Dipping into Papermaking

Have you ever wanted to try making your own paper, but thought you needed fancy, expensive supplies? Making paper just for fun can be inexpensive and less daunting than one might think. Of course, one could invest in more expensive materials to make professional,  archival quality papers for various art forms. But for the novice, there is an easy, less expensive way. Using scraps of paper, a wood deckle mold, and a kitchen blender...POOF! You will have beautiful pieces of paper with those fancy deckle edges. Here’s how:

Making a Single Sheet

Materials:

  • kitchen blender
  • rectangular tub filled halfway with water
  • cheap plastic trays (to contain the water when sponging it off the paper sheet)
  • plastic cups (to separate your paper pulps, or holding your torn scraps)
  • scraps of paper, torn or shredded
  • sponges
  • paper towels/newspaper (to absorb water)
  • wood deckle mold (shown here, about $30. includes support grid, mesh screen, and white dry cloths). You can also make your own mold by repurposing a scrap of metal screen, and edging with duct tape.  I have had excellent results with this also.
  • the fun stuff:  dried botanicals, metallic sprinkles, scraps of embroidery floss for texture

Optional Materials:

  • cotton pulp (Not necessary, but does make the paper stronger when added to scrap paper.)
  • an iron, if you want the paper dry immediately
Blend a handful of cotton pulp or torn bits of paper with this much water.

Blend a handful of cotton pulp or torn bits of paper with this much water.

Steps:

  1. Blend a handful of cotton pulp and a handful of paper scraps in blender until the pieces just about disintegrate. 
  2. With the deckle mold already in place in the tub, pour the blender mixture into the tub of water. Lift the mold to drain.  The photo shows yellow paper pulp.
  3. Remove the mold and the support grid from underneath. Place the mesh over the wet paper sheet.
  4. Sponge off the water, gently.. Squeeze the water out of the sponge back into the tub, and repeat as many times as necessary, until yo have sponged off most of the water.
  5. Remove the screen, and place drying cloth, a sheet of paper, or heavy duty paper towel over your new sheet. Flip it over and repeat with press bar, if available, or the sponge.

The plastic trays help keep the water under control. If they fill up, just pour the water back into the tub, and continue.

The finished sheet. You can iron dry between two sheets of paper, or weigh it down with heavy objects. It will dry in a few days. Brown bag threads give this sheet a nice texture!

                                                                                                      Credit: Szylvia Revesz from Artist/Teacher Institute

                                                                                                      Credit: Szylvia Revesz from Artist/Teacher Institute

Other Ideas to Try

Recycled newspaper with colorful paper confetti. Before draining your sheet, toss in some shredded newspaper and paper confetti along with your newspaper pulp to achieve this look.

Recycle newspaper. Toss a handful of shredded newspaper into tub before draining sheet. 

Recycle newspaper. Toss a handful of shredded newspaper into tub before draining sheet. 

Place string over your first layer of paper so they hang over the sides.  Add a second layer of paper directly over it, and sponge off the water to seal the the two sheets together, with the string caught in between.  When dry, cut, fold, and assemble as you wish. Be creative! 

Decorative book: Layer two sheets, sandwiching string between sheets of wet pulp. Cut and assemble when dry.

Decorative book: Layer two sheets, sandwiching string between sheets of wet pulp. Cut and assemble when dry.

Nicoletta is a lifelong artist and art educator, with an M.A. in Art Education and Administration. She travels the world seeking cultural inspiration for her art, and has worked in fibers, acrylics, oils, and sculpture. Her current work is inspired by the reinvention of the mundane zipper, elevated to an art form into unexpected jewelry designs. Nicoletta’s artwork is shown throughout New York/New Jersey area and worldwide.

For Immediate Release: Etsy NY Street Team to Become NY Handmade Collective (NYHC)

 

Etsy NY Street Team to Become NY Handmade Collective (NYHC)

New Year, New Name, Same Grassroots Mission

New York, NY (April 4th, 2017) - Effective immediately, the Etsy NY Street Team will now be formally known as the NY Handmade Collective (NYHC).

With a fresh, reenergized mission, name and look, the NY Handmade Collective (formerly known as the Etsy NY Street Team) is thrilled to announce an exciting, renewed focus on the local community and the potential of its creative small-business members. Through education, mentorship and market opportunities, NYHC will expand its possibilities while at the same time continuing its special longstanding affiliation with the Etsy mothership in Brooklyn, Etsy, Inc.

As NYHC grows while holding on to what’s great, this rebrand celebrates the evolution of the team as well as a renewed commitment to its grassroots effort of bringing together master craft entrepreneurs and community to help one another flourish in an increasingly commercial world. The collective in its new iteration also intends to double-down on its work of organizing local artisans to connect and educate the wider world on the positive impacts and overall human value in promoting and buying handmade. NYHC will continue its outreach through its non-profit, all-volunteer social media channels, blog and website as well as through its continued all-in-house design, production and execution of quality-curated, warm and affordable handmade markets in the area and beyond.

NYHC is committed to keeping alive the value of the small-business maker, the legacy of a shared artisan heritage, all while pushing the boundaries of modern creativity.

Diversity and unification, creativity and teamwork.

From our hands to yours, NY Handmade Collective.

 Visit us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter!

 

About NYHC:

Representing one of the oldest, largest and most professionally organized teams of local active sellers on Etsy, Inc., the group, created in 2007, has cultivated a long-established, local presence in the NYC metro area by hosting a number of successful and highly curated in-person markets, workshops and events (Holiday Handmade Cavalcade, Crafts in Chelsea, and Celebrate Brooklyn to name a few). NYHC is also known for its all-volunteer organization dedicated to the promotion and marketing of online selling opportunities on behalf of its members through its wide-ranging press outreach, immense social media presence, great blog and beautiful website.

 

NYHC Mission Statement:

The NY Handmade Collective (formally known as the Etsy NY Street Team) is a vibrant, nonprofit group of regional artisans committed to educating and developing the potential of its members through mentorship, market opportunities, and small business development. By focusing on selling events, the creative process, and the promotion of quality handmade goods, NYHC broadens individual possibility while expanding the circle of community in our wider world.

 

About Etsy, Inc.

Etsy operates markets where millions of people around the world connect, both online and offline, to make, sell and buy unique goods. Etsy also offers a wide range of seller services and tools that help creative entrepreneurs start, scale and manage their businesses. The Etsy community includes creative entrepreneurs who sell on our platform, thoughtful consumers looking to buy unique goods in our marketplace, retailers and manufacturers who partner with Etsy sellers to help them scale their businesses and Etsy employees who maintain our platform and nurture our ecosystem. Etsy's mission is to reimagine commerce in ways that build a more fulfilling and lasting world, and we're committed to using the power of business to strengthen communities and empower people.

Etsy was founded in 2005 and is headquartered in Brooklyn, New York.

 

NYHC Media Contact:

Cynthia Black

cyn.black@gmail.com

 

Market Highlights: ID PopShop

Journals by Vernakular

Journals by Vernakular

Who can resist a Sunday morning designer market in New York CIty? From organic skin care to home decor, the ID Pop Up at the Chelsea Market event space should not be missed. Visitors will be impressed by the quality and variety of this carefully curated show in a professional, boutique-style atmosphere. The vibe is undoubtedly New York, with artists showcasing the best in locally made handcrafted items. The collection of independent designers featuring high quality jewelry, apparel, visual art and other unique items distinguishes this from your average NYC market. I hope you enjoy these highlights from the ID PopShop!

Bath salts by Naturally Susan's

Bath salts by Naturally Susan's

Bath salts by Naturally Susan's

Headpieces by Dora Marra, Headdress NY

Sewer Cover Doormats by Vernakular

Transit posters and coasters by LinePosters

For more information on future ID Pop Shop events, and how you can be a part of it, go to: ID Pop Shop.

Post by: Nicoletta Siccone / ETSY Shop: ArtologieDesigns / Website: www.art-ologie.com

Nicoletta is a lifelong artist and art educator, with an M.A. in Art Education and Administration. She travels the world seeking cultural inspiration for her art, and has worked in fibers, acrylics, oils, and sculpture. Her current work is inspired by the reinvention of the mundane zipper, elevated to an art form into unexpected jewelry designs. Nicoletta’s artwork is shown throughout New York/New Jersey area and worldwide.

Cold Weather Crock Pot Cocoa

Bracing for another snowy blast here in NYC as winter gets its last licks in, I'm breaking out the mini crock pot for a small, but indulgent pleasure tonight: slow simmered, super rich crock pot hot cocoa. I'm cocoa-ing for 2, but you can double or triple this recipe to for a whole crowd! 

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Set your crock pot to low heat and gather your ingredients:

  1. (2) cups of 2% milk (try soy, almond or coconut milk for a twist)
  2. (1) tablespoon powdered sugar
  3. (2) ounces of dark chocolate, or any kind of chocolate you like best (you can also use chocolate chips and save yourself some chopping!)
  4. Optional - 2 ounces of brewed espresso
  5. Optional a sprinkle of nutmeg (I put fresh nutmeg on everything, any chance I get)

1. Chop your chocolate into smaller pieces. No need to be neat, we just need it to fit in the crock pot. But, try not to nibble it all away :-)

2. Add your chopped chocolate, powdered sugar, espresso and nutmeg (or any other spices!) to the crock pot and pour in your milk.

3. Leave the crock to do the work while you shovel snow, take a nap, take a bath, read a book, or any other wintry afternoon activity you find relaxing.

4. In 2-3 hours, give your super rich cocoa a swirl, and if all is melted, smooth and silky, ladle into mugs, sit back, sip slowly and savor.   

I'm feeling super fancy today, so I went with these sweet little teacups. Cheers! 

I'm feeling super fancy today, so I went with these sweet little teacups. Cheers! 

For the Fun of it: Experimenting in Other Artistic Mediums

While most of us on the Etsy New York team focus on a particular craft or skill for our shops, we often love to venture on a variety of artistic pursuits. As busy as I am and as much as I love to paint animals in watercolor (the focus of my shop), I always take some time, whenever I can sneak it, to stretch other creative muscles.  I choose discrete projects so I can have a finished product in not too much time, so that these art interludes don’t leave me with lots of unfinished projects that fall by the wayside.  I find when I take a short break, it enables me to see my favored medium with a new perspective when I turn back to it. I've done this for most of my life - I recently rediscovered some hand-sewn teddy bears I used to create to relieve stress as a teenager!

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Something I always return to when crafting outside my usual painting and drawing is making jewelry.  My first Etsy shop actually sold hand-painted seaglass pieces I’d found on the beach, and when the perfect piece calls out to me, I still love to figure out what it’s destined to become and ponder what it might have been in its past life…

Lately I have also been expanding my jewelry horizons by doing a bit of silversmithing.  I’ve taken a few classes and the process of filing, soldering, sanding and finishing is incredibly calming.  I’m still very much a novice, especially at soldering, but that’s half the fun, even if that means it takes twice as long to finish a piece.  I rent bench time at a small shop so I don’t need to own all the equipment; I can just got a few hours at a time when I have some time to work on a little project!  Here are a few I’ve completed recently:

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In the fall I took an embroidery class and I find the process of the repetitive stitching to be incredibly soothing.  As winter fell, taking an hour to watch a silly program on television while slowly embroidering, snuggled up under a big blanket, was the perfect for finding some chilly-day zen.

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I even inspired my mom to dig out some embroidery she started on before I was born!  We’re stitching matching embroidered cacti shirt pockets at the moment, and might finally finish this 37-year-old unfinished project she discovered.

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My father is a bit of an amateur photographer, and it’s fun to also borrow his SLR camera on occasion and refresh my long-dormant photography skills.

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In general, in case it’s not apparent, I love taking classes to learn new artistic skills from those who are expert in it, and deepening my learning on subjects I love.  I recently took a figure drawing class, which pushed me out of my comfort zone – quick poses, perspectives, and the drawing of humans instead of animals really shook things up!  I’ve also tried my hand at machine sewing  classes (not my strong suit, but very useful), am signed up for a loom weaving class next month, and just bought my first needle felting kit – that one I plan on teaching to myself with the help of the internet, when I can find a spare moment.

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In general, in case it’s not apparent, I love taking classes to learn new artistic skills from those who are expert in it, and deepening my learning on subjects I love.  I recently took a figure drawing class, which pushed me out of my comfort zone – quick poses, perspectives, and the drawing of humans instead of animals really shook things up!  I’ve also tried my hand at machine sewing  classes (not my strong suit, but very useful), am signed up for a loom weaving class next month, and just bought my first needle felting kit – that one I plan on teaching to myself with the help of the internet, when I can find a spare moment. 

What new projects and artistic pursuits have you tried your hand at lately?  I’d love to know!

Lauren 

Wandering Laur Fine Art

Macro Friendly Sweet Potato Coconut Ice Cream

Hi Friends, I hope everyone's year is off to a fantastic start. It's hard to believe we are already approaching March next week !  I hope for those of you who set new years resolutions or intentions you are still holding strong & sticking to them. Today I am sharing a recipe that aligns perfectly with my intention of maintaining a healthy nutritional diet. I have recently returned to counting my Macros again.

What are Macros ?

In order for our bodies to survive & function the composition of our diet is essential & therefore it's important to understand the two different types of nutrients it can be split into: Macro-Nutrients & Micro-Nutrients. When it comes to Macro-Nutrients there are three, they all have their own specific roles & functions in the body & supply us with calories or energy. For this reason, the body requires these nutrients in relatively large amounts to grow, develop, repair & feel good. Each Macro-Nutrient is almost always found in every item of food, the only difference is how they are balanced. As an example, the nutritional composition of an avocado is generally made up of 75 % (Good Fats) 20 % Carbs & 5% Protein. This is clearly a fat based food. I believe that tracking macros is the most effective way to have control over your diet. It's the only way to know exactly what is going into our bodies. Tracking Macros year round is unrealistic however when you do track you will have an accurate understanding of what portion sizes your body needs, types of foods your body needs, & how often you should eat for your body to perform at it's absolute best. Once you've tracked for awhile you can switch to a more intuitive approach. I have spent the last few weeks in my intuitive stage & am now finding it necessary to recalculate & make the adjustments to transition back into consistent tracking of my set macros. There is no magic set of macros. The set that works for me likely won't work for you. There are too many factors that influence, including metabolism, gender, age, body composition, physical activity....The list goes on. For More information on how to calculate your specific macros feel free to email me at MozieMoByRachelLeigh@Gmail.Com

 Today I'll be sharing this healthy Macro Friendly Ice Cream recipe with you guys. It's creamy & delicious any ice cream lovers dream when trying to eat healthy. 

Serves 10  | 125 Calories Per Serving 

Macro Breakdown :  

Fats : 6.4 Grams 

Carbs: 15.7 Grams 

Protein :  2.4 Grams 

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Spices You'll need.

  • Cinnamon 1 Tablespoon
  • Nutmeg- 1 Teaspoon 
  • Ground Ginger - 1 Gram 
  • Cardamom - 1 Gram                                
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You'll also need 4 Large Sweet Potatoes & Coconut for Coconut Milk.

As an alternative you can use this Coconut Milk use entire container. 

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I tsp of 100% Pure Maple Syrup  & 1 Ripe Banana 

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To Prepare : Roast Sweet Potatoes in Oven at 400 Degrees for 60 Minutes.

Let Cool, Peel & Place in large bowl. 

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Mash the potatoes until soft then add the banana & spices.

Mash & Mix. 

Leave Mixture in freezer for up to 4 hours Minimum.  

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Remove the mixture from freezer. In a food processor or blender purée together with the coconut milk. 

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Once Fully blended pour into a freezer safe dish & freeze overnight. 

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To serve let dish thaw for 10 Minutes before scooping.

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And there you have it my friends a creamy & delicious Coconut Sweet Potato Guilt Free Ice Cream. 

I hope you guys enjoy this recipe as much as I do. With warmer weather on the horizon the temptation for Ice Cream increases, this is one guilt free recipe you can take with you into those spring & summer months. Enjoy ! : ) 

Until Next Time, 

XOXO,

Rachel Leigh 

Creator Of Spaces

Founder Of MozieMo

NYC Based Designer | Blogger

Shop MozieMo On ETSY 

Email : MozieMoByRachelLeigh@Gmail.Com 

Choker Trends

Chokers are back! While one might believe the seductive necklace worn tight-to-the-neck originated in the 1990's, this accessory actually has a history dating back thousands of years. It is a style that has appeared across cultures in a variety of metals, stones, and materials. So how old is the choker necklace really? The oldest choker necklaces can be attributed to the Ancient Egyptians, who created them not only for adornment, but more for protection, along with jewelry worn on other parts of the body. Using gold to represent the sun, and lapis lazuli for the Nile River, the chokers were worn as powerful amulets.

This eclectic selection of modern-day chokers by Etsy artisans are designed to make an impression. From timeless metal collars to this handpainted boho-chic eagle, they are wearable works of art. 

Contemporary styles include a minimalist spheres necklace employing traditional glass-blowing techniques and a choker designed with metal forms using cast bones. 

Post by: Nicoletta Siccone / ETSY Shop: ArtologieDesigns / Website: www.art-ologie.com

Nicoletta is a lifelong artist and art educator, with an M.A. in Art Education and Administration. She travels the world seeking cultural inspiration for her art, and has worked in fibers, acrylics, oils, and sculpture. Her current work is inspired by the reinvention of the mundane zipper, elevated to an art form into unexpected jewelry designs. Nicoletta’s artwork is shown throughout New York/New Jersey area and worldwide.

3 Ways to Make Your Website More Like Your Etsy Shop

I often get asked about how I built my website or what ecommerce template I used to create my online store. For now, I am happy with my Weebly template, but I have to warn you that my webmaster customized my template quite a bit to get the look and functionality I wanted for my shop. After redoing my website about 3-4 times in the last 3 years, I have yet to find a single template or platform that has worked exactly like I wanted to from the beginning. Your personal website will require more time and effort to maintain than your Etsy Shop, but is worth the investment if you want to grow your email list to build trust with your current and potential customers by consistently reaching out to them about your product offerings and promotions.

If you are thinking about creating your own website to sell your products, but you’re not sure if you have the budget to set up an online store that will make as many sales as you Etsy shop, this post series will reveal 3 ways that Etsy converts online lookers into buyers and how you can use free add-ons to help close your online sales.

Make it Easy for Customers to Contact You

The first pro tip is to make it easy for customers to contact you quickly. How many conversations does it take for you to close a sale on your Etsy shop? For me, it takes an average of 6 conversations back and forth between the buyer before they pull the trigger, because A) they don’t know me and B) they aren’t familiar with my product or sizing system. It is rare for my customers to make a purchase without contacting me as a seller first. Part of the reason people are comfortable purchasing from you after discovering your shop on Etsy is that they can easily message you if they have any questions about a product. There’s an “Ask a question” box literally on every listing page right next to the price. That’s convenient.  So if you open your own online shop without an obvious contact page or pop up window, and people can’t easily understand your unique product or offering, they will leave your website without purchasing.

Drift is a free add-on I use on my website that allows customers to chat with you in real time if they have a question. You can customize the message in the pop up window to add your email address or number for potential customers to contact you. People feel more comfortable purchasing online from an unfamiliar website if they can talk to a real person who cares first. Customers also feel confident that they can reach you if they have problems with their purchase.

Using Drift, you don’t have to wait on the computer for customer inquiries all day, because when someone types a message in the chat box online you immediately receive a notification on your phone through the free Drift mobile app (Available for both iOS and Android). Drift notifications also get emailed to your inbox and you can even connect it to your company's Slack account.

Stay tuned for part two and three of this series discussing other free add ons with features that are similar to your Etsy Shop and will help increase sales.

Markisha Velazquez is the designer and owner of Junior Baby Hatter, based in Weehawken, NJ. When she’s not making dapper caps for babies and toddlers she commutes to New York with her family and blogs about her adventures in the city.

No-Sew Tee Shirt Tote Bag

I love tee shirts! Maybe too much? I have so many shirts that I thought were adorable, or hilarious at the time . . .and have worn maybe twice in ten years. I can't bear to get rid of them, but they either don't fit, or don't fit into my wardrobe anymore. But you know what I'll never outgrow? SHOPPING!! So today I am taking a stack of these tees and making them into stretchy little tote bags so save me from plastic bag after plastic bag on little errands.

Gather your materials and follow along! This is a great activity for a group & for little ones. All you need is:

  • A tee shirt, or 4, or 10! 
  • A sharp pair of scissors
  • A pencil or chalk

1. Lay your tee on a firm flat surface and mark cut lines around the collar and sleeves.

2. Cut out the collar and around the sleeves. These cuts will make the handles of your tote bag, so be generous! If the cuts are too close, your handles will be skinny. 

3. Cut 2-3" slits across the bottom of your tote, approximately one inch apart.

4. Now it's time to make your no-sew seam! Turn your project inside out, and starting in the middle tie the strips from opposite sides into small knots.

5. Once all of your knots are tied, flip your bag back to right side out et voila! A tee shirt tote bag in 5 minutes! 

This guy came out pretty small (I told you these shirts don't fit!) so this will be my drugstore/small errand bag. Luckily I have a whole stack of shirts to make into totes of all sizes! 

Industrial Eye Candy

Old objects, given a new life in an unexpected context, can become works of art in themselves. Such is the aesthetic appeal of the interior of Chelsea Market, the converted biscuit factory in NYC's Meatpacking District. The common expression, "Everything old is new again," is taken to a whole other level here, where one finds large-scale re-purposing of an entire city block now known for its gourmet eateries. This photo essay aims to illustrate how the building's "rawness" has been re-created to preserve its industrial beauty. 

One of the most striking things about the interior is being surrounded by the historical remains of the building: original flooring, brick walls, exposed pipes.  Instead of covering over the old, the design of the main hall celebrates the past in a stripped down setting, revealing its old character and beauty. 

Fans of recycled industrial salvage will be delighted by how the remains of the factory’s industrial past have been repurposed: the unique fountain of old drill bits, the elevators framed in shiny brass lockboxes, the hammered copper walls, and assorted pipes which lend a steampunk feel to the atmosphere of the market. Be sure to take notice of these unique spots inside the market on your next visit!

Post by: Nicoletta Siccone / ETSY Shop: ArtologieDesigns / Website: www.art-ologie.com

Nicoletta is a lifelong artist and art educator, with an M.A. in Art Education and Administration. She travels the world seeking cultural inspiration for her art, and has worked in fibers, acrylics, oils, and sculpture. Her current work is inspired by the reinvention of the mundane zipper, elevated to an art form into unexpected jewelry designs. Nicoletta’s artwork is shown throughout New York/New Jersey area and worldwide.