Where to Find The {NewNew} on October 25 + 26

This weekend is really a doozie for Indie Artists and Crafters around town with specail themed shopping days down in Brooklyn and free crafting workshops at the Etsy labs as well as the Flea, let's start with Saturday Oct 25

From 10am to 3pm, Etsy Labs is sponsoring a FREE - that's right, I said FREE - Sock Monkey making workshop. All Monkeys made will be donated to FreshArtNYC.org to be sold to fund their programs for special needs artists. You can RSVP for this FREE event by emailing RSVP@ETSY.COM. And you can meet some of your local neighborhood street team their crafting it for charity.

And also on Saturday - you can find CollectiveElements and ShutterKate at the Handmade Faire in Medford New Jersey from
10 am to 4pm looks to be great fun - with door prizes for shoppers and goodie bags and oh yeah 100 vendors! Sounds great!

Also on Saturday - from 11am to 7pm the Brooklyn Indie Market has dubbed it - Steam Punk day! Plan to be there for their 2pm fashion show - with a steampunk reading - victorian inspired refreshments (!) and victorian photo sitting. Get that corset out of the closet and slip into that petty coat and come on down.

If you don't already know - the Brooklyn Indie Market is a NYC emerging designer market each Saturday and Sunday at Smith at Union - under a nice bright white and red striped tent. I can't promise a corset - but I'll definitely be there on Saturday.

Well if that isn't enough to make, do, watch an buy there' still Sunday!!

This Sunday at our spot at the Brooklyn Flea - we'll have handmade jewelry from Yaniamor, handmade soap from NordeaSoaperie, monsters and plush toys, tees and buttons from KarensMonsters, sterling silver custom nameplate jewelry from CajaJewelry (*new seller with us!), handmade jewelry using vintage findings from AdornmentsNYC and handmade jewelry using colorful glass and brass from Jantar.


You Put a Hex On Me!

Here in New York, my daily commute is nearly an hour on the subway. Until I find a way to convince my employer to move out to Brooklyn (unlikely!), I will be in search of crafts to occupy my time on the train. Quilting doesn’t usually come to mind when one thinks of crafting on-the-go, but with just a little at-home prep work, English paper piecing is one way that you can take it with you...at least for the piecing part.

Back in January I decided that I wanted to make a Grandmother’s garden quilt, which will take almost 2,000 individual pieces. Ouch. I expect to be done sometime around 2015. If you’re not into that level of time commitment, you could always sew up a few flowers and then applique them onto other blocks, or make cute little flower coasters. I think that they would also make adorable elbow patches for a sweater or jacket. Once you have the technique down, you could also move on to other small interlocking shapes.

These little hexagons are quite the rage in the online craft world right now. You can see some nice examples here, here, and here.

• Piece of fabric—at least 4” x 6” for the flower petals
• Small scrap of fabric for the center
• Freezer paper
• iron
• Scissors
• Needle and thread
• Nail clippers or small thread cutter

First you need a template. I created mine in Illustrator and I occasionally sit down to trace little hexagons onto freezer paper and cut out a bunch at a time. You might think I’ve got too much time on my hands, but really I’m just cheap—there are also companies that sell pre-cut paper templates if you’re not quite as masochistic as me. You will need 7 hexagons for each flower; 6 petals and one flower center. Cut your templates out of the freezer paper and place them shiny-side down onto the wrong side of your larger piece of fabric. They should be at least 1/2” apart to allow for a 1/4” seam. Set your iron to the cotton setting and iron over the 6 petal pieces to fuse them to the fabric. Repeat with the 7th piece on the smaller fabric scrap. Cut each hexagon from your fabric, leaving a 1/4” border all the way around the paper template. Some people just cut a square around the hexagon, but that leaves too much bulk in the seams for my taste.
From here on out your project is portable! Stash it in your bag and it’s ready to go with you on the train, in the car—even on the plane! Next, thread your needle and knot one end of the thread. Hold the hexagon with the paper/wrong side facing you. Fold the seam allowance down over the paper template. Use the needle and thread to make long basting stitches through the 2 layers of fabric and the template. (Do your neighbors a favor and pull the needle straight down or else straight back toward yourself—no one likes the feeling of a needle coming at them!)
When you come to the corner fold the next side over the template and continue all the way around the hexagon. You want to strike a balance between speed (you will be pulling these stitches out later) and accuracy (you want to keep the shape fairly true so that the blocks will fit together later). Take 2 short stitches to hold the thread when all of the edges have been turned under. Cut the thread (I carry nail clippers and a little thread cutter with me on the train) and continue turning the edges of all seven pieces. Now take two petal pieces and place them right sides together, aligning the edges. Using your needle and thread, whip stitch one edge together. Finish with a few tight stitches on top of each other. Cut your thread and repeat with the remaining 4 petals. You will now have 3 sets of two petals. It’s the flower center’s time to shine! Open one of the flower petals sets. Take the flower center piece and match it, right sides together, to one of the flower petals. Whip stitch one edge together, starting from the outside and stitching towards the second petal. (I’m right-handed, so I start on the right side and stitch left). When you come to the end of that side, open the flower center seam and fold it back down, repositioning it so that you can stitch the second edge to the second petal (you will have to fold the first petal in half to do so).
Continue this all around with the other 2 petal sets.

You should now have the 3 double-petal sections attached to the center. The final step is to whip stitch the petal sections together—just 3 more seams! After you've sewn all of the petals together, carefully pick out the basting thread from the center. Gently pull the freezer paper template out from the center piece. You may have to tug a little if it is caught in your whip-stitches. It’s up to you what you do next. If—like me—you’re now hooked, you start another flower set and just keep going, trying not to think too much about how many flowers lie ahead of you. Otherwise, applique the flower to another piece of fabric (again removing basting threads and paper templates carefully as you go and move on. I have fallen in love with this technique because it allows me to have a (very) long term project that includes lots of short-term immediate satisfaction as I complete each flower. I love seeing the little flower pile grow. It is also a very compact little project that can be tucked into my purse and pulled out for those inevitable train delays, traffic jams, and long layovers.
Then I'm marching ever-so-slowly towards my goal—even if I'm sitting still!

Crafty Dads

I've heard and read lots of interviews with artists and crafters, and usually when the question "why are you creative" comes up, moms get the credit for leading by crafty example. But in honor of the month in which we tip our hats to dads, I'd like to take a little peek into how the fathers (and husbands) of some {New New} members have inspired, collaborated with, and otherwise conspired to make us want - and need - to make stuff.

The Art Stick

Brooklyn based artist Kimm of KimmChi, who makes unique jewelry, tote bags, and tee shirts, had this to say: "I grew up with a very crafty dad - everything was art to him, and everything was inspiring. He once found a branch on the street and was so taken with it that - I kid you not - he covered it in canvas and painted it a very unnatural metallic copper. That was 25 or so years ago. He still has it, as adults we have taken to calling it the "Art Stick" - the ever-inspiring art stick."

Tailor Made
May of May Luk Ceramics cited both her father and her husband as inhabiting the crossroads of craft and good old fashioned labor: "My dad was a tailor before he retired, so he can be considered a craftsman. But in Hong Kong, he is just another worker in a sweaty shop (not sweat shop, just hot in temperature). Back then when Hong Kong was still manufacturing goods, most people worked with their hands. He tried to teach me how to make patterns when I was a kid but I never got it. I sewed one shirt and the collar was lopsided. I enjoyed drawing fashion when I was a kid but I never picked up fashion design. He did tell me not to do things that everybody can do. I do get that from him; I try to have a very strong individual style as a person and in my designs. Now I am married to a graphic designer. Graphic design and typography used to be crafts but are no longer considered so."

Love of Craft
Jen of JT Stitches talked about her father's inspiring handiness: "My father has always been a very handy man. I can always remember my father building something, sometimes ripping down a room and totally rebuilding it. He's has made backyard and pool decks, rebuilt bathrooms, and has helped a many members of my family with home based projects. These things just come naturally to my father. He's not in construction professionally; he is retired from the New York City Police Department. My favorite example of his handiness is: when I got my embroidery machine a couple years ago I needed something to prop it up to make it easier for me to embroider large pieces. I gave my father the measurements, showed him a picture of what I had in mind and he made it for me, adding detail to the edges and engraving the bottom, To Jen Love Dad."

Jack of All Trades
Karen of Karen's Monsters is married to a man of versatile craftiness: "My husband Joe is one of the most creative people I know. He calls himself my idea guy. He has come up with half the ideas behind the monsters I make, he names each one, and he just recently designed the t-shirts I'm having printed. When I first started selling, he made me the most awesome sign (see attached photo). And now he's gotten into making hula hoops. We spend most evenings up on our roof hula hooping now. Since he was little he's always liked making things and I'm happy to have him putting a lot of that creative energy into my crafting business. Though I'd love it if he could have a work space to make all of the big ideas he has."

DIY Dadoo
Kari of ikyoto talked about her father's DIY influence on her: "While mom was the one in my family to pass on the sewing skills that I use every day, the DIY attitude of my dad (aka Dadoo) has made quite an impression as well. Long before I was born, he was clinching his title of "super geek" by building a hat with it's own built-in fan. An impish prank that got him in trouble in elementary school was a handmade valentine to his teacher. The box said on the front "You pierce my heart..." upon opening shot out a little dart and continued, "Did I pierce yours?" He has helped me on many projects over the years including learning black and white photography in the bathroom lab, team effort handmade paper, and soldering together a theremin kit. For this I'm forever thankful, with a bonus thanks for the fact that I always know what to get him for Father's Day: some kind of instruction manual!"

Here's to the paternal (and husbandly) influence on craftiness!

-MaryAnne, wabisabi brooklyn

Etsy Labs has reopened!

Starting tonight Etsy Labs is open again for their weekly craft nights! Etsy Labs was closed for the past few weeks due to a move from the 6th Floor to the 3rd floor of their 325 Gold Street building. The move is complete and the space looks great:

Julie [below] hosted a live chat on Etsy and gave instructions on how to make a pillow.

Danielle [in the photo below] and Christine worked on sewing the pillows. Check out all the Labs' sewing machines and sergers!

If you'd like to visit the Labs, the space is open to visitors every Monday from 4-8:00. The building is at 325 Gold Street in Brooklyn, which is right near Downtown Brooklyn, a close walk to several subway stops.


Reusing old materials in traditional crafts

This past week I had the opportunity to travel to Brasstown, North Carolina to take a class at the John Campbell Folk School. In honor of Earth Day, the Folk School led a week of classes focused on earth-friendly crafts. Some classes foraged around the school campus for discarded items to use in their projects, and other classes took old objects and made them new again. On the final evening of the week-long school, each class presented what they made; the beauty of these crafts has inspired me to look around my home for old items to transform. Take a look at some of the work created during the week.....

Lauren Kingsland and Kim Jalette taught a class focused on making quilts that incorporate old t-shirts, creating beautiful new pieces as well as a type of functional scrapbook. The students in this class were extremely committed to their projects, working beyond the usual six hours a day, often staying in the sewing studio until late hours of the night.

Before my week at the Folk School, I'd never given kaleidoscopes much thought, but the kaleidoscope-making class wound up being one of the more talked-about classes of the week. Using an imaginative array of recyclables such as pill containers, water bottles, and kid toys, the class made kaleidoscopes that were fun to look at and fascinating to look through.

Kim Joris led a mixed-media art class in which students were asked to bring in some of their old unused art works. The end result were a collection of new pieces made using students' old paintings as well as scraps from a variety of materials otherwise intended for the recycle bin.

'The Art of Re-use' was the class which proudly spoke of scavenging through trash. The art they created was inventive and dimensional with an aged patina:

My class focused on making wood jewelry. We used scraps of wood discarded by other craftspeople, such as hardwood scraps from woodturning and furniture-making. Here are some of the pieces I created:

The John Campbell Folk School operates year-round with weekend and week-long classes in traditional crafts, music, cooking, and dance, with a particular focus on arts from the surrounding Appalachian area. Work-study and scholarship opportunities are available.

Coming up this week....

--If you haven't been to a bead show before, check out the Whole Bead Show at the Metropolitan Pavilion on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Excellent selection of beads; just know your budget! The beautiful amethyst briolettes in the photo are from Sweet Swoozie's supply shop, aka EmilyEJewelry.

--To learn a little more about Slow Design, attend a presentation on Thursday, March 27th at Lincoln Center on the 'slow movement' with respect to art and design.

--There are several art fairs going on this weekend, including the SCOPE New York '08 art fair Wednesday through Sunday at 62nd Street and 10th Avenue and the Armory Art Fair on March 27-30 at Pier 94 at 12th Ave. and 55th Street.

--Beer-making is a craft, right....? Check out the Spring Craft Beer Festival at the Nassau Coliseum in Long Island on March 29th.

Coming up this week....

Thursday the 20th is the first day of spring!!!!
(the spring flowered pouch pictured is from oktak)
--If you're looking for activities to do with kids, on Saturday the 22nd there will be a spring-themed make-your-own-bookcover workshop run by the NYC Parks Department. It's free and takes place in Central Park.
--Macy's flower show is going on this week. If you've never been, the main floor of the 34th Street Macy's is fully decorated with flowers... no need to shop, it's just fun to get a taste of spring.
--Make Workshop on the Lower East Side is holding a class on Saturday where you'll learn to make a leather clutch, including the basics of working with leather using a regular sewing machine. On Tuesday the 25th you can learn to sew a pillow.
--On Saturday evening March 22nd 3rd Ward in Brooklyn is holding a discussion panel on women in art photography, focusing on what it's like to be an emerging NYC photographer and the influence of gender on art photography.
--The Art Director's Club Paper Expo is taking place Wednesday the 26th at the ADC Gallery on West 29th Street. Receive paper samples and learn more about printing.

Coming up this week.....

Just a reminder--- I'd love to hear from you about art and crafting events! I'm writing this events column every Wednesday and like to have a broad range of ideas included here. Contact me if you know of a special event taking place in NYC and surrounding areas.
And here's what's going on this week......
--The Institute for Culinary Education always has a full roster of interesting-looking classes. The 'Modern Chocolate Decorating' workshop on Thursday sounds creative and delicious; learn to make marbelized chocolate, 'bubble' chocolate, chocolate cigars, and more.
--Learn to embroider on Sunday afternoon the 16th at the Treehouse in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The class will explore twelve different embroidery stitches and costs $40.
--Registration for the International Center of Photography classes begins March 12. There are lots of upcoming classes, including a variety of Photoshop topics and a course on studio lighting.
--Today's the last day to register for a free stenciling class taking place March 17th at 3rd Ward in Brooklyn. Their next free class, March 19th, is 'Macintosh Tips and Tricks'.
--Today, March 12, from 4:30 to 7:30, the Educational Alliance Art School on the Lower East Side is hosting a pottery sale, with proceeds benefiting their pottery program.


Coming up this week.....

--This Saturday from 10-5 is the Brooklyn Homeshow, a small craft show put on by a dozen Etsy sellers. There will be food and drinks, shopping, and most importantly, several members of the {New New} group! It's in Park Slope, Brooklyn at the corner of 11th Street and 4th Avenue; there will be signs pointing to the building.

--On Sunday from 12-4:00, Craft Magazine will be holding a party at Make Workshop at 195 Christie Street in Manhattan.

--On Thursday, March 6 from 7-10PM, the Museum of Arts and Design and the Church of Craft will be hosting a DIY salon at the Museum of Arts and Design. The event will include crafting (embroidery, buttonmaking, fiber art) and a live DJ, as well as a guided tour at 8:00 of the museum's new embroidery exhibit.

--3rd Ward in Brooklyn is hosting a free class in vector graphics using Photoshop Illustrator. The deadline to sign up is today, March 5.... the class is Monday, March 10 from 7-10:00. Upcoming free classes include stenciling (class title=These Ain't Your Momma's Stencils) and Macintosh computer tips and tricks.

--If you're into fashion design or a fan of Project Runway, check out Tim Gunn at the 92nd Street Y on Tuesday, March 11, discussing design and fashion.

--Make Workshop in Manhattan has an ongoing schedule of crafting classes. Coming up this week they have two sewing classes, a soldering workshop, and a wallpaper-making workshop.

--A series of six nature photography classes starts Thursday March 6 at Wave Hill in the Bronx; a single class is an affordable $20. Throughout the spring there continues to be a variety of classes focusing on nature and art.
Thoughts about today's art world, artists and artisans
-by Iris Lavy

I've always felt myself to be a crafts person... know what I mean, this need in the hands, to do something, make something from nothing there's such a satisfaction in it... today's art world includes many artists who's art is mainly of concept, of an idea - that's the emphasis of today's 'high art' world.... but my fingers need to touch, move, make.... seems like the art world today wants to divorce from the 'crafty' side of the art. Many contemporary exhibitions are about an idea, which can be executed by anyone, all the artist has to do is conceive of the idea, clarify the instructions... It actually upsets me, as I feel it deprives us from one more thing amongst the many other things our modern, specialized society is depriving us... not that I don't respect an art of concepts and ideas, of thoughts and words, I do, and I see it as an additional, new form of art, but it saddens me to see that more and more, the art of crafting, the artists who still want to hold brushes and paint, clay, wood, paper scissors, artists who need to touch and mold metal and glass, or even specialize in the intricate technical details of correct exposure and camera aperture - are all being looked down on in today's 'high art' world. Today's high art is all about installations, statements - we have moved into the ultimate abstract - that was and should have been the next step from the abstract art of the 50's, or should it have been?

As an artist, I am always asking myself this question, what am I doing this for? I want to make a statement with my art, but what is my statement today? I know, one of my statements is certainly that creating art IS about crafting, it IS about making with your hands and your fingers.... I mean, it's great that the art world is expanding the way it is, but I still need to TOUCH the material, and mold my ideas into colors and shapes and lines, because it's the only way for me to feel that my art is actually TOUCHING the heart of whoever sees and experiences it, and maybe they can take the piece I MADE and symbolically store it inside their heart by hanging it - or a reproduction of it in their visual environment - their home, or workplace, and have the image I created become an occasional visual reminder for them of the EXPERIENCE of being touched that way.... just like a beautiful piece of jewelry does to us when we wear it, or a dress, or a beautiful vase we place flowers in....

Iris Lavy

Crafting tip: use what's in your kitchen

Using tiny seed beads used to drive me crazy... not bad when I was using them for a jewelry project but horrible to clean up.

Now when I use seed beads, glitter, or other small crafting supplies I pour the supplies out into paper muffin cups. This keeps everything organized and contained. When I finish the project I fold the edge of the muffin cup into a spout shape and pour everything back into the original container.


Coming up this week....

If you've got art or crafting skills, put them to use for the community this week:

--If you have some extra hours at home, volunteer to spend some time on art collection websites, tagging the art to make it more searchable by internet databases. See info here and here.
--Art + politics: create art for the Barack Obama Art for Change project, which is mobilizing artists as part of Obama's presidential campaign. Submit your art for possible inclusion in an exhibition in Soho. Some pieces at this exhibition will be auctioned with proceeds going toward Obama's campaign.
--Attend the Art for Change open house Friday February 22nd from 6:30 to 8:00. Find out how this nonprofit organization is connecting artists with social justice projects; sign up to volunteer.
--Volunteer to knit or crochet blankets for children in the Jewish Board of Family and Children's Services residential treatment programs.

More going on around NYC:
--Learn intermediate Photoshop skills at a workshop Sunday February 24th at 3rd Ward in Brooklyn.
--Sewing classes Monday the 25th at the Make Workshop on the Lower East Side. Learn to use a sewing machine or make a pillow.
--If you have kids, take a trip to Central Park's Charles A. Dana Discovery Center at 110th Street on Saturday the 23rd for a free family craft event in honor of Black History Month. Using African fabric as inspriration, stencil a tote bag with a unique design.


Coming up this week...

This week is all about variety, from Valentine's chocolates to burlesque to academic lectures...

--If you like sweets, take a look at the Institute of Culinary Education's 'Truffles for Valentine's Day' course. Make champagne truffles, spicy chocolate truffles, and more. Takes place the evening of 2/14.
--Art meets sweets! Check out the Institute of Culinary Education's gum paste flower class--- learn to make flowers for cake decorating. February 19-21st.
--Burlesque and art at Dr. Sketchy's Anti-Art School event on February 16th at the Lucky Cat Lounge in Williamsburg. Bring your sketchpad, have a drink.
--Crafting classes at the Make workshop on the Lower East Side. Pillow-making, embroidery, block-printing, sewing, and letterpress classes are all coming up this week.
--The School of Visual Arts is presenting a day-long series of lectures on February 15th: 'Where the Truth Lies: A Symposium on Propoganda Today'. Milton Glaser, a noted graphic designer (created the I Love New York logo) is the keynote speaker.


Coming up this week...

Live in the Bronx? Interested in the Bronx? The International Center of Photography is hosting a student photography exhibition focusing on photos of the Bronx. The 'I Love the Bronx' show opened this week at Garrison Avenue in the Bronx.

Focusing on South Brooklyn, the opening reception for 'Lost in Transition: South Brooklyn, Williamsburg & Coney Island' is 2/10/08 at the Brooklyn Historical Society.

It's a quiet weekend for art and craft events.... a good time to consider applying for a blacksmith scholarship at the John Campbell Folk School or a chance to have your work appear in a craft book from Lark Publishing.

If you're interested in learning to sew, now is the perfect time to sign up for a 'Design your own tote' sewing class at Etsy Labs; a three week Tuesday-afternoon class beginning February 12th.

---Joanne aka joannetracydesigns----

Coming up this week....

February is almost here! That means that this weekend is the monthly First Saturdays event at the Brooklyn Museum. This month's theme is 'Discover Love in the Lunar New Year'. Along with music, poetry, and dance performances, there is also a make-your-own Chinese chop art project.

A four-week pattern-making class for sewers starts Friday 2/1 at Etsy Labs in Brooklyn. Learn to sew without using commercial patterns! Looks like there's still space available in the class.

Coming up soon... a four-week watercolor painting class at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden adult education program starting 2/13. The class will focus on painting subjects at the garden, such as bird's nests and greenhouse flowers.