Spring Color in NYC

Spring has arrived in NYC (yay!), and with it comes a lush bounty of colors popping up all over the city. As no other time of the year is quite so magical (both weather and color-wise), I couldn't resist taking a stroll with my camera the other day to capture the blooming foliage that seems to get brighter and more beautiful with each passing day.

And I'm sure it's no coincidence that many NewNew team members are taking a cue from the colors of the season with their latest offerings. So with that, I'd love to share some of my favorite items that pick up the colors I captured with my camera on that lovely neighborhood stroll. Enjoy!

Pretty Pinks - (from top): Fernando Jewelry; Knitting Guru; Woolly Boo.

Luscious Lavenders - (from top): Edward Owl; PriaVanda; Brooklyn Owl.

Ravishing Reds - (from top): Webbedware; Tider Design; Suede Soul.

Glorious Greens - (left): Roots in Rust. (Right, from top:) Pretty Stationery Shop; KnitKnit; Jess Switaj.

Lauren // Lolafalk

New New Talks Shop

NewNew Etsy Team Event

Recently the NewNew Team got together at Lorrie of Lenny Mud's studio to paint some pottery and talk shop.  Lorrie gave a great talk about simple, actionable steps we could take everyday to improve our shop visibility and SEO, search engine optimization.  This stuff can be daunting to learn, but Lorrie broke it down and we managed to have fun too!

This is why I love the NewNew so much - as a creative handmade business lady it can be overwhelming juggling everything, so it's great to have people who are eager to share their knowledge, and a group that supports each other.  It was great to sip some red wine, learn a bit and meet some new people!

Thank you Lorrie for the talk and my NewNew team!
NewNew Etsy Team Event

NewNew Etsy Team Event

NewNew Etsy Team Event

NewNew Etsy Team Event

Revert to Standard Time

From Ghoulies & Ghoosties

Halloween and The {NewNew}

"From Ghoulies and ghoosties, long leggety beasties and things that go bump in the night,
Good Lord, deliver us!"

I found this "Quaint Old Litany" in the opening of an ancient book I have called "The Magic Casement", an anthology of English fairy poetry and plays assembled by Alfred Noyes.

Well, The {NewNew} has plenty of ghoulies, ghoosties and long leggety beasties that we would love to deliver to you!

The Ghoulies:

The Ghoosties:
The Long Leggety Beasties:
The Things that go Bump in the Night:

Fall Fashion With The {New New}

Beach Trip with The {New New}

Summer is upon us and it's time to head out of your stuffy third floor apartment with no air conditioning and toward the beach. Here are some {New New} picks to enjoy while tripping for the day or overnight.

A lovely Swarovski crystal starfish necklace crafted by mulry jewels is the perfect thing to announce your beach intentions.

Some frocks and trousers soap by charlie and sarah would look right at home on the sand.

This cotton baby beach hat from NYCrochet will make protection from the sun adorable.

The argyle caps tote bag by bungaloe can be used for a day trip or take it for a quick overnight.

A soy travel candle by Dew On A Petal Home scented with lavender and basil is the perfect thing to set out on your beach house balcony while you enjoy the cool breeze.


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-- Susan

Everyday Natural Oils for Health and Beauty

In honor of Earth day and recessionary times, I will highlight four readily available natural oils that serve a variety of health and beauty purposes.

Coconut Oil
Any Indian, or in my case Bangladeshi, knows that this oil promotes healthy hair and scalp. Coconut oil also helps to rid the scalp of dandruff (Natural News). Moreover, not only does this lubricant relieve dry and rough skin but it may improve psoriasis and eczema, as well as prevent liver spots and other age related blemishes. It also repairs sun burns and is a great natural tanner. Nurture your body by applying the oil at bedtime or massaging it into your skin before a bath. Possessing antiseptic qualities that help bring temporary relief to the skin, coconut oil can heal, repair and ward off skin problems and infections (Virgin Coconut Oil).

Jojoba Oil
This is a great hair conditioner, especially for protection against dry split ends. Jojoba oil is an ideal beauty product as it is similar to the skin’s natural sebum and therefore readily absorbed (Vitamin Stuff). Use it as an eye make-up remover and eye lash conditioner, and to regularly moisturize dry lips and cuticles(ILoveIndia.com). Jojoba oil also treats acne, both by reducing sebum production and by protecting the skin from harmful bacteria. Try it as a body or massage oil, or apply before shaving for a smooth shave and to prevent razor burn (Acne.org). Jojoba is great for sensitive skin conditions, including psoriasis and eczema (Pioneer Thinking).

Frequently used in aromatherapy and massage to reduce stress, rosemary oil is also excellent for the hair. It prevents premature graying, dandruff and hair loss, softens hair texture, and even thwarts and treats head lice (Green Herbal Remedies). In addition, this non-sticky oil can be used on the face and body for moisturizing as well as for reducing muscle and arthritic joint pains. It also has the ability to heal wounds and regenerate the skin ( The Raw Divas Blog).

Citronella Oil
When on vacation, citronella oil is my bed time non-toxic protection from insects for body and face, as it is safe for all including children and sensitive skin types. Additionally, it may be used as an astringent to help correct oily skin areas. Apply a couple of drops of the oil to a cotton pad and gently wipe off excess oil from the skin before proceeding to your regular facial routine (Citronella-oil.blogspot.com). If this fragrant oil is diluted into a base oil (like Jojoba!) it can provide physical and mental benefits such as alleviating muscle and joint pain, calming nerves, and reducing pressure from migraines and headaches (Suite101.com).

Points to Note:
Oily and sensitive skin types should cautiously consider these tips and everyone should take a spot test. Apply oil on the skin of the inner forearm to safeguard against irritation. Always consult an aromatherapist if in doubt about the use of essential oils.

Home treatments lack the finesse of the spa products from the Etsy NewNewTeam, so if you have no patience for dealing with oily messes, remember to visit our stores.

I’m looking forward to shiny healthy hair, strong nails and seasons of moisturized and bug bite free skin on a beauty budget.


Wardrobe Refashion: Clean Up That Mess of a Shirt!

I am not the most graceful of people. My movements are not smooth and clean but rather hurkey and jerky. Put a glass in my hand and whatever inside will inevitably end up on my shirt, skirt, or pants. I have not been blessed with any skills or helpful techniques for stain removal. When I try, the material gets all gross and fuzzy and I shove the garment to the back of the closet and then eventually throw it away. Conveniently, however, I am a screen printer. I find it's easiest just to hide that stupid stain. It's very gratifying to print right over that nasty mess, creating a whole new piece of clothing that is completely original. Nobody will know that you can't drink out of a cup or that you refuse to wear a frilly apron when you fry your food.

Here is a simple way to screen print without investing in the whole studio.

What you'll need:
-contact paper (preferably clear)
-a screen (pick a simple one up at your local art store)
-fabric printing ink (also at art store)
-squeegee (art store)
-duct tape
-masking tape or t-pins
-sharp x-acto knife
-spoon or spatula

1. Your Image

Decide what image you want to use. Make sure that it is something without too much detail. Cut a piece of contact paper the size of the inner dimensions of your screen. Either trace or freehand-draw your image onto the paper-side of the contact paper. On a safe surface, cut that image out with your x-acto knife . Set aside the part you cut out. You will be printing your image using the negative space within the rectangular field of the contact paper.

2. Your Screen

Sometimes when a screen is new, there is a coating on the mesh, like with many fabrics. It's best to wash your screen with soap and water and let it dry (speed it along with a fan). Place your dry screen on a flat service, mesh side up. Peel back half of the paper backing on the contact paper and carefully smooth it onto the corners of the screen. Flatten it down lightly and then press harder from the middle of the screen towards the corners, making sure there are no bubbles. Pull off the rest of the paper backing and repeat for the lower half of the screen. Take your duct tape and tape along the outside of the contact paper and along the edges on the underside of the mesh. This will help prevent the ink from "bleeding".

3. Printing Area

Make sure your printing area is as flat and clean as possible. The textile printing surface is preferably a felt covered table with canvas stretch over it (similar to an ironing board), but one can make it work for any situation. Kitchen floors and diner tables also do the trick. Tape or t-pin your garment down so that the stain is right in the middle and as flat as can be. Depending on the garment, you will probably need to place a piece of card stock or paper in between, so that the ink doesn't transfer to the other side. You may want to get a few more things out to be printed. It's also a good idea to test out your screen before you dive right into the garment you are trying save from death.

4. Printing

Place your screen on the item to be printed. Then put a good amount of ink at the head of the screen above the image. I would say 3 tablespoons for an 8"x10" image, but it relates to the density of your ink, size and detail or your image, and the weather. That's why it's best to do a sample print first to help you see if you need to add more ink.

Hold the screen securely with one hand and with the other drag your squeegee through the ink and over the image, lightly at first ("flooding" the image), harder the second time. Then push the ink back over the image, and pull the squeegee down a third time for good measure. If the fabric is fairly thick, you might want to do a fourth pull. No need to wash the screen between prints, go right on to the next item. You can use this technique to print fabric to make pillows and amaze your friends as you camouflage yourself into the furniture!

5. Finishing Up

Depending on the "variables and elements," you could probably print ten times (probably more) before the ink drys up in your screen. But don't wait for that to happen, wash that screen out. Remove any excess ink from the screen using a spoon or spatula, returning the ink to the container to be used again. Rinse your screen off in the sink or tub with cool water. You can also use the garden hose outside or attach one to your shower head or kitchen sink. Now clean up the mess you just made.

The final step is to heat set your garment after the ink is fully dry. Iron it or throw it in the dryer on high for up to an hour.

Now go on and show it off.

-Karin of Better Than Jam

DIY Centerpieces

Weddings are expensive, which is all the more reason to do as much as you can on your own. My sister is getting married in May, and even though she lives in Florida, the land of flowers, her centerpieces are going to cost about $400. I can't imagine spending that much on cut flowers that will end up dead and unappreciated, so I wanted to share an alternative for those looking for "greener" (and cheaper) options.

Last summer, my friends Coleen and Beth had a commitment ceremony at the lovely Full Moon resort in the Catskills. Though most of the details were taken care of by the planners at the resort, the ladies came up with some great, living centerpieces on their own.

First, they found small metal containers at Ikea, and baby palms at Lowe's.

Because they chose very small plants and containers, the centerpieces were able to do double duty as take-home favors for the guests.

The addition of some inexpensive vases filled with river rocks and candles (all from Ikea) emphasized the peaceful, natural atmosphere of the resort.

If you want to be both greener (ecologically-speaking) and more colorful, consider using plants from your local NYC Greenmarket.

All in all, Beth tells me they spent about $120 on centerpieces/favors for fifty guests, which is reason enough to skip the flowers (no offense to my sister, whom I love and adore).