make-it-yourself side of life. I have been knitting and making candles and sewing since I was a tween. When I graduated college, I started working at a craft magazine called Adorn in NYC. After crafting and writing about other crafters and artists all day long, I would come home and make candles or sew something or carve books (I found an entire set of encyclopedias on the street once!) and then blog about it. I got inspired by the artists I was writing about and thought "that could be me!" Although I had been working slowly on Pommes Frites, it wasn't fully launched and realized until I moved to Texas.

Where do you get your inspiration?
I'm inspired by libraries, antique stores, small Texas towns, vintage movies, old-school country music, schools, and office supply stores. I am very inspired by craft and interior design blogs, and the plethora of crafty goodness on sites like flickr.

Describe your workspace/workroom.
My workroom is a small second bedroom. I have two large Billy bookcases along one wall (from ikea) on which I keep all my carved books, glued books and "books waiting to be carved". I keep all of my smaller products (magnets and pin packs) in clear labeled tupperware boxes. I like everything to be labeled and live by the mode "a place for everything, and everything in it's place". There are repurposed glass jars all over my work room containing sponge brushes, sharpies, razor blades, and manilla tags. I put shelving up all over the walls, too. I have a vintage desk that is supported on one side with stacks of books - we lost the legs in a move somewhere along the way. There are stacks of encyclopedias lining the walls. My space tends to be a bit industrial and dusty because of the mess created when carving up books.

What has been your favorite winter holiday gift to make or receive?
Two years ago, I made terrariums for my mom and sister. It was really cool to personalize them (low maintenance cacti for my sister, a more lush environment for my mom, who has the greenest thumb in the family). They were potted inside huge cookie jars. It was awesome to give something that was living - and looked so cool!

Craft Riot Vendor: AJ the Purple

AJ Kosarek
AJ the Purple


Give a brief product description.
I sew, knit, and illustrate cute and fun things! In my shop you can find art prints, huggles (my little knit creatures), scarves, and lots more!

How did you get started?
My mother-in-law taught me how to knit right as I first discovered Etsy. It was meant to be! I started with huggles, and have gradually included more of my favorite things in my shop.

Where do you get your inspiration?
I am inspired by things that make me happy - because I want to share the joy! I frequently find inspiration outdoors, with family and friends, or when surrounded by beautiful artwork.

Describe your workspace/workroom.
I work out of my home, so I find room where I can. My puppy likes to help a lot.

What has been your favorite winter holiday gift to make or receive?
I knit neckties for my father and husband last year - they were so surprised and loved them!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Craft Riot Vendor: The Jasmine Gallery

Jasmine Turner

Give a brief product description.
Spent bullet casing pendants holding deer antlers, natural crystal points and coral branches.
Hand formed and hammered sterling silver & gemstone "Initial" script necklaces.
Handwoven "Dream Web" necklaces and earrings using a unique weaving style and precious & semiprecious stones.
Rosary necklaces, made with freshwater pearls, hand knotted silk thread, and silver Milagro pendants, a blend of modern and traditional style.
Recycled and 100% one-of-a-kind domino necklaces and bottlecap earrings, using sterling silver, collage techniques and semiprecious stones for a unique twist.
Handmade leather bags, soft and deconstructed, with lots of fringe and pockets. Each bag is one-of-a-kind and has a unique appearance, sometimes including colorful vintage textiles from around the world.
How did you get started?
I have always loved jewelry, and as with most things I love, I eventually tried my hand at doing it myself. Making jewelry kept my interest past the crucial 30 day mark (at which point I generally loose interest or decide I couldn't actually do it any better myself), and I've been creating wearable art ever since. It's such a varied medium, it's easily personalized, and it allows me to constantly explore new technique and ideas while the amount of time required to complete any one project (usually) never exceeds a few hours. The satisfaction of being able to complete something beautiful, wearable and inspiring to both myself and others is unique to jewelry and keeps me excited about it.
Where do you get your inspiration?
My art is constantly evolving as I continue to learn new techniques and mediums. I find my inspiration in Nature, where the intricacy of colors, patterns and materials provide a never ending stream of new ideas. I strive to use recycled and ethically harvested materials as a way to be kind to the Earth and to explore new possibilities. I hope that whoever receives a piece of my work will be inspired to go forth, create, and see the beauty of the world through new eyes.

Describe your workspace/workroom.
730 square feet of complete chaos, otherwise known as my one bedroom apartment. I have a sturdy 8 ft table as my primary workspace, where I do most of my hammering. The rest of my surfaces include several 6 ft folding tables, another 6 ft desk, my kitchen counters and the dining room table. My current domestic arrangement provides my husband and I the luxury of two separate apartments in neighboring cities. His apartment remains pristine and relaxingly spacious, while mine is a glorified artist's studio with a bed and kitchen. I wouldn't have it any other way.
What has been your favorite winter holiday gift to make or receive?
Last year I learned how to make soap and gave everyone about a year's supply. I also convinced my husband to make candy (following technical directions is his specialty, not mine). We both had so much fun making things together, and between the two DIY projects it seemed everyone got something they could get excited about. Also, we got to eat candy trimmings for an entire week before Christmas.

Craft Riot Vendor: Fiftyacorns

Tara Tschillard

Give a brief product description.
I make kitschy and vintage inspired jewelry and crochet pieces. I make fun necklaces, earrings and rings made from vintage or vintage style supplies. My crocheted pieces feature vintage style hats and scarves. I also make amigurumi crocheted cacti and fortune cookies that are super fun. Some of my embroidery and sewing finds it's way into my shop too. My work is a mix of funky, kitschy to classic and vintage.
How did you get started?
I've always made things, I have a hard time sitting still and have always needed my hands to be busy. I would make things for myself- clothes and jewelry, crocheted pieces and accessories. My friends and family loved the things I made so I would make them gifts all the time, but I often got requests for things from them or friends of theirs. I kept hearing- "ya know, you should have this in a shop or something." So my hobby very easily translated to a little online business and it has been great keeping my little Etsy shop going. My degree is in Studio Art in Metals, but once I graduated from college I didn't have the means to keep my love affair with metals alive easily- torches are expensive. So I'm really happy that I can still make things I love and people like them enough to buy them.
Where do you get your inspiration?
I get inspiration from the things I like, most of my pieces started out as something I made for myself or a friend as a gift. I make things inspired by nature, there are a lot of woodland themes in my work- acorns! I use a lot of birds as I am a huge bird nerd, but a lot of woodland creatures show up too, like squirrels. I also come from a nautical family so there are sea themes like anchors and a lot of red, white and blue themes in my work. I also have a thing for hearts and skulls! All of my work has a vintage or kitschy style to it and I try to use vintage supplies as often as I can. This keeps me making new pieces all the time because vintage supplies are often in limited quantities.

Describe your workspace/workroom.
My workspace is made up of three different desks. I have one giant table where I do my jewelry making, the big space allows me to spread out all my supplies and tools. I have an old desk that I keep my sewing machine on for any sewing projects. And I have another big old desk where I keep all my in progress yarn projects. I have colorful boxes of yarn, thread, felt, fabric and tons of beads around me too. I try to surround my workspace with art as well, I have framed art and pictures, knick knacks and toys all around me. It's a bit of sensory overload, but it keeps me inspired!
What has been your favorite winter holiday gift to make or receive?
I love making things as gifts and I love getting handmade gifts. I enjoy making jewelry for friends using colors and themes I know they love. If a friend tells me they're currently obsessed with purple and stingrays lately they will probably end up with a purple scarf and a stingray necklace for their birthday. Or something like that! It doesn't take much. I think this is the greatest thing about buying handmade- it allows for so much more personal gifts. You can find that perfect thing for a friend that was handmade by someone and it's so unique and feels like it was made just for them. And sometimes it is!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Craft Riot Vendor: Textile Fetish

Jennifer M. Ramos
Textile Fetish (or Jennifer M. Ramos, photographer)
Textile Fetish on Facebook

Give a brief product description.
Textile Fetish sells one-of-a-kind, handmade items, made mostly from reclaimed and recycled materials.

Jennifer M. Ramos, Photographer specializes in urban decay and environmental portraiture.

How did you get started?
A good friend who'd moved to Chicago found out I had a sewing machine so she'd send me shipments of fabric and patterns so I'd make her daughter some clothing. This is how I honed my skills. With all the leftover scraps, I put together my first patchwork bag and that's where it started.
Where do you get your inspiration?
Practical need and resourcefulness drive my inspiration to create items that are both useful and unexpected in texture and color.

Describe your workspace/workroom.
We just bought a house in May. My studio is the room with windows to the backyard, and doors to the living room and the laundry room. It's pretty neat!
What has been your favorite winter holiday gift to make or receive?
Gosh, I love making aprons, because they are so practical. I also love the trades I am able to make at holiday shows. Some of my favorite handmade gifts include artisan soaps and soy candles. The handmade item I wear most proudly is a necklace from Holli Brown mosaics. It's made from a plate and there's a story that goes along with it that always makes me cry.

Craft Riot Vendor: Diamonds and Guns


Give a brief product description
Diamonds and Guns by Action Jackson jewelry incorporates an array of components including Swarovski crystals, vintage findings, laser cut wood and acrylic, lucite filigree, and brightly colored kitschy elements. The line is characterized by a dichotomy reflected in the name that combines rough rock and roll elements with all things dainty, classic, and ladylike. 

How did you get started
Like most other crafters/designers/artists out there, I started by making jewelry for myself and my friends!

Where do you get your inspiration?
Fashion, music, art, niche aesthetics. I think it's dangerous and inhibiting for creators to limit what they derive inspiration from. I'm inspired by beautiful designs I come across in magazines, punk rock and goth music and style, 1920s-1950s fashion, old Hollywood, 20th century art, pin up girls, comic books, the list goes on. Colors in general are inspiring to me as well, which is part of the reason I love working with crystals—the array of colors available is more extensive than you'd think.

Describe your workspace/workroom.

I fantasize constantly about having a workroom devoted to making jewelry and neatly storing supplies. On Apartment Therapy, I've seen innovative ideas about using cut-out spaces as work rooms, and they're completely practical for small apartments. As is though, I currently have a rolling storage case and a dining room table that work well enough… and an understanding roommate who doesn't complain when I leave a mess on the table.

What has been your favorite winter holiday gift to make or receive?

     I've painted a pair of slip-on Vans for a few of my close friends over the years. The artwork is usually Americana tattoo art, comic book art, or a combination of the two. Everyone who's received them gets lots of wear and tear (after all, they are comfy), not to mention tons of compliments.

    Wednesday, November 10, 2010

    Craft Riot Vendor: Debbie Carroll

    Give a brief product description.
    I design jewelry featuring vintage beads and findings, combining them with newer parts & pieces to evoke a range of different eras such as Art Deco or Victorian styles. I also love a contemporary vibe as well, and have fun taking the older pieces and using them to make something that looks very current! My other creative endeavor is painting and art, primarily watercolor and acyrlic, and I offer originals as well as prints and cards featuring my artwork.

    How did you get started?
    I wanted to do something creative and avoid going back to an office job when my kids were small. I had been making jewelry for a while, just for myself, and people started suggesting I sell it. I finally gave it a whirl and was completely blown away at how much people liked my designs! The painting is an old love that I am finally revisiting after many years. I was sparked by a wonderful workshop I took in 2008 and it was just the thing to get my kick-started and creating art again.

    Where do you get your inspiration?
    Comes from many, many places but for me is primarily color-driven and I draw on nature, art, history, travel and fashion. I was once inspired to design a necklace based on the fabric in my pajamas, it was one of my favorite pieces!

    Describe your workspace/workroom.
    My studio/workroom is a complete mess, but it helps me to look around and see what is on hand. I am definitely a visual person and oftentimes have what I call the "happy accident", where amongst all the mess, an unlikely combination jumps out and grabs me! I currently paint in the corner of the kitchen (best light and cleanable floor), but would LOVE to have a proper studio one day....

    What has been your favorite winter holiday gift to make or receive?
    Anything knitted is a special holiday or winter gift. I haven't mastered the art of knitting, so I am very appreciative of someone else's efforts :)