What Makes Valentine's Day Sweet To You

If you can't get enough Valentine's Day, then today is your lucky day!  Get your fill of sweetness from The {NewNew} and then check out some of our friends and their blogs about this notorious day of romance, flowers and of course sweets.
Andrea Davis: Pure Food Nutrition: Valentine’s Day Chocolate: Good & Good for You?
The Bitchy Waiter:  F*ck Cupid
Brooklyn Flea:  You Gotta Have Heart
The Experimental Gourmand:  Valentine’s Day Special Dinner
Hell’s Kitchen Flea Market:  A Blog Affair to Remember
Metalicious Jewelry:  Well Hello February 
Kumquat Cupcakery:  My Messy Pink Kitchen

Did I mention sweets? Chocolate and conversation hearts, what more could you ask for? Maybe a lot of them.  Did you know.....
A bowl just waiting to be filled with conversation hearts by LennyMud
  • More than 36 MILLION heart shaped boxes of candy will be given and received this year. (www.sugarstand.com)
  • About 8 BILLION candy hearts will be made.  If you put them all side by side they would reach from the city of romance, Rome, all the way to Valentine Arizona -- not just once mind you, 20 times and back again! (www.iowastatedaily.com)
  • Those candy conversation hearts have been around a long time.  NECCO, the maker of them, started putting those catchy little phrases on them all the way back in 1866, and we've been in love with them ever since. (Sweethearts: The Continued Success of America's Favorite Valentine's Candy, 2010)
Of course, candy is only one of thing that makes Valentine's Day sweet for The {NewNew}, when I posed the question I found out there was a whole lot more.

Home is Where The Heart is by JDavisStudio
Mom has been making Valentine's day special for a long time and {NewNew} members Lorrie from LennyMud, Alton of AltonWeekes and Jill from JDavisStudio remind us how sweet mom can make Valentine's Day:

Lorrie's mom made the day special by summoning the Valentine's Day Pixie.  The Pixie is a magical creature that would ring the doorbell several times over the course of the day and leave presents on the doorstep.  Today, Lorrie shares the same tradition with her kids.

Alton's mom and her Valentine's day tradition are actually the driving force behind him starting his stationery design studio.  Every year Alton's mom would give him and his sisters a box of valentine cards to share with classmates.  Those little cards with cupid, hearts and sweet sayings were Alton's introduction to stationery beyond birthday cards.  It was the holiday of love that inspired Alton's love of stationery.

Jill's mom started sending her special Valentine's day care packages back in college and still does today.  They are filled will fun things like candy, silly jewelry, even the occasional McDonalds gift card. Way to go Jill's Mom!

I Do Card by Alton Weekes
Let's face it, nothing makes Valentine's day more romantic than a ring, and I don't mean the doorbell.  A ring is exactly what Loella from LoellaMedina and Angel from CardsInStitches got one Valentine's day.

With the view of the New York skyline in the night time sky Loli's best friend surprised her by popping the big question.

Now Angel, has a bit of a different story.  She got married not just on Valentines day 2003, but on the 5 am Eyewitness News along with 4 other couples!  She found out on Monday that she'd be getting married on Friday at Tavern on the Green in Central Park all expenses paid.  Now that's what I call one sweet Valentines Day!

Since The {NewNew} is an Etsy team made up of the best and brightest artists and designers in the tri-state New York craft scene, it is no surprise that DIY valentines are high on the list of sweet things about the day. Nothing makes Simone, from Groundsel, smile more on Valentine's day than a handmade valentine.  Anne from Felt It loves making valentines for family and friends with her three year old.  Each year her daughters designs become more creative and intricate, I bet it won't be long before she has an Etsy shop.  Jennifer from MellowBeing recalls Valentine's day as a time to make valentines for her mom and friends.

Love painting by LennyMud
Dinner, mix tapes and wearing red made the sweet list among {NewNew'ers} too.
Jody at AStudioByTheSea makes Valentine's day sweet by planning a special night out with her husband of 23 years.  But they do it a little different, they skip the February 14th crowds and inflated dinner prices and celebrate at a fancy restaurant a day or so off.  What a great idea, we may just do that this year too!

Te Amo Card by S2 Stationery and Design
Sara from S2 Stationery and Design has mixed feelings about the holiday but has a great tradition of making a mix CD she calls the "Love Mix" and shares it with friends.  It's her way to let them know that she supports and loves them no matter what.

The perfect notebook for February by CardsinStitches
Lisa from Pretty Stationery loves that Valentine's day is close to Chinese New Year so she gets to wear red and eat candy for two weeks.

And finally, Stephanie from MulryJewels finds sweetness on Valentines day by simply remembering and being thankful for all the love in her life, romantic and otherwise.

Wishing you all the sweetest Valentine's day.
Holly / EllisDesign

Easy Peasy Top Down Stocking Cap

This cute cap is one of my favorites to make.  The red and white stripes create a sweet candy cane look but you can choose whatever colors you like.

Newborn to 12 months 
Finished circumference 17 in. (43 cm)
1 skein worsted weigh yarn in red
1 skein worsted weight yarn in white
US size 13 double pointed needles (set of 5)
US size 13 16” circular needle (optional)
Stitch marker
You’ll be using a double strand of yarn for this project. 
Stitch Pattern:
RIGHT LIFTED INCREASE (RLI): Lift first leg of stitch below the next stitch onto needle and knit this stitch.

1)    Using 2 of the double pointed needles CAST ON 4 stitches in RED (remember to use 2 strands of yarn together)
2)    SLIDE stitches to opposite side of needle. The yarn should be coming out of the left stitch.   Pull the yarn from behind. *K4. Slide stitches across needle. Repeat from * 2 more times.

3)    DIVIDE stitches evenly on 4 double pointed needles (1 stitch on each needle)
4)    RLI, place marker, k1; RLI, K1; RLI, K1; RLI, K1 (8 st)
5)    WITH WHITE yarn; k 3 rounds even (no increase)
6)    RLI,  k2; RLI, K2; RLI, K2; RLI, K2 (12 st)
7)    WITH RED k 3 rounds even
8)    RLI,  k3; RLI, K3; RLI, K3; RLI, K3 (16 st)
9)    WITH WHITE yarn; k 3 rounds even
10) RLI,  k4; RLI, K4; RLI, K4; RLI, K24 (20 st)
11) WITH RED k 3 rounds even
12) RLI,  k5; RLI, K5; RLI, K5; RLI, K5 (24 st)
13) WITH WHITE yarn; k 3 rounds even
14) RLI,  k6; RLI, K6; RLI, K6; RLI, K6 (28 st)
15) WITH RED k 3 rounds even
16) RLI, k7; RLI, K7; RLI, K7; RLI, K7 (32 st)
17) WITH WHITE yarn; k 3 rounds even
18) RLI,  k9; RLI, K8; RLI, K8; RLI, K8 (36 st)
19) WITH RED k 4 rounds even
20) WITH WHITE k 4 rounds even
21) WITH RED k 4 rounds even
22) WITH WHITE k 4 rounds even
23) WITH RED k 1 round even
24) WITH RED work 4 rounds k1 p1 rib
25) Bind off loosely in pattern and weave in loose ends

(To make this hat to fit larger just simply repeat the increase rounds one or two more times. That's the great thing about top down knitting you can just increase and measure as you go! No swatching necessary)


Crafts in Chelsea sneak peek-a-BOO

I  really love Halloween.  When I was a kid and the teacher would ask our class what our favorite holiday was, all the other kids would ooh and ahh about Christmas leaving me, alone, to be the defender of the Great Pumpkin and the most awesome of holidays, Halloween.  So of course, as I was browsing the shops of the artists and craftspeople participating in Crafts In Chelsea III I was excited to see items to make you go EEK!
A Scary Plant by PurtyBird $150
Orange Monster by PurtyBird $23

Five creepy eyeball flowers crane forward in a menacing stare.  I wonder what makes this garden grow?  To find out you'll need to stop by PurtyBird.  Perhaps the Orange Monster will let you in on its gardening secrets if you ask nicely.

Ghost Stories by Myzoetrope $8
Boo Scare byKudulah $15

Last years event drew record numbers and helped to fund arts programs for PS11.  You do not want to miss this event, get out of your mason jar and join the fun along with Kudulah and Myzoetrope.  Grab a friend and say hi to the folks at ApertureAgog and RawToastDesign.  Shop over 100 of the best local New York area artists and craftspeople vending their own unique jewelry, pottery, clothing, fine art and other handmade goods.     
Robot Pirate by
RawToastDesign $15
Purple Creatures Photo by
ApertureAgog $30
This event is run in conjunction with PS 11's annual Fall Festival – an indoor event that includes food, arts and crafts, games and more for New York City children.
Stop by and say hi to me and some
of my friends when you're at the show

It's a {NewNew} School Year!

Head back to school in style with great gear from The {NewNew}.

Heading back to school doesn't mean shopping only at those big box department stores. There are plenty of unique hand crafted items that will have your kids (or you) going back to school in style.

Orange Fleece Hoodie $20
Let's start with the tiniest back to schoolers. Muppetloon creates hoodies and tees that all the kids in pre-school will be asking for. Since they're there to get smart, check out the selection of wise owl togs with appliques made from Eco-Felt. Stylish and eco savvy everyone will be saying "Now that's one smart kid."

VIP Tee $23
Have a little VIP who's all that and more? They'll head right to the front of the line (or class) in this Tee from Playground Rockstar.

The Urban Lola Tote $38
Need something to lug those books around campus? Then you really want to take a peek at the Urban Lola Tote at LolaFalkDesigns. It has plenty of room for all your essentials and it looks so much nicer than that standard issue backpack.

Call Your Mother Pillow $89
Send them off to college with a subtle reminder from Alexandra Ferguson. "Call Your Mother," "Clean Your Room" and other good advice on felt applique pillows. Made from 100% post consumer recycled water bottles, these pillows keep the equivalent of 4 bottles out of landfills. Now if only they can keep their dorm room from looking like a landfill!

Looking for more? Just head on over to Etsy and search on NewNewTeam (all one word). You'll find plenty of colorful magnets for their lockers and to display their A+ work on the fridge at LuCrafts and PurtyBird $6-12. Unique clocks that would look great on a dorm room wall from CantAffordEmClocks $20. Travel mugs perfect as they run from class to class at LennyMud $20 and a great selection of journals and day planners from PriaVanda $15 and up.

Have a stylish and successful {NewNew}school year everyone!
Holly (EllisDesign)

Fourth of July finds from the {NewNew} team

The {NewNew} has plenty of ways to add some red white and blue to your Fourth of July celebrations. All handmade by local designers.

This sterling silver shooting stars lariat will definitely get you in the Fourth of July frame of mind.
$110.00 at metalsugar

Show off that feisty, firecracker attitude in this kid's screen printed tee.
$23.00 at playgroundrockstarDon't show up at your friends house empty handed this summer. Say "thank you" with a tasty bag of fiery Craque. These delicious bite-sized crunchy treats are covered in spicy chili chocolate,peanut butter & powdered sugar.
$12.00 at CraqueRockShopThe perfect skirt for the fourth of July weekend and all summer long. This versatile handkerchief skirt is accented with a patch packet and tile design screen print on one panel.
$74.00 at RocksAndSalt

After a long day at the beach, serve up mounds of ice cream in these fun "Feed Me" bowls.
$12.00 each at LennyMudHeading out for an evening on the town this Fourth? Carry the essentials for the night in the cheeky yet sophisticated LuLu clutch.
$58.00 at LolaFalkDesigns
Red white and blue vintage milk cap earrings to put you in a wholesome, all-American state of mind.
$15.00 at MilkMadeWish you were spending the Fourth at Coney Island? Even if you can't be there you can still find amusement by wearing this Cyclone pendant.
$25.00 at CitybitzLooking for just a little smidgen of patriotic flair? This embroidered pin should do the trick.
$25.00 at Urbahnika

Check out all the terrific items from the {NewNew} team on Etsy.

Stitch Fest

It’s safe to expect that when Martha Stewart and her staff of talented crafts editors set out to do something it will be A Good Thing. Stitch Fest, the launch event for Martha Stewart’s Encyclopedia of Sewing and Fabric Crafts held April 1, 2010, was the sewing party of all sewing parties.
Martha looking in on partygoers working on Heirloom
Tomato Pincushions from page 277 in the book

I spent the evening getting a sneak peek at the many projects featured in the book. Some of my favorites were:

• Athena Preston’s demonstration of stenciling with fabric paint on linen. Within minutes of entering the room I was bursting with ideas combining fabric paint and linen (or other heavily textured) fabrics.
Pillows made using stenciled linen. The stenciling technique is explained
on page 89 of the book

• Eco-friendly ideas were represented as well. Would you ever think of turning a tuxedo shirt into a pillow? Check out page 233! Make a bunny out of that wool suit jacket you haven’t worn in years – find that one on page 94 right next to the felted wool sweater animals.
• The line to make your own heirloom tomato pincushion and machine embroidered hand towel was very long. But how often do you get to say you stuffed a tomato at Martha Stewart’s place? It was worth the wait.
• Projects from the book featuring appliqué, quilting, hand dying were on display as well.
A menagerie of dolls and animals
Tuxedo pillow

As fantastic as Stitch Fest was, I could hardly wait to get home to devour my copy of the book.

Martha Stewart’s Encyclopedia of Sewing and Fabric Crafts is both beautiful and useful. It delivers exactly what the title promises, straightforward, basic techniques covering both sewing and fabric crafts. The information is reminiscent of that on the website and magazines, however here it is all in one well-organized place.
The first part of the book is divided into 6 sections each featuring a different area -- sewing, appliqué, embroidery, quilting, dyeing and printing. In each section you learn the basics and a few more skilled techniques. The second part of the book takes the techniques and works them into 150 clever and delightful projects, organized from A-Z. The entire book is beautifully photographed and well illustrated. Techniques and project instructions are clear and detailed as they are in Martha Stewart’s magazines, other books, and website. I think it is safe to say (almost) everything is in here – tips on setting up a workspace, essential tools, glossaries, techniques, suppliers, and 150 projects with a CD that contains the patterns and templates.

I’d say this is a book that belongs on your bookshelf, but in reality it will spend it’s time on your sewing table. Now I have some sewing to do!

Reported by Holly Ann Ellis, from Ellisdesign.