Thursday, November 24

Kick-Back This Black Friday

Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving yesterday! Now that all that delicious tofurkey (just kidding - tofurkey is actually not the tastiest. I had maple tofu yesterday - yum!) has been digested it's time to turn your attention to more important matters:  Black Friday.

Skip the crowds, put on those sweatpants and kick-back with your laptop for an easy, breezy Black Friday online shopping spree. Be sure to check out the fantastic offerings from DC area handmade artists on Etsy and use the code HOLIDAYCREST for a 15% discount from participating artists. Not sure where to start? May I suggest perusing these treasuries? I'm sure it won't take long for you to find that must-have item!

Occupy Black Friday by EBNArtStudio

CREST Black Friday in Blue by thetwistedcow

Happy Shopping!

Monday, November 21

Support Local DC Artists this Black Friday

Skip the crowded malls, long lines and early wake-up calls this Black Friday. A collective of DC-area handmade artists (including yours truly) have joined forces to help you get your holiday shopping list taken care of without all of the hassle! Use the code "HOLIDAYCREST" at any of the following Etsy Stores this Friday, Nov. 25 through Monday, Nov. 28 for a 15% discount. Enjoy, and happy (stress-free!) shopping!

Bette's Bags - One-of-a-kind handmade bags, purses, totes, etc.

  Earthen Knit - Sustainable Scarves, Hats, Washcloths, & Fiber Jewelry

EBN Art Studio - Contemporary Painting, Prints, & more!

Handmade Habitat upcycled clothes, handmade journals, functional bags, lovely toys for your cats, and more!

JenniferLynn Productions - Photography and Cards

Julie Rebecca Designs - Beaded Jewelry & Accessories

Maggie Sue Designs - Accessories for Fun & Function 

Peace, Baby! Batiks - Batik Clothing for Babies and Toddlers

Purple Clover - Eco-friendly Home Decor

RAM Jewelry Designs - Handcrafted, Beaded Jewelry

Smoking Haute - Modern Knitted Accessories

Taila Custom Designs - Handmade with Love Using Yarn, Fabric, & Ribbons

(check out fellow CRESTer EBNArtStudio's blog for the most up-to-date list of participating vendors)

Saturday, November 19

The Art of Thankfulness

This time of year lots of people are sharing via facebook, twitter or blogs what they are thankful for. Now, I'm as tech-obsessed as the rest of us, but don't you miss the good ole' days when you had a construction paper turkey (a.k.a a cutout of your hand) and had to write something your thankful for on each feather (a.k.a finger)? There's just something about physically picking up the pen and paper that I think gives a little more weight to those positive thoughts (not that I'm digging on the virtual-postive thoughts either!!). Why not consider one of these fun grown-up versions of that very fancy turkey this Thanksgiving? But whichever way you choose to share, I wish everyone a very happy Thanksgiving!

I love this idea for a big Thanksgiving party! Via PoodlePoddles
Thankful Tree via HoneyWereHome

Gratitude Journal via iloveitallwithmonicawright

Fancy (and easy!) Thanksgiving Centerpieces

Each year on Thanksgiving I have two jobs: 1) Get the cranberry sauce out of the jar (it seems I'm the only one who knows how to get it out in one piece!) and 2) decorate the table. Clearly, the latter is my favorite. My mom always has flowers ready, and I add to it with whatever other items we have on hand that happen to strike my fancy that day - ribbon, garland, votives, vases, etc. One year I even used coffee mugs in the design. It's always a spur of the moment design, and I love that no two years ever turn out the same. However, if you're someone who prefers to have plan, I suggest following some of the fun and easy DIY Thanksgiving centerpiece ideas from Pintrest. A few of my favorites are below. Enjoy, and happy creating!

Centerpiece via HoneyBeeintheCity

Centerpiece via Better Homes and Garden

Centerpiece via OurSouthernTable

Fun Finds: Dressing Up Your iPad

In celebration of getting my first iPad this week (yay!), I put together a collection of eye-catching iPad cases any tech-lover would envy. Highlights are below, and be sure to check out the full collection. Enjoy!

Limited Edition iPad Case, Writing Pad by PinkOasis

iPad Sleeve, Upcycled by 5thSeason

iPad Sleeve, 50s in Wool by maldimaglia

Fun Finds: World Toilet Day

Everyone's favorite holiday is finally here - World Toilet Day! In honor of this auspicious holiday, I want to share a few fun finds for decorating your personal loo. And be sure to visit for info on the real reason behind the holiday (yeah, it's not really about what your thinking...). 

Mr. John Mustache Decal by EyvalDecal

Toilet Decal Monster by DecalVillage

Baby Potty Training Decal by victorialogodesign

Friday, November 18

Buying Handmade for the Holidays

The holiday season starts at a different time for everyone. According to some retail giants it now starts in September. Then there are some die-hards that refuse to put up a holiday decoration until December 1st or 10th or 20th (really?). But for me, each year the holiday season starts right about now. The week before Thanksgiving fits for me because it's far enough past my birthday that all those celebrations have passed and it's usually about the time I get an email from my mom asking what I want this year (yep, we still do that!). So, in honor of my start to the holiday season here is my first post on the holidays...

I know you’ve heard or seen promotions for ‘Buy Handmade This Holiday!’ You probably have good intentions, “Yes, I will buy handmade this year! Yes, I will support the little guy! I will visit every craft show, every Saturday until I find all the perfect gifts and I will not step foot in a mall.” Fast forward to early December, when you realize there are still dozens of people on your list. And what could you really find for your great-uncle Roland at a craft fair? And your mother-in-law is really picky about quality, she would never appreciate anything ‘crafty.’ As these thoughts start going through you head (right along side the lyrics to Jingle Bell Rock and White Christmas), panic mode sets in. And with a small amount of easily overcome guilt you get in the car and head straight for the closet mall. 
Do not panic. This scenario can be avoided, I promise! Here’s a few reasons why buying handmade can and should be your holiday plan:
  • The wealth of sites online that cater to handmade buyers makes holiday shopping as easy as a click.
  • The handmade industry is a long way from the days of popsicle sticks and glue - lots of high quality goods are available that will please even the pickiest of people.
  • Everyone loves to have something unique. Buying handmade lets you give your loved ones the gift of never bumping into someone else wearing their same upcycled orange and purple plaid beanie.
  • Handmade gifts are as wide ranging as the people who make them - meaning your bound to find someone creating items with a personality as quirky as your cigar-smoking, marathon-running great-uncle. 
  • And, of course you brag to everyone that you helped out the little guy...all without having to occupy wall street for weeks on end. 

Tuesday, November 8

The Story Behind That Fabric

The concept of 'being a sales person' has always been a tough one for me, as it is, I believe, for many crafters who would happily stay at their crafting table, singing along to '80s hits and sewing away rather than, gasp!, have to convince complete strangers to fall in love with their handmade work. While vending at Trash to Treasure this past weekend I took the opportunity to spy on how my fellow vendors interacted with potential customers and how I myself handled the act of selling. Below is my insight on the topic, written at the show...

Any crafter will tell you, that to be successful you need to wear many hats. As much as I’d love to leave my ‘creating hat’ on all the time, sometimes I have to switch to the ‘business hat’ or ‘marketing hat.’ The hardest hat for me, by far, is the ‘sales hat.’ As a naturally shy person, the idea of chatting up a stranger and trying to persuade them to open their wallet is often uncomfortable and, on occasion, terrifying. One way I’ve found that bridges that gap for me is just telling the story of my work or just one piece. What materials does it incorporate? Where’d the inspiration for the piece come from? Where did I get the materials? I use this technique to overcome the nervousness that comes from selling. “ Oh, the lace on this collage? It’s from an old dress of my mom’s. One of those really fun eighties dresses with a big lace collar and even bigger shoulder pads.” Or, “Can see you see that faint line? That’s where my dad traced the route my sister would drive to school. You can still see it through the paint. Don’t you love pieces with a fun history?” Do these stories always turn a looker into a buyer? No, but they do provide the shopper with a connection to my work (you know they either had one of those dresses or knew someone who did!) and, maybe, a reason to stay and buy.

Thursday, November 3

Trash to Treasure

Want to know what I'm doing this weekend? Read below and I hope to see lots of fellow eco-craft lovers there!

Tuesday, November 1

Sneak Peek From the Studio

It's been a busy few weeks (few months, fall... you get the idea) so I was very excited this week when I finally had a few hours to do nothing but pull out the paint trays and get creating. Below is a sneak peek of the result, more items to be added to the store soon!

Holiday Package Upcycled Coasters
Custom Tile Magnets in Black

Custom Tile Magnets in Blue