You are what you wear

As a customer who often frequented indie markets, craft shows and the like; I noticed something about the way I shopped. I was always attracted to the booth by the display, organization and of course the goods. I'm sure that's true for most shoppers. However, being that I'm a huge supporter of the handmade movement I also look for something else. I look at the seller and interestingly enough, what he/she wears. It's mostly an unconscious act; but I find myself more attracted to the seller and what they sell if their style of dress match. To me, seeing any kind of commercially branded logo seems out of place to me especially if what they are selling is handmade.

I'm not saying that for all of you sellers out there to go out and start changing your wardrobe, but do keep in mind that it may make a difference; albeit a subtle one.
Here I am trying to keep a cohesive "handmade" look with Kimm's tee.

Please share your thoughts as a buyer or a seller. I'd love to hear!
Wai Sze

"Green" Beauty

Here's a quick and easy tip for maintaining a youthful look:
Take off your makeup before you go to bed!

Don't be a bum about this, for it truly can be an easy way to lessen the dreaded wrinkles and crows feet from forming on your face any sooner than they need to.

I know for some it can be a pain to remove makeup, and products out there for the task can be dreadfully wasteful or harmful to the environment. So, I propose a two-step green beauty solution...

1. Use a combination of olive oil and water as a natural oil-based makeup remover.
2. Use wash cloths or makeup removal pads (see image above) that can be washed and reused instead of buying cotton balls and other throw-away removal items.

Think of all the cotton balls you'd save, and how appreciative your skin will be if you take these easy steps to a beautiful you!


Fall Nesting

This is my first foray into the world of blogging….I feel like such a dinosaur in the world of technology. My favorite and best known piece of technology is my sewing machine…beyond that – it's unknown territory.

I’m a single (not soccer or gun-toting) mother, civil servant (yawn) and crafter who oftentimes feels overwhelmed by the technology and speed of this world. I would much rather spend my days sleeping late, napping after that, making the odd outfit or craft item, planting something in the garden, watering something else, or just watching them grow.

As fall moves in, I’m reminded that it’s the second of my least favorite seasons…the first being winter. As the chill moves in, I realize that I don’t have the right shoes or clothes for the transition. And after a few attempts at correcting this, I give up.

By then I’m moving into winter mode. I begin to spend more time at home, mostly in my room which begins to look like several strange creatures nest there. There are growing piles of fabric, trims, notions and other sewing and crafting paraphernalia. I can putter to my hearts content among my “nests” sometimes never finding what I know is there somewhere. But I take comfort in the warmth, knowing that I’m temporarily safe from the harsh winter winds blowing beyond my windows.

But then, alas spring comes, and I promise to organize my workspace like any normal person. And guess what, I start that process, only to have fall and winter come back again before I’ve completed the job. My nests return. Did someone say life’s a cycle? I wonder what they meant. This fall I hope to make many outfits and bags, lots of pillows, table runners, etc so that when spring comes, I’m ready for the street fairs.

Marilyn Ng-A-Qui

Plants & Edibles

For more Accessories from the Metro New York area - search: newnewteam, plants, edible on Etsy

Craque Rock Shop - This is a passion project for sisters Freida & Maxine Orange. The candy is based on a traditional southern treat made by our mother Marsha's childhood best friend, Sandi. Freida's love affair for the candy extended to college and into adulthood...and it continues to grow and expand with new flavor combinations and custom packaging.

Izile - An aspiring artist, I am constantly trying my hand at new media. I tend to be all over the place and find it hard to settle just on one type of art. Over time, I expect to have jewelry, oil paintings, ACEOs, watercolors, altered books, and who knows what other oddities I might churn out.”

The Guide to Indie-pendance: How to Be a Sane and Happy Freelancer

A couple of years ago, I left a coveted and creative position as a Visual Manager at a well-known retail store to work for myself. At the time, I was fairly uncertain of what that meant but I did have three years of bonuses stored away in my savings account and I was pretty sure that I was going to have a breakdown if I stayed at my job.
So I jumped.
My goal was to craft for a living, to make things and sell them on Etsy and at craft fairs. I learned very quickly that making things to sell was not going to earn me a living wage. Most of my crafts are one of a kind and I just can’t do assembly lines. But I found a lot of other work out there in the world of crafting. When people ask me what I do now, I say, “well, I do a lot of things” and that’s true. Sometimes I write for blogs, websites and even books, sometimes I work as a stylist on photo shoots, sometimes I even sell a few of those one of a kind, handmade crafts.

A photo of my "home office".

Working for oneself can be both extremely rewarding and excruciatingly frustrating. Though I am often watching the mail for checks to come in, I am also often in my PJs for days at a time. That’s pretty cool. And it’s incredible to be able to focus so much on your own career and business. But, freelancing is definitely not for everyone. Here’s a little guide to see if you have what it takes. I asked a couple of freelancers to share some of their tips and tricks for staying sane, paying the bills and managing time.

Money Matters

If you ask any freelancer what the hardest part of their job is, they will mostly likely say the money. Jobs fall through, checks take forever to process and some months you are left wondering how you are going to pay the rent. I recommend having a lot of money saved before you branch out on your own. Determine how much money you need to live on per month and save six months of that, three if you’re a risk taker!

Though it’s a little less stable, there are still ways to try to get a more secure paycheck when working for yourself. Lorelei was trying to balance her full time writing job with her burgeoning doula career and it was getting to be too much. She negotiated with her company to work part time and spends the rest of her week building up new clients. Though she is technically a freelancer, she continues to have a steady paycheck.

You also don’t have to commit to working for yourself in one fell swoop. MaryAnne works as a teacher, which allows her large breaks of time to focus solely on her jewelry business. “The breaks inherent to teaching allow me to produce enough to sell and keep the business afloat,” she says. “Wabisabi Brooklyn is only one year old, so maybe some day I will be able to support myself in the manner in which I've become accustomed (dental!); but even if that were the case, I imagine I would always keep teaching at least part time. Jewelry making and selling satisfy a certain side of me, but I get (non-financial) rewards from teaching that would keep me in it. In a perfect world, I'd just like to switch the ratio of the time time I devote to my two careers!”

If you’re totally strapped for cash, work a few days as a server or a bartender, have a stoop sale or sell a few things on Ebay.

It’s all about Timing
One of the hardest parts of working for yourself is learning how to budget time. Everyone has a different ways of keeping themselves on track but you absolutely have to plan what you’re doing every day, week and month. I keep a notebook with me at all times and write lots of lists. Crossing things off as I get them done always feels great!

Lark, an artist and web designer says, “Keep your freelance/ craft time separate and take your crafting time seriously and prioritizing it beyond social needs, if necessary. When I question what I should be doing at any given moment of "free time" I just head over to the studio and get cracking. I also prioritize my prior commitments with myself (i.e. creative work, meditation time, relaxation etc) over freelance work.”

Working for yourself also allows you the flexibility of working whenever you want. If you are most productive at night then you should set your schedule as such. I write best early in the morning when my mind is fresh, so despite being somewhat of a night owl, I set my alarm to 7 am when I have a big writing gig.

There are going to be times in your freelance career when you work day and night and you just want to hang out with your friends. I have worked many a weekend and late night but I always reward myself later with fun plans after a big job is done and, hey, sometimes I can stay out until 4 on a Monday. How many working stiffs get to do that?

Your Business, Yourself
Often as a freelancer, you will find that the lines between your work life and the rest of your life are blurred beyond distinction. This can be good and bad. On one hand, I love that my hobby (crafting) has become my work and thus my life, but sometimes I really need a break. It sounds silly but try to find hobbies or activities that have nothing to do with your job. Mine is karaoke but maybe yours can be tennis or fly fishing.

It is also really important to carve out a space to work in that is specifically for your work. While mine is in a spare room in our apartment, some people really need to get out of the house to get their work done. May, a ceramics artist and graphic designer says, “because of the nature of ceramic craft, I must have a studio. I found that separating work and home is very helpful for my sanity. I had a studio when I used to work in illustration as well and I found that I could be more creative in my work. journey to-ing and fro-ing to the studio gives me some creative thinking time and that is quite valuable too.”

Though the freelancing life is not always easy, I can imagine my life any other way. I hope to never have to work full-time for anyone again!
Thanks to May, Lark, Lorelei and MaryAnne for your wonderful insights!


Karen's Monsters Birthday Party Sale!

In honor of my birthday (not the monsters') I'm throwing a party, and it's your good luck that it also means a sale!

There are two ways you can benefit from this.

1) July 19th thru July 27th visit my etsy store for free shipping to anywhere in the world on anything in my shop. AND you get a free party goodie bag filled with handmade samples and fun party toys (I couldn't resist).

2) If you're in the NYC area, come to Artists & Fleas in Williamsburg, Brooklyn (On N. 6th at Bedford St) anytime this weekend (July 19th & 20th) for 25% all monsters, shirts, cards, button packs, and more. AND you get a free party goodie bag with each purchase. There will also be some free giveaways just for coming out and having a good time. It is a party after all.

Thanks and hope that you enjoy the party!


{NewNew} Members

Our members span a wide variety of disciplines. Browse the categories below to see our shops in those categories.
ACCESSORIES - belts, cases, cuffs, gloves, ties, pins, scarfs, wallets
ART - drawings, illustrations, collage, mixed media, paintings, prints, photography
BAGS & PURSES - clutches, totes, back packs, purse, pouch, wristlet
BATH & BEAUTY - lipbalm, lotion, soap and scrubs
BOOKS & ZINES - albums, books, bookmarks, comics, journals, zines
CANDLES - pillar, scented, shaped, soy, taper, tart, tea light, votive
CHILDREN - baby, clothing, furniture, toddler, toy
CLOTHING - dress, hoodie, jacket, pants, shirt, shoes, shorts, skirt, sleepwear, sweater, tshirt
CROCHET - afghan, bags and purses, clothing, cozy, doll, hat, housewares, scarf
FURNITURE - bed, bench, bookcase, chair, desk, dresser, mirror, shelf, storage, table
GLASS - bead, bottle, bowl, coaster, dish, glassware, jewelry, magnet, mirror, ornament, sculpture, stained glass, vase
HOUSEWARES - bowl, clock, coaster, cozy, frame, home decor, lighting, magnet, pillow, rug, serving, table, vase
JEWELRY - anklet, bracelet, brooch, earrings, necklace, pendant, piercing, ring
KNITTING - accessories, bags and purses, blanket, clothing, cozy, doll, hat, scarf, sweater
PAPER GOODS - bookmark, calendar, cards, gift wrap, journal, notebook, scrapbooking, stationery
PATTERNS - accessories, baby, beading, clothing, crochet, cross stitch, doll clothing, embroidery, knitting, plushie, quilt, sewing
SUPPLIES - bead, button, commercial, fabric, handmade, knitting, pattern, scrapbooking, yarn
TOYS - amigurumi, baby, bear, children, doll, game, miniature, plush, pretend, puppet, puzzle, sports

Etsy in Italiano

As I prepare for my trip to Sicily, I find myself using the "Shop Local" feature on Etsy to look for Etsy sellers from Italy. As with all of Etsy, there is a broad range of shops. Here are a few of my favorites.

Quality Italia sells boxes and more hand crafted out of Sicilian hardwoods.

The Murano-trained, Rome-based artist behind izzy creates striking, modern jewelry with her lampwork beads.

Genoans Matteo and Francesca of Sunflower Design offer a veritable garden full of bags in colors that range from the subdued to the psycheldic.

Coccole di Lana (loosely translated: "woolen cuddles" [sounds better in italian]) has some stunning capelets, scarves, neck warmers, vests, and shrugs made from high-quality yarns.

Wendy Humphreys of ALPHABETTISPAGHETTI splits her time between Italy and the UK. Her beautiful jewelry is entirely hand crafted.

And lastly, nel dubbio disegna fiori (WHEN IN DOUBT DRAW FLOWERS) uses vinage vinyl wallpaper from the 70s to make everything from wallets to boxes.

It's certainly gotten me revved up for my trip to dip into the Italian made goodies on Etsy. Perhaps that's the way to go to buy souvenirs if your travel plans this summer are more of the armchair variety.
Cíao for now!

My Wedding Favors

I knew from the beginning that I wanted a unique and creative wedding favor. I did plenty of research but didn't find exactly what I wanted so I went ahead and made it myself. My vision was quite simple: I wanted to give something that was fun yet practical.

My solution: Altoids tins, Japanese candy & scrapbook paper!

The final result: The perfect wedding favor. (After my wedding, I started offering this in my shop and it has become a very popular item. Unfortunately, I've bought out all the tins on Ebay (just kidding) and now use metal tins that are very similar)

Wai Sze

The {NewNew} At BUST!

YIPPPEEEEEEEE! - well, we've heard and we will be happily sharing a table with Etsy at this year's first ever BUST Spring Craftacular.

Representing our team will be Kimm of KimmChi and Josh of Dripstick who will be selling their items as well as other items by team member shops BeadScarf, JTStitches, MiraArtz, and MTLopez9.

This will be the first year that BUST will have a Spring event, so be sure to come out and say hi.

DATE: Sunday, April 27 from 11 am to 9 pm

LOCATION: The Warsaw in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, 261 Driggs Avenue

We'll have tons of Etsy freebies, lip blam, stickers, pins and class schedules for the labs, drop by and say hi


The {NewNew} Wedding Shops

For more Wedding Shops from the Metro New York area - search:
search: newnewteam, wedding on Etsy

Artikal Handcrafted MIllinery - Artikal founder, Holly Slayton, was born in Washington D.C. and grew up in northern Virginia. From a young age she was inspired to create; growing up with her grandmother, an award-winning dressmaker who loved to crochet, and her entrepreneurial, crafts woman, mother.

Pretty Stationery for Beautiful Souls an award-winning design boutique that specializes in fun and fresh note cards, personalized stationery and wedding invitations. The design collection is made of 30-70% post-consumer recycled material, and printed using environmentally-friendly inks. Special elements are individually hand-placed using acid-free and non-toxic adhesives. The line has been featured regularly in national gift guides and wedding publications such as and New York Magazine Weddings, and has received the Bride’s Choice Awards™ for 2010 and 2011.

Wai Sze Designs

Hi! My name is Wai Sze and I'm a new member to the group. I'm so excited to be here! Growing up, I've always been into crafts - be it knitting, cross-stitch, paper, polymer clay and even jewelry. At the current stage of my life, I can say that I'm finally focused and right now I'm all about scrapbook paper and everything I can do with it! I make greeting cards, altered tin favors, scrapbooks & gift tags! My etsy shop has given me a renewed sense of how great life can be once you've realized what your passion is. To all those that have been struggling to do something, either big or small, find your passion and focus on what makes you happy. That's really all that matters!

Here's a few of my recent work that I am very proud of.

A wedding scrapbook done for a client as a gift. The theme: pink and each page included the pre-planning and stages of the brides wedding.

I dated my boyfriend for 8+years and finally got married last September. These wedding favors epitomized all the DIY work I did for our big day. Now I offer these to other brides for their weddings.

Gift tags are so fun and you can use it for anything. I really love how these turned out and by far one of my favorite in my collection of tags!

Hope you've learned a bit about me. Again, I'm thrilled to be a part of New New and hope to be an integral part of the team.

All the best, Wai Sze

Re-cap of the Brooklyn Homeshow

Yesterday was the Brooklyn Homeshow, a unique event brought together by Michelle of Chelleline who graciously offered up her apartment to nine other vendors to host a one day shopping event. We set up shop early in the day, and opened the doors to shoppers by 10.

Despite pouring rain, many people came from New Jersey, Queens, and even Conneticut to support the indie community. It was really great. It was fun to chat with people and find out about how they heard about the show.

The vendors offered products ranging from original photography, gocco prints, collage cards, hand made jewelry, felted pin cushions, crocheted pins, scarves, neckwarmers, silkscreened shirts, unique dresses and bags, and even original photography. It really was quite a range, that all worked really well together, something for everyone.

AnnWilkinsonPhotography - Original Photography
BetterThanJam - Silkscreened Apparel & Accessories
Chelleline - Collaged cards
FadingFlowers - Gocco Prints
feille - Crocheted Accessories
Fubabee - Stationary & Invitations
joannetracydesigns - Jewelry
Kimmchi - Silkscreened Apparel
KreatedByKarina - Soap
MsKittyFantastico - Crafts & Accessories
TheHandOfFatima - Vintage Jewelry

The {New New} Bath & Beauty Shops

For more Accessories from the Metro New York area - search: newnewteam, bath and body on Etsy

Oonagh Naturals - I started creating these products for my personal use when I couldn't find commercial products that satisfied me. It seemed like all the so-called natural products for sale at Whole Foods or my local health store still contained plenty of chemicals. Did you know, for example, that "emulsifying wax" is not wax at all, but actually contains sodium dodecyl sulfate or polysorbates? Don't get me started... Anyhow, after becoming really frustrated trying to find wholesome personal care products for my family, I decided I'd simply start making them. And that's how Oonagh was started.

PureSpa2 - Pure Spa Squared was born of a constant need to find new lotions & potions for my skin. As soon as I found one I loved, it was either discontinued or the formula changed.

I am offering things that I love in hopes that you will love them too. I believe in natural or near products. So everything here is as close to nature as I can get it without sacrificing quality.

Nordea Soaperie - Handmade soap is a special treat that I want to share with you. I make all of my soaps in small batches w/lots of attention to detail.

Soapmaking is about using specific ingredients to create a unique, handcrafted's about finding the perfect balance. Soap should clean, but not overly dry out your skin.

My preferred method of soapmaking is hot process. I find that I have more freedom and greater control of the resulting soap. I especially love being able to add special oils and additives that takes my soap to the next level! Handcrafted soap is about taking the best of what nature has to offer, and putting it into a bar for your bathing pleasure! Enjoy your shower!

Connecticut Team at the Brooklyn Homeshow

Woooo! It has been quite an afternoon! I have been a busy little beaver, working on all sorts of exciting new projects. One of them being my table display for the Brooklyn Home Show! I think if I were any more excited about this I'd wet myself.
Aside from being a devoted member of the {NewNew} York Etsy Street Team, I am also team leader of the CT Team. So my little fantasy is to have these teams work in conjunction with each other. One big happy Etsy Team family! In my efforts to do that, I have offered the CT team my table to display some of their handiwork at this upcoming event, as well as my own. It took a lot of blood sweat and tears, but I think I am finally getting somewhere with this.
I have included some pictures as a sneak peek of what my table will offer! But by all means stop by the show! The ladies on this New York team are incredibly talented and saavy crafters! I am constantly inspired to make my work better. So stop in and say hello! We'd love to see you there! (More details are available at

TheEtsyNY Accessories Shops

For more Accessories from the Metro New York area - search: newnewteam, accessories or etsynyteam, accessories on Etsy

Copabananas - I repurpose familiar items and hope it makes people look at them in a new and greener way. Whether it's cardboard packaging, plastic shopping bags, vintage sewing patterns, or lost gloves, I'm always making something new from something used in an effort to green our lives.

Ellis Designs - I officially launched the company in 2000 with a collection of hand knit accessories for women. Since then, the line has expanded to include hand knit accessories for the whole family, sunhats, hand dyed silks and hair accessories.

Knit Knit - I use yarn from a family owned yarn mill in Nebraska that now uses 90% less water in their yarn production. Go green! Other materials are purchased at local or US based supply shops & small businesses. Yarn and fabric scraps are saved for future projects so that every little bit gets used. I also ship via USPS Priority Mail for domestic orders which uses recycled cardboard for their packaging.

Rocks and Salt -Rocks and Salt is a small accessories design and manufacturing company based in Brooklyn, NY specializing in hats and jewelry. Rocks and Salt holds to the principle of a sustainable trade of our energies rather than the illusion of rapid growth. In this manner we are able to maintain control of our creative design and quality of production. Our limited editions of smart designs are all handmade with a discerning eye toward quality, style, and function.

Coming up this week.....

--On Saturday from 2-6:00 Rational Animal is leading a project that aims to make 500 comforters to line the kennel cages of animals awaiting adoption in NYC shelters. The project is called 'Mother's Comfort' and 45 quilts have already been made with the help of volunteers from Rational Animal and Etsy. Contact Rational Animal if you're interested in helping on Saturday or with future Mother's Comfort events. (photo thanks to Milo, my rescue dog)

--Shecky's annual Girl's Night Out is coming up next week in Manhattan. Shop commercial and handmade items, drink and eat a bit, go home with a goody bag! Tickets are still available for Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.

--'Harnessing Brooklyn's Creative Capital: The Impact of Self-Employed Creative Professionals on the Borough's Economy' is a forum March 5th from 8:30-10:30 AM at the Grand Army Plaza branch of the Brooklyn Public Library. This forum will address the challenges faced by self-employed creative freelancers such as writers, photographers, and designers, and will explore strategies to support this part of Brooklyn's economy. Admission is free but reservations are recommended. Sponsored by Center for an Urban Future and Brooklyn Economic Development Coorporation.

I recently found out about the following organizations that aim at distributing unwanted materials to people who can use them for art and craft activities and education. Definitely worth checking out if you're an artist, crafter, educator, or work for a nonprofit organization:

--The Materials Resource Center in Ronkonkoma, NY is a resource of recycled materials waiting to be reused in art or educational projects. It looks like they may have materials available such as small clear ziploc bags (perfect for storing small craft items), beads, buttons, cardboard, etc... They also lead workshops for children and teachers and have a mobile recycling center.

--Materials for the Arts is another local organization aimed at getting unwanted materials to art and nonprofit organizations that can put the materials to good use. If you are involved in a school or nonprofit organization, you may be eligible to receive donated materials from Materials for the Arts.