Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Guest Blog: NewNew Goes ECO

It is pretty safe to say that the Alexandra Ferguson studio generates a LOT of felt scraps in the process of manufacturing her collection of applique pillows. So when a local Master Gardener told Charlotte Ferguson (Alexandra's mom, and the brand's Roving Ambassador) about a clever trick to keep her spring seedlings well watered while depleting Alexandra's ever growing stash of scraps....well, it was too good to keep to ourselves.

Follow these easy steps to create your own low-maintenance indoor greenhouse:

1. You will need a panel of felt about 24" x 16". We pieced two smaller panels together to get the right size. I thought it would be fun to use up all the tiny scraps in rainbow colors to create a patchwork, but Charlotte was in a hurry. One quick seam did the trick. You won't see the felt once all the plants are on top of it, so don't worry about making it look beautiful.
2. Using a medium sized waterproof container (we used clear storage bins), place the black trays your plants often come with upside down (shown on left side of photo). The idea is that you need to get about 3" height, so anything you have around the house that would serve that purpose would work as well. Place your felt panel on top of your riser, making sure that the edges of the felt go all the way to the bottom.
3. Pour water into your waterproof container. Soak the felt thoroughly, with about 2" height of water in your tub.
4. Place your trays of seedlings on top of the soaking felt, and you are done! The felt will draw water up from the bottom as the seeds drink, so your seeds will always be perfectly watered and you don't need to do a thing!
Your greenhouse should be placed in a sunny spot indoors. We added a grow light, easily found at Home Depot or your local gardening store for extra oomph.

Two weeks later

To celebrate spring, Alexandra is giving away one of her botanical-themed pillows. Don't have a garden with windows full of seedlings? The 16" "Tulip" pillow in cocoa that she is giving away should more than make up for it! The best part? This flower blooms all year long.

Check out the rest of the alexandra ferguson collection on her Etsy site,
including many other floral styles as well as her popular "Pillow Talk" line of sassy words and phrases. Alexandra works exclusively with recycled felt made from plastic water bottles. Every applique shape is meticulously cut by hand and stitched down in her studio based in Westchester County, NY. Just like everything in nature, no two are ever the same!

You must be a FOLLOWER of the NewNew blog. Visit Alex's store HERE. Come back and leave a comment on this post and let us know what your favorite item in her shop was. One entry per person BUT if you twitter, blog, or facebook about this giveaway and leave a link it will give you extra entries.

This giveaway is the last on our series of March Madness giveaways-- It ends Tuesday, April 6th- winner announced on the April 6th blog post. Please scroll for two additional giveaways from the team that will also end April 6.

I know...

I'm like the worst blogger in the world. It's just that I don't have anything interesting going on these days. Unless you want to hear about waiting in line to pick up my labels from the Post Office.

I didn't think so.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Issues with the page design

The logo should have been transparent. Oh, well. Back to square one.

But, the new background is great, right?

Friday, March 26, 2010

Preparations for Easter

I am not one to celebrate religious holidays, being a non-Christian, but I saw these adorable felted baskets at the store earlier this week, and I thought kids will love them. And they do. They keep filling them with toys and carting them around - adorable.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Guest Blog: NewNew Treasury Seekers

For those of you that love adorable kids/baby items, check out this giveaway.
An Etsy Treasury is an ever-changing, member curated shopping gallery of hand picked items. Both Etsy buyers and sellers can create beautiful photo montages of their favorites. Not everyone who makes an Etsy Treasury cares about it later appearing on Etsy's front page (which can bring views and sales to the featured shops) ... they're creating for the joy of creating. But many people wonder if there are any "insider" secrets to be learned from Etsy artists who consistently curate great treasuries.
A NewNew Treasury curated by Kimm Chi.

The NewNew team is lucky to have Anne, who owns a shop called Felt It, as a member. Anne makes items for children and adult that feature whimsical and colorful eco-felt appliques. She brings her eye for composition and color to each treasury she creates, and she has created HUNDREDS. We asked her to share her secrets to Treasury Hunting here with us on the blog.

Treasury curated by Muppetloon (anne from Felt It)

How long had you had your Etsy shop when you first started making treasuries?

I started making treasuries when I was simply a buyer and not a seller. It was a way to gather some of my favorite items and to get to know the makers.

Do you remember what your first collection was?

I don't remember my first collection made, but I do remember the first treasury that I made that went to the front page. It was not for the {NewNew}, as I wasn't a member yet. It was a collection called "Spring at Grandmother's in Paris". I loved those items and so did someone at etsy.com.

How many treasuries would you guestimate you've made?

I have made hundreds of them. They refresh every few days and I try to make it each week at least once or twice. I have been at this now for about two years.

Do you pre-plan before the treasuries open?

When I find myself surfing the internet without much purpose, I open Etsy's poster sketch page and put one together. It's there waiting when the treasury opens and I'm all set.

Do you title the treasury after you make it or before?

The title usually comes after I have made the treasury.

Any secret tips?

Check the treasury clock at craftopolis.com, but it is only an estimate and it is usually 15-30 minutes off.
What should people making treasuries NOT do?

Just use the same people over and over. It is boring. Also, don't ignore what they are putting up on the front page. The individuals who choose the front page over at Etsy like certain colors or items at certain times and not others. Pay attention. Also remember why you are making the treasury. If I am making a treasury for the {NewNew} it is to show some of the best photographed items in their shops.

Are you excited at the recent announcement that Etsy will use more member curated treasuries on the front page?

Of course!

We are excited to bring you a giveaway from Anne's shop!! Today you can win ONE BABY BODYSUIT OF YOUR CHOICE (here is just one example)

OR...ONE TODDLER T SHIRT OF YOUR CHOICE (here is just one example)
Just visit Anne's shop HERE and leave a comment here saying what your favorite item was. Twitter.blog, or Facebook about this giveaway (post links) and get additional entries for each! U.S. entries only please.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Guest Blog: Yo! MOMA! Tim Burton Exhibit is NewNew

Hi guys - another GIVEAWAY from the NewNew Etsy Team. Good luck!

The New York Modern Museum of Art is running an exhibition of film maker Tim Burton's work from November 22- April 26, 2010. This amazing collection of paintings, drawings, videos, sculpture, and film props is drawing record crowds of all ages.
Just as a Burton movie is unmistakable (Beetlejuice, Edward Scissorhands, Nightmare Before Christmas) Burton's art is just as distinctive: a gallery of odd creatures and characters taken from a variety of inspirations such as Japanese monster movies, side show carnivals, sci-fi films and other fantastical expressions of Pop Culture that have tickled the quirky director's fancy.

The exhibit includes over 700 examples of Burton's sketchbooks, drawings, paintings, and amateur films. He made seven sculptures for the exhibit, and music from long time collaborator Danny Elfman plays in the galleries.
Crafters and artists in any medium can find inspiration at this show. Consider a fellow NewNew team member Kimm Chi, who creates beautiful silk-screened apparel featuring bold and abstract designs.
Although Kimm's work is very different from the work of the famous director, she still left the museum feeling inspired and in admiration of Burton's ability to be so prolific. She told us that while at MOMA, she chatted with a guard who told her that the exhibit was an unexpected hit for the museum, drawing in enormous crowds like Matisse or Picasso, and that the museum was amazed with the response, and it was great to really see people of all ages appreciate the work outside of just the movies. Kimm was moved to blog about her response to the show here.

TODAY you have a chance to win a piece inspired by Tim Burton's artwork from the Etsy shop Lennymud. This whimsical monster mug can be yours just by leaving a comment here and letting us know what you would like to see more of on the NewNew blog.
We've been trying a lot of different things this month and we'd like to hear from our readers. Why do you read this blog: for crafting info or tips, info about art events in NYC, Etsy info or any other reason. Just comment and you are automatically entered to win. Winner announced next week.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Busy Bee

That's my Skype avatar. It's quite cute - this little bee flying around with the tongue sticking out, clearly tired and thirsty. That's how I feel these days. I am not complaining, because busy means that we are getting noticed. I just wish I would remember to drink a glass of water every so often.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Retail or not to retail?

We've received a few offers from various stores lately, about possibly having our products sold at their locations.

This is an amazing opportunity! I will let you know as the negotiations continue where these places are. Keep your fingers crossed for us.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Can I get ONE BUTTON, pleeeeease?

I mean, really. At this point, I am so exhausted of updating the various Internet outlets, I am borderline manic.

You guys know what I am talking about, right?

Monday, March 15, 2010

Fellow Dreamer into Doer on the Martha Stewart Show Tomorrow!

Remember that Martha Stewart/Safe Horizon event I was a part of in January? Well, one of the amazing women that was in the group of 40 Dreamers got an invitation to the Martha Stewart Show.

Rachel Gaffney, a fellow dreamer, and a great chef, will be cooking up some Irish treats in preparation for the St. Patrick's Day.

So, make sure to tune in tomorrow morning (NYC Metro), or whatever time tomorrow's show airs in your neck of the woods. Tomorrow, as in March 16, 2010. Go Rachel!

Booth display, yet again

I ordered some steps and wire-back folding easels for the pillow display. They arrived today. Wasn't really satisfied with how they looked just thrown around the floor and the table. Now the problem is draping it with fabric. It is going to be a pain doing it for every show, so I think I'll just paint it in some nice color. Might even use the leftovers from the studio project.... Hey, that's a good one.

Also, wanted to share a great resource: Gershel Bros. from Philadelphia. Great guys and awesome products. They have TONS of used display stuff, tables, racks, etc. at very good prices. Check them out.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Rejection hurts

I know everyone knows this, but I guess I needed to vent. I got two rejections today. One for a show in Brooklyn, for which we were not original enough and our prices fall outside of the price range for the show. And another one on Long Island, for which we didn't receive a reason, but I'm guessing they are more of the "jewelry and fashion" kind of place. And both are in the summer. I'm sure that had something to do with that. Oh, well... Life goes on.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Guest Blog: Paint a NewNew Picture

You guys are sooooo lucky that I got on the {NewNew} Team. They have ANOTHER giveaway.

Many artists dream of coming to New York. The Big Apple has long been a mecca for painters, illustrators and sculptors--a city filled with some of the world's finest museums and amazing galleries; where even the graffiti can be beautiful and compelling. The NewNew York Etsy Team has several artist members who work in all different kinds of mediums. We spoke with two painters about some of the challenges they face as artists, and got advice from a third shop about a unique selling venue in Manhattan.
Iris from Art by Iris and Lisa from PrismPop are Etsy artists and members of The NewNew York Etsy team. Lisa told us that one of the most challenging things about selling her art is what she terms "the blatant vulnerability". She explains: "To put something out there that is representative of yourself feels like walking into the world a little naked. It can be thrilling but not for the insecure. I have definitely gained greater confidence by creating art of my own - not hiding behind the label of a boss or company."

Iris talks pragmatically about the challenges she faces in selling her art: "Up until recently my main venue has been selling mostly original paintings on Etsy (adding more prints daily). Selling original fine art has been traditionally reserved for galleries, who's curators know art and know their customer base and therefore can best match collectors with artists. The buyer can visit the gallery and view the art first hand, not just images of it. If the buyer knows the gallery owner and has a relationship of trust with them, he/she feels assured of the market value of the art. All these advantages are not available when selling art on Etsy, which makes it very challenging. On the other hand, there is the tremendous advantage for an artist who is initially unknown - of being able to reach a large audience they wouldn't be able to reach otherwise! The collector also enjoys the advantage of buying the art directly from a yet-unknown artist, at a fraction of the market price for original art!"

We asked both artists about the ways that they promote their art. Iris is a mother of two and has the best of intentions to make use of all the technologies available for social networking--but finds it difficult to balance the job of promoting via her blog, flicker account, relisting on her Etsy shop and the time it takes to create new pieces of art. Lisa told us that one way she promotes her work is by gifting her custom portraits to friends and family - this has led to a surprising amount of work; friends of theirs see it, admire it, and commission their own! She also has a blog where she features creative finds from the Internet mixed with some self promotion.

One unusual way some New York artists are promoting themselves is by taking it to the streets...literally. Union Square hosts an amazing outdoor art scene - filled with artists selling every style of art imaginable at all different price ranges. You'll find photography, prints, original oil paintings, portraits, illustrations, and every other imaginable form of artistic expression and get a chance to meet the artist behind the work! One NewNew Team member, Lu from Lu Crafts has had the experience of selling her unique items (including magnets and switchplates) at Union Square and shared her some tips with us.

Asked how she started out, Lu told us: "I started selling in Union Square last summer, after I realized I could. I made it a point to talk to different sellers to understand the culture before I "set up shop." Saturdays are out of the question for me - people actually sleep (or hire others) Friday night to ensure a spot. Farmers market days (Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays) probably have the most traffic, but of course it's more difficult to get a spot. On Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays, vendors have the whole place to themselves and it's a wonderful vibe." Lu went on to say that she realized after a few times of doing the market, that she did not need to arrive at 7:00 a.m. on non-farmer's market days, and that forming relationships with some of the "regulars" helped her squeeze in between vendors some days.

What can you sell in Union Square? Non-functional art or items covered under the freedom of speech act means that political tshirts are ok, jewelry without words is not. As Lu told us: "This seems to be loosely interpreted but I have seen some people be asked to leave for selling unauthorized items." A street vendor's permit is not required, but you will be asked to show your certificate of authority (tax permit) by park officials.

How much art can you sell in Union Square on a busy day with thousands of people walking by your work? Lu told us she has always been very happy with how she has done--and points out that not having to pay for a space is great!

So, if you are in Manhattan, check out the Union Square arts scene. But remember - you don't have to leave the comfort of your home to buy fine art thanks to Etsy. As Iris says: "Original fine art is generally considered to be an 'elitist' market for the very wealthy. However, with the onset of the Internet, so many possibilities are available that weren't there before!
Everyone is able to purchase, enjoy and support the arts. Artists can support themselves throughout their development and study, interact with collectors and receive feedback. The possibilities are vast and amazing!"

Today's giveaway comes from Lisa's shop Prism Pop and is this fabulous 12x18 limited edition Nina Simone poster.
Lisa's love of music and pattern brought forth this great portrait. It is 100% her own design - illustrated by hand using the wacom tablet and her trusty mac. Lisa only prints on 100% recycled paper with soy inks - she loves art, but adores the environment too!

- You must be a follower of the NewNew blog
- Visit Lisa's shop HERE
- Go back to the NewNew blog and leave a comment about your favorite item. One entry per person
- Twittering, blogging, or Facebook mentions of this giveaway get you additional entries! Please include a link in your comments!
- Winner chosen at random and announced on this blog on Thursday, March 18th. Lisa will also give 1-2 RUNNERS UP a consolation prize as well - some postcards from her shop!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Display ideas

I know I wrote about this before, but there is something that just keeps bothering me about the Woolly Boo booth display. Somehow, however interesting and original, it just isn't good enough. As if there is perfection just a step away, and I don't know what that step is.

Incidentally, I was walking by the Parsons School of Design the other day and kelp thinking - maybe they can help me. What do you think?

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Exciting offer for DISCOVER CARD users!

As a merchant that accepts Discover Card, we are excited to share this offer from them.

If you purchase ANY Woolly Boo item between April 1 and June 30, 2010, you will automatically receive a 5% Cashback Bonus!!! Is that awesome or what?

Happy Shopping!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Guest Blog: NewNew plus Glue = Decoupage!

One of the Etsy Teams I have a pleasure working with is The {NewNew}, artists and crafters from the NYC Metro Area. Well, they are really taking this March Madness up a notch, so I'm sharing their blog entry with you. I really hope you like it, and I hope you win some of the fabulous stuff, as I am not eligible.

Decoupage, derived from the French word decouper, meaning to cut out, is the creative art of assembling, pasting and varnishing paper cutouts for decorating objects. Techniques for decoupage are actually quite simple. If you can cut and paste, you already know most of the techniques involved. Basically, you cut out pictures; you glue the pictures onto an object; and then cover the object and pictures with a few coats of glue/decoupage medium to protect it. You can decoupage anything! From furniture to dishes to jewelry to home decor...the decoupager is limited only by his or her imagination.

The NewNew York Etsy Team is fortunate to have several of its members who employ this technique in their work. Linda from Purty Bird decoupages onto scrabble tiles like this one: Linda has these tips for decoupage novices: "If you want to use digital images, laser-print them on 28 or 32 lb paper (card stock is too stiff). As for adhesive, anything that dries clear, flexible, and not too quickly will work, but Mod Podge® is a favorite (especially the gloss-lustre). As for tools, make sure your scissors are nice and sharp. A damp sponge also comes in handy."

Lauren, from Paperelle uses decoupage to turn things like ho hum vintage plastic bracelets into one of a kind, eco-chic accessories!
This bracelet has been meticulously decoupaged with very thin paper strips from a security envelope. The technique yielded a cool pattern in black and white. This is a cute accessory- no one will believe that it was made with items from the recycling bin!
This bracelet is created from a New York State map. Once covered in paper the bangle is coated with several layers of a glossy sealant.

Can't Afford 'Em Crafts decoupages comic book pages onto old records to create these unique clocks.
Copabananas decoupaged vintage sewing patterns on these wooden blocks to create a unique piece of sculpture.Today's Giveaway is brought to you by Maryanne from Wabisabi Brooklyn. This shop is full of incredible decoupage jewelry.
When asked how she first started out with this technique, Maryanne replied that she first started decoupaging in high school:" I wish I had a picture of the doorway to my bedroom, which throughout the course of my senior year I covered with an assortment of ephemera that I collected because it had meaning to me: Bazooka gum wrappers; the odd soda bottle label - you get the idea. In college I switched more to collage, mostly to create elaborate letters which I sent to friends throughout the country back in the days before the interwebs made keeping in touch a less tactile sport. Although the surfaces I was decorating were different, it kept my eye sharp for spotting interesting images to crop and reuse."

We asked where she first got the unique idea to decoupage onto pennies, and she told us that while she had a partner who employed the technique on other material, the inspiration to apply the idea to coins was hers. "We were out buying different copper shapes for our jewelry, and I noticed they were selling small flat copper circles for nine cents each. Immediately my thoughts turned to pennies, which I've always loved and picked up (only if they're heads up!) for good luck. The much maligned monetary unit became the basis for the most popular Wabisabi Brooklyn designs."

YOU can win this beautiful green clover bracelet from Wabisabi Brooklyn!!
Wouldn't you love to own this 1 inch copper circle decoupaged with a vintage art deco design?
Just follow these simple steps:
- You must be a follower of the {NewNew} blog
- Visit Maryanne's store HERE
- Go back to the {NewNew} blog and leave a comment that describes which item you like from Wabisabi Brooklyn. One entry per person
- Twitter, blog, or facebook about this giveaway and get additional entries! Leave a link in comments
- Winner chosen at random on March 15
- Announced here on March 16th

Monday, March 8, 2010

Happy International Women's Day!

Almost forgot! Hope you are being showered with love, kisses, and flowers.

Sniffles, and other annoying bugs

So, it turns out I have to rescue my computer data once again. The external drive that was holding everything after the computer crash failed a few days ago. I was in tears sitting in my neighbors basement last Thursday, trying to figure out what to do. Have to go to his house again today with another drive to see if he got anything. Technology... Awful...

In a related, bug matter, I got a sore throat and a serious case of sniffles, so totally useless on the work front this week. But, one of the Etsy teams I work with has another exciting giveaway, which I will share shortly. What are you waiting for? Don't you like free stuff?

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Woolly Boo at New York International Gift Fair®

It is my honor and privilege to share with you that the Selection Committee of the New York International Gift Fair® has recommended the Woolly Boo product line for the Baby & Child division of the NYIGF®. This is a new, juried category of upscale baby and children's products.

The next show will be held August 14-18 at the Jacob K. Javitz Convention Center. We hope you will be there to say hello.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Guest Blog: March of Giveaway Madness at The {NewNew} York Etsy Team

One of the Etsy Teams I have a pleasure working with is The {NewNew}, artists and crafters from the NYC Metro Area. Well, they are really taking this March Madness up a notch, so I'm sharing their blog entry with you. I really hope you like it, and I hope you win some of the fabulous stuff, as I am not eligible.

March has come in like a lion, and The {NewNew} York Etsy Team is "roaring" to go! This month, The {NewNew} Blog will be offering fabulous giveaways TWICE A WEEK from many of its talented members. From unique ceramics to glamorous jewelry to incredible paintings...each post will bring you a chance to win a {NewNew} item from some of the best Etsy shops in New York! Please share these amazing contests with others, and please visit this blog often for updates!

We kick off this Month of Giveaway Madness by featuring well known {NewNew} member MAY LUK, a Brooklyn based ceramic artist who creates a line called TAKE ME HOMEWARE.

May Luk's shop is full of handmade, curiously decorated, functional pottery items including attractive contemporary slipware, adorned with art inspired by antique advertising and illustrations.

May Luk has this to say about herself: "I started to get my hands into clay when living in London, I studied ceramics at Kensington & Chelsea College and Glasgow School of Art. I loved the medium, the combination of art and science, hours of experimentation mixing glaze and colors, each resulting piece a series of creative decisions and technical endeavors. I found it an ideal way to use my background in illustration, producing pieces that have an emphasis on image making and graphic decorations."

The wares are white stoneware or porcelain clay. They are fired to cone 8 - 1272°C [2320°F] in an electric kiln. The glazes are food and dishwasher safe and lead-free.

All the ceramics in May Luk's shop are artistic and unique. They are not mass-produced by automatic machines and big corporations. They will enhance your domestic environment, impress your friends and increase the deliciousness of your food.

May Luk sometimes collaborates with another {NewNew} member, Cakehouse, who produces second hand textiles repurposed as hand printed home accessories.

What better way to set a fresh and exciting Spring table than with items from May Luk's shop? AND GUESS WHAT? YOU CAN WIN THESE TWO GREAT PIECES!

A pair of his and her ditsy bowls for holding all your precious things. These will make a beautiful addition to your home.

Make sure you are a current follower of the {NewNew} blog. Visit May Luk's shop and take a look at all of her beautiful work. Then go back to the blog and post in comments letting us know what your favorite item is. You may comment one time only, but if you tweet or blog about this giveaway you get an extra entry, so mention that in your comment! CONTEST ENDS MARCH 7. US entries only.