They are calling it “The Etsy Killer”. That remains to be seen, but Amazon Handmade was officially launched at midnight last night (technically, this morning).
Reclaimed Home is a vendor on the new site. So, what is our take away? Some kinks need to be worked out. As a seller, uploading products is (How do we put this gently?) a pain in the ass. As of this writing, only 3 listings are viewable and the image isn’t showing up on one of them. Granted, only two of those listings were actually uploaded before launch, so it’s most likely our fault that we waited until it was live to upload in a frenzied state.
Etsy has lost some folks recently due to their decision to accept non-handmade vendors. On the other hand, it seems like lost of sellers aren’t embracing Amazon because of the higher fees. Us? We like to throw things out there and see what sticks. Hey, if it sells on Amazon as opposed to Etsy, we feel like they’ve earned the fee.
As a shopper, the site looks like a cross between Amazon and Etsy. Well, what did you expect? The benefits of shopping at Amazon over Etsy would be one stop shopping, most likely. You can purchase a sink drain and artisan vintage inspired apron all in the same transaction. Some vendors can offer free shipping through Prime or have their goods sent out directly through Amazon. On the other hand, the Etsy experience is between you and the artist.
Etsy won’t be going anywhere anytime soon. There’s enough room for plenty of handmade products. At the very least, perhaps the marketing of handmade by a mega company is exactly what each country needs to wean them off the import habit.
We are pleased as punch to announce our first workshop! Mixed Media Collage and Image Transfer will be run by Emilia DeVitis on Thursday, March 26th.
We’re testing the waters with a 90 minute single workshop instead of ongoing classes. Let’s see how this goes and then we’ll start offering more in depth training.
Here’s what’s in store…
The event starts at 6:30 pm with some wine and schmoozing. Class will begin at 7 pm and probably end around 8ish.
Materials will be supplied but you’re encouraged to bring your own inkjet prints for transfers and/or any kind of thin image for collage. **Please keep in mind that transfers will be mirror image, so you must print any writing backwards!** We’ll supply your “blank canvas” in the form of recycled wood and tiles, but if you have something in mind, please bring it along. Also, bring an apron or wear your messy clothes.
Hope to see you there! Our space is small, so this workshop is limited to about 10 people. Book now! Only 45 bucks.
Yo, you in? Bust Craftacular. This Saturday and Sunday, December 6th and 7th at the Brooklyn Expo Center in Greenpoint. Over 200 handmade vendors including yours truly! Plus food, booze, fun and music.
Hope to see you there!
Our artisan elves have been keeping busy creating one of a kind upcycled gifts. Here are some rad new pieces for Cyber Monday (really for Bust Craftacular next weekend, but feel free to purchase online now!)
Emilia (the elf) did a series of old postcards mounted to found objects. She finishes the scene by painting it in. Can you see where the postcard ends and painting begins? $65 and shippable!
Here’s another postcard painting done on a piece of antique bed frame. $50 for that bed frame postcard lover in your life.
Our Christmas ornaments are not even online yet. Glass balls with various decoupaged designs. Price range is $25-$35 per ball.
Oops, this guy isn’t online yet either. Guess you’ll have to stop by the shop! So much for Cyber Monday. A vintage wooden box with patinaed top and glass head that we found at a sale. The “collar” is a light fixture part.
Who’s talented enough to carve pumpkins? Me? I’m just gonna throw some red paint on doll heads and call it a day.
Ok, so it’s acorn squash.
Crafts show alert for this Saturday, September 20th! This time we’ll be joining the Fall Craftstravaganza in the Museum School’s yard on West 17th between 8th and 9th in Chelsea.
There will be about 25 handmade artisans on hand plus tarot readings, crafts, healing sessions and fun activities for kids and adults.
We expect to see all you city-centric folks who can’t drag your arses over to our Brooklyn shop.
Our first attempt at chalk paint = Major Fail!
The internets is a wonderful thing, but it’s always best to do the research before making the mistakes. We sometimes forget that. If you’re a crafty person working on some fun projects of your own, here are some tips that took us awhile to figure out.
1. Chalk Paint kind of sucks. All of these distressed paint enthusiasts swear by it. Supposedly, no priming or sanding is necessary and you can paint on any surface. Bullshit! You need to prime and sand glossy surfaces or it will peel right off. You want to try chalk paint? Do it on a porous wood surface. You can distress with a wet cloth or sand, but this stuff MUST be sealed as well! Use wax or water based poly.
2. Mod Podge is God. Seal any collage with Pod Podge before using another sealer on top. We knew this already, so that’s a free tip we didn’t learn by mistake.
3. Not all resin is created equal. There are better brands and cheapo brands. But the most important thing we learned is to use a heat gun to remove bubbles!
4. Wood glue sucks. Useless. Liquid Nails rules!
5. You can’t seal patina effects. Well, you can, but it darkens it. The patina is meant to be exposed to air so it can continue to do it’s thing. We’ve tested it with water and it kind of washes away, so we end up sealing it when it’s going to be used for outdoors or as counter or backsplash.
Good luck and have fun crafting!
We got our hands on some more plaster lath and we’re excited about the projects we’ll soon be undertaking. Since nothing is finished yet (or even started) we just pulled some images from Pinterest to show you what’s in store. Are we stealing ideas? Sort of, but then NOTHING is original these days, is it? There’s just so much you can do with lath. Anyhoo, we already knew we would be doing tables, headboards and walls, so there.
After the Supreme Court decision yesterday, plenty of folks will be boycotting Hobby Lobby. It’s easy enough for us here in NYC because they don’t even exist in our heathen city. Thank whatever “God” you believe in for that!
We don’t know the political viewpoints behind each and every craft supply store listed below but we know that they aren’t Hobby Lobby, so here ya go, we’ll make it easier for you to boycott Religious Capitalism should you decide to do so.
Blick Art Supplies
For the record, let’s establish that by “Mod Podge” we mean an artist’s medium such as that brand, not specifically Mod Podge. Mod Podge is simply watered down white glue that you can either make yourself or purchase a better solution. We want to share the many fabulous items made with Mod Podge but at the same time, we’d like to remind you that just because it looks great at first doesn’t mean it’s going to last.
The key to longevity is securing and sealing your project. Yes, Mod Podge is a glue, but do ya really think that’s enough for a piece of furniture that gets lots of use? Tack it down on the borders if possible. And seal that stuff! FYI, Mod Podge remains sticky. It’s not magic, people.
That being said, check out these cool projects.
The Metropolitan Museum is giving up on their iconic admission tags. When I worked at The Met for whole three years of my life, I saved all of my buttons if I didn’t give them away to visitors as a form of recycling. Admission to The Met is now, as it has always been, “suggested” so you can give a penny and get in. Lots of people don’t realize and pay the full amount. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, it’s a great institution that should be supported if the money is there to give. I just happen to believe that art should be available to everyone and I wish that every museum would have a sliding scale. Hear that MOMA?
So, the tags. This post was meant to be about all the lovely museum admission button art created by folks over the years. Surely if I was making earrings and bracelets out of them (it was the 80’s), everyone else is doing the same. Not so much.
I only found a handful of creations online. Very disappointing. WTF, people?
Looks like this apocalypse thing ain’t gonna happen so that means you’re still on the hook for gifts. What’s better than a locally hand-crafted one of a kind gift? The fact that you’re supporting local indie vendors.
If you only have time to hit one craft market, you can’t go wrong with Brooklyn Craft Central’s Holiday Market 2012. Curator and promoter Deb Klein works her ass off to make sure these shows run smooth as butta for both shoppers and vendors. I know because I was one of those vendors back before I gave it all up to work on big projects.
Brooklyn Craft Central will showcase about 70 vendors this Saturday and Sunday at Littlefield Art Space in Gowanus.
Williamsburg’s Artists and Fleas has a pop-up shop running at the Chelsea Market in Manhattan. They are open daily through the end of the month, minus Christmas Day. The Williamsburg location will also be open this weekend.
Also in Chelsea Market is the Jingle Holiday Pop-Up Shop.
Over in Queens, there’s Astoria Market’s Last Minute Shopping Extravaganza at Bohemian Hall and Beer Garden.
Then there are always the old standbys such as Union Square, Brooklyn Flea, Grand Central and more. For a full list, visit Markets of New York.
Stencils can make a crappy house look like a designer home. The good news is that it is so inexpensive to buy a few stencils to change the feel of the house. The bad news is, you need to have time and patience for some of the larger projects.
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you The Birds.
This past weekend I participated in Build it Green’s Crafted at the Canal in Gowanus. ‘Twas really nice to take part in a show where all of the goods were made out of recycled materials. Not only that, but it was my first time in BIG’s new Brooklyn location. OMG, it is huge! I’d say that have it only about 30% filled with used building merch as they only moved in about a month ago.
Anyway, back to the craft show, which will be happening again this weekend: Dec. 17th & 18th. 10am-5pm.
WoodKnot Design is a couple of extremely talented guys who know how to work old wood. It’s obvious the photos depict items made out of antique shutters and doors, but the medicine cabinet above was once an old swing set. Always impressive to hear about the past lives of objects.
Bespoke Glass Tile gets a percentage of it’s glass through a commercial recycling resources, including Build it Green. They are a green company, right down to their shipping supplies and web host. Ellen and Lesley create beautiful glass tiles for backsplashes and house projects, but I love their gifty tile creations made out of cabinet doors and sewing machine drawers.
I was severely crushing on these recycled t-shirt pillows by Tura Lura. This talented chick does gaw-geous crocheted and embroidered jewelry too, but she had me at hello with the old shirts. Darth Vader? Awesome. Superman? Who doesn’t want a Superman pillow?
So, y’all should swing by this weekend to support these and many other upcycled vendors (including myself). Need more persuading? Check out what Build it Green has on hand….