Creative Envy

Sunday, November 29, 2009, 9:58 pm
Filed under: craft envy, design envy, Etsy | Tags: , ,

My parents and I popped in to Rochester’s Second Storie indie market last Saturday to check it out. It was pretty great and very similar to Columbus’ Tiny Canary event. It’s always so inspiring to see people making their living (or just some extra money) through handmade goods and art.

These were some of my favorite vendors at Second Storie.

Based in Portland, Oregon self-taught photographer Abby takes pictures of her everyday using old film cameras she’s picked up in thrift shops. I was completely drawn to the subject matter of her prints as well as the color tones in her work. They are vivid yet still have that vintage softness that I am so drawn to. I picked up a pack of her winter card prints.

Foundling’s owner Betsy creates jewelry using pages from old books, vintage patterned fabrics, timeworn beads, and recycled silver. I am in love with her product photography style and have my eye on this necklace and these pins. (Great site too).

Dani and CharLee are the design team behind Pearl & Marmalade’s charming cards and stationery. Their designs and sentiments really stand out to me in the ever-growing world of letterpress. I love their little manifesto too:

We love shadowy grey inks, lively greens, Jane Austen, thoughtful typesetting, Cy Twombly, fresh cut peonies, clean lines, whiskey & gingerale, quirky graphics, vintage trophies & Vera textiles, NYC bagels, salt water taffy, square knots, and a rich cup of Intelligentsia coffee on Sunday mornings in mighty Chicago.

Overall, it was a great show and I gathered up lots of business cards so I don’t forget to keep up with the vendors. I’ll definitely go back next year.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009, 9:11 pm
Filed under: craft envy, design envy, random | Tags: , , ,

I just received the Crate & Barrel 2009 Gift Guide in the mail yesterday and fell in love with these ornaments.

But here’s the thing. I feel kinda guilty about it. I mean, don’t I lose some considerable street cred if I were to purchase these and people asked where I got them, anticipating that I’d naturally say “Etsy” or that “I made them” instead of sheepishly saying “Crate & Barrel”? Nothing against this big, lovely store (my couch is from there), but when something looks handmade, don’t you want it to come from an individual who made it with love and care and sweat and tears?

I’m torn on this issue. While I truly appreciate how mainstream the craft movement has become (and hence, stores like C&B and CB2 are offering products in this aesthetic), it still bums me out. Because I feel like the big guys can mass produce these items for significantly less and make a killing on them in comparison to someone, say from Etsy, that has labored over their product and it is one of a kind (and, therefore, more expensive). Plus I prefer to support independent, self-employed artists but sometimes I just can’t afford it.

What do you think?

Thursday, November 12, 2009, 10:20 pm
Filed under: craft envy | Tags: ,

Tonight I attended a letterpress class hosted at Columbus’ own Igloo Letterpress. Owner Allison Chapman walked us through her sweet shop and gave us a general overview of this amazing, old school craft. I am super envious and want to move in and make cute cards all day long. I forgot to bring my camera so excuse the pictures. They were taken with my phone.



I also didn’t bring my notebook to take notes so please don’t quiz me on the names of these presses. I just know that they output some lovely stuff. Allison’s background story was really charming. Her big press (that she just got working again) was her granddad’s and dates back to the 1890s. I love the history and the tradition that has been passed down from generation to generation. It makes it feel that much more homey.


Thanks to Terri Price-Deep for bringing this ladies night of letterpress together. I want to go back and make more stuff. Here’s the sweet little reindeer and tree I did. I love the definition I was able to get.


Allison had all kinds of retro pattern blocks at our disposal. She brought out a bunch of trays filled for us to pick whatever we wanted to do.


A big thank you to Allison for your patience with the large group and for teaching us a little bit about what you do everyday. Igloo has an Etsy shop here and you can follow them on Twitter here. If you’re in Columbus or the surrounding areas, keep Igloo in mind should you have any printing needs (business cards, letterhead, invitations, etc.).

Saturday, November 7, 2009, 10:17 am
Filed under: craft envy, fashion envy | Tags: , ,

Have you all received the November Anthropologie catalog yet? I’m loving the over-sized format and the section titled the stories within where scenes are cut from book pages.



Of course there are plenty of items I’m gushing over, but I’m now accepting submissions for the following dress. Just contact me and I’ll give you my size and shipping address. 😉


Sunday, October 11, 2009, 5:13 pm
Filed under: craft envy | Tags: ,

T minus 6 days until the 2009 Craftin’ Outlaws alternative craft fair here in Columbus and I am so bummed I cannot attend. Please tell me you’ll all go in my place and report back with all the fun finds you get. This year’s is being held at a different venue (The Lodge Bar) but I’m sure promises to be just as wonderful as years past.


It’s free admission and swag bags will be distributed to the first 100 attendees so get in line before the doors open at 11! Also, be sure to LOOK inside your swag bags because usually the vendors have put coupons in there for your day of shopping (I learned that lesson the hard way). Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009, 8:55 am
Filed under: craft envy | Tags: , ,

I don’t remember how I stumbled upon it, but I was so excited to discover that my home town of Rochester, NY has an indie market called Second Storie. From their web site, it seems pretty comparable to my beloved Columbus-based annual indie design market, Tiny Canary. A shopping experience centered on unique, crafty, independent artists. I’m so psyched to attend Second Storie’s event over Thanksgiving weekend (11/28 & 11/29) while I’m in town visiting my family.


I love discovering stuff like this and seeing the indie movement spread across the country. Second Storie is also hosting a screening of Handmade Nation that same Friday to kick things off. (Hopefully my family won’t mind not really seeing much of me that weekend!)

SS_webWay to go, Roch-cha-cha!

P.S. I love their site set-up with the Polaroids. Super cute.

Monday, July 20, 2009, 9:00 pm
Filed under: art envy, craft envy | Tags: , , ,

I know, I said I’d be better about posting and I have already blown it in the past seven days. So here is attempt number two at regular posting this week.

I was super excited today to hear about The Purl Bee’s new Charley Harper needlepoint canvases. I immediately decided that I would tackle his Mystery of the Missing Migrants masterpiece with my needle and thread….until I saw the $300 price tag on it. Youch! Time to rethink that goal.



Why do I keep finding all these expensive products? First the imperial shampoo and now this. Still, pretty great idea altogether.

I also need to compliment The Purl Bee’s header. I LOVE it.


Thursday, June 11, 2009, 9:03 pm
Filed under: craft envy, design envy | Tags:

It was a beautiful day at McCarren Park in Brooklyn, if a little hot at times; but the trees provided lots of shade relief when needed.


I love the NYC pick up after your dog/$1,000 fine signs on all the park fences. The design is great. And yes, that would be  beagle wearing a necktie. OF COURSE it is!

I was really impressed (and completely overwhelmed)  by the creativity in merchandising by all the vendors at Renegade. The ones that stole the show for me though are below.


1. Mean Cards had a super smart-looking booth. It was aesthetically beautiful yet environmentally friendly, efficient for finding what you wanted to buy, and just overall clean and simple. I wish I had taken more photos of the entire booth but I didn’t want to look like a stalker (you’ll notice that most of my pictures are from a safe distance). Mean Cards had all their merchandise displayed inside gorgeous handmade cardboard frames (yes, cardboard CAN be gorgeous and they pulled it off) hung with fish line from the tops of the tent. The owner explained it was to keep the foul language cards out of reach from youngsters’ gazes. Smart because they were also at the perfect eye-level for grown-ups and looked like framed art hanging on invisible walls. Each card was numbered so when you were ready to check out you just listed off what you wanted. It was so fast. I wish I had a picture of the great dane that was there taking up most of the booth’s real estate while we were browsing. He was so sweet and, well, just huge.

2. I didn’t get any other pictures than this one of the Greenpoint Craftworks booth but I loved their display too. They had the whole found objects theme going including airplanes made out of old dress shoes and this sign incorporating an old bicycle wheel. They have way better pictures posted on their blog here.

3. Up in the Air Somewhere was another eco-friendly, smart display. The walls of the booth were covered from top to bottom with uniform-sized, white sheets of paper with their logo floating in the center. It was a simple idea but when it all came together, the overall look was so elegant and clean. You can see a better picture of it here.

4. Nervous System’s jewelry was already baffling enough to me but then I saw this intricate wooden display for their merchandise and it completely floored me. Wow. This is some major talent. They talk about how they did it on their blog. I didn’t pick up anything at the time, but I think I’m going to have to visit their online store and make a purchase. Soon.

5. And finally, one of the booths that I was dying to see in person because I have seen it a bunch online, was that of Something’s Hiding in Here. This picture does not do their merchandising talents justice. Again, I didn’t want to be too paparazzi-ish so you can view more photos here from a past show. And if you have a few hours to waste, you should check out their Flickr photostream. I have total abode-envy for their Philly loft. Sigh….

You can see all these photos bigger on my Flickr Renegade set along with some others.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009, 9:07 pm
Filed under: craft envy | Tags: ,

I am back from my trek to Brooklyn and slightly overwhelmed with all the pictures I took, the fun business cards I loaded up on at Renegade, and all the shops and restaurants I experienced. Therefore, I’m going to attempt to break these posts into chunks to make it more manageable.

I’m going to start with the easiest first: what I bought. Surprisingly, I didn’t really have a lot of loot to take back with me that would have warranted the additional suitcase my hostess was more than willing to part with. I think it was because NYC has a way of making your wallet hemorrhage cash. I felt guilty dropping too much money on purchases when there was food to be eaten, transportation to be considered, and checked luggage fees (I still can’t get over that). At any rate, here’s what I picked up.

It’s no surprise to my close friends that the booth I really wanted to check out at Renegade was that of artist Dolan Geiman. I would love to own so many of his original pieces; however, my wallet only allowed (this time) for a DG mini. Still, I love it so much.


Next, I bought a couple of classics from Mean Cards. The merchandising of their booth was really smart and efficient. I’ll share pictures of it on my next post about Renegade. Check out their site though. They have the perfect piece of snark for every occasion.1027_elderlyOn Saturday I had come across Finch Metal’s booth and loved their child-like themed jewelry that was executed in a more sophisticated way. I couldn’t get this kite necklace out of my head so I went back on Sunday morning when they opened and snatched it up. This one knocks my current standby peacock necklace out of rotation, at least temporarily.


And finally, I picked up this simple jade-beaded, knotted bracelet at one of the small boutiques in Carroll Gardens, Andie Woo.


In addition, I bought a beautiful handmade bracelet by Courtney Fischer as a thank you gift for my friend who watched Beck.


My upcoming posts this week will include the Renegade scene, general Brooklyn photos, and a list of good eats (I ate insanely well all weekend).

Small site update: I’ve created a Flickr account under Creative Envy which I hope to post on weekly. You can check it out here, or click on my photostream in the sidebar. Over the next week I’ll post pictures from my trip as well as older, backlogged pics that I think are relevant to the content here. Hope you enjoy them.

Monday, May 11, 2009, 8:18 pm
Filed under: craft envy | Tags: , ,

I am beside myself with excitement because today I booked a weekend trip to NYC to attend the Brooklyn Renegade Craft Fair. Woo hoo!!! I’ve been to New York a bunch of times but have never visited Brooklyn beyond a one-time trip to see a friend’s apartment. So not only will I get to scour RCF for some kick-ass handmade goods, I’ll get to explore Williamsburg with a local BK girl. (Thanks for letting me crash with you, C-dawg!)


The big kahuna Renegade is in Chicago on the weekend of September 12th, which I am plotting and planning to attend as well since I’ve never been to Chicago either (I know, it’s kinda ridiculous). My hope is that one day I won’t just be a shopper at these fairs, but actually holding down my own booth.


Renegade Brooklyn will be taking place Saturday and Sunday June 6th and 7th at McCarren Park from 11am – 7pm. Check it out!