When Crafting Seems Too Much Like Hard Work

On New Year's morning I was recovering from helping my daughter run three big holiday markets, or partially recovering because the last day of one market was still five excruciatingly long days into the future. Exhausted, I watched all the What Happened in 2013 television shows, had coffee, and went through my email, only to find that YouTube sent videos they (it?) thought I would enjoy. One was from Look TV entitled "Velvet Jewelry Box: Look DIY." 

"Tis the season for gift giving!" the blurb read.

"A little velvet and sparkly buttons turn a cigar box into a luxe holiday gift for your best friend or the jewelry lover in your life. Follow this Look DIY stop-motion tutorial to learn how to repurpose a cigar box into a jewelry box. We're obsessed!"

Step 1 of the box.

Here is the video… (http://youtu.be/yD-YIaIvjkU)

I don't watch too many online videos, unless it's the baby in the car seat dancing to Gangnam Style, or Jimmy Fallon parodying Downton Abbey. I don't watch instructional videos.

But "Velvet Jewelry Box: Look DIY" was amazing. It does not feature someone talking, just a Charlie Chaplin-like video (on fast forward, it seems) of two anonymous hands accomplishing the craft, at breakneck speed. When the model uses scissors, the sound track dubs in a scissors-cutting-noise. It showed every step of how to make a jewelry box and really even a monkey could follow it. 

Being the mother of someone who sells jewelry for a living, there is no box big enough to hold even the very few pieces of jewelry I keep for myself from my daughter's line. Add to that sentimental pieces, and investment pieces (Chanel from ebay) which must be kept in the box they came in for authentication, and a cigar-sized jewelry box is out of the question. 

Many, many steps. 

Watching the video took 3 minutes and 48 seconds, but there were so many steps and they happened so fast, it seemed like making just one box could really take the better part of an afternoon. 

There was the matter of getting all the materials together, which included the cigar box, a yard of velvet (oh, and going to the store to get that velvet), plus 4 sparkly buttons. I had those. One compact mirror (that’s a trip to Michael’s. Is there a Michael’s in NYC?) Plus cardboard, a needle and thread, quilting batting (another store), a ruler, scissors, marker, scrap paper and tape.

As the video unfolded, the box made itself before your very eyes, but the stop-motion animation went by so fast it wore me out; all I could think about was going back to bed.

The blurb ended with the words "What other DIY projects do you want to see from Look? Comment below!"

DominicanBeauty34, the only viewer to take the bait, got right to the point, one that I had not overlooked but was willing to take on faith.

"But why would we have a cigar box?" she asked.

All of those trips to Michael's and the fabric store would be in vain if we could not find the once-ubiquitous-but-now-rarely-available staple of DIY, the discarded cigar box. 

"If we can only make this with a cigar box," she went on, "then it's pretty much useless. It's cute, but useless for people who don't smoke."

She had a point. And how many girls who love cute jewelry boxes also smoke cigars? I walked into the bedroom, got back into bed, and pulled the covers up over my head.

Susan Spedalle

wink and flip

Is it really the end of December already?

8x10 print by MyZoetrope

Wow - what a year it has been! I can honestly say that 2011 has been one of the most exhausting, and rewarding years of my life. Even though it was 11 months ago, it seems like just yesterday that I joined
this lovely group of crafters, artists and designers I now call my NewNew family! In this short time I have met some of the most talented people in all of New York! Each one of you has taught me something great, and for that I am so very thankful!

Here's a recap of what I've been up to over the year (not including any of my day job festivities).

February - Joined the {NewNew}. I am forever changed.

April - Sold at my first ever street fair, and I was hooked. I quickly booked up my weekends, effectively writing off my favorite weekend pastime of lazy Sunday brunches.

May - Joined the {NewNew} board of directors as a Co-Director of Marketing alongside the talented Jason from Merrimack and Monitor.

June - Quickly learned how dependent the Williamsburg Flea is on the L train running. Goodness I hate weekend subway construction!

Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado. Unedited photo, by me

July - Headed to Colorado for a wedding and fell in love with the beautiful scenery!

September - Sent to France on a street style fashion photo project for Samsung Camera. You can check it out here. I even get my own feature!

October/November/December - Opened up An Etsy Artist Assembly at the Dekalb Market with nine other talented NewNew team members and sold at a market every available weekend I had. Needless to say, I AM EXHAUSTED!

With 2011 being such a big and demanding year for me, I'm hoping 2012 brings a little relaxation (well, at least in January!) and a lot of fun.

Small grey hand crocheted bow-tie by D.S.Lookkin

I'm sure all of you have had equally as busy years so, go ahead, put on your best heels or bow-tie and celebrate what's to come in 2012! Happy New Year to you all!

Kelley// www.kgudahl.etsy.com

Welcome the New Year Warmly

Most of the East Coast is blanketed in snow, and though the weather is supposed to get slightly warmer later this week, New Year's Eve is still going to be pretty cold. So why not stay pretty warm with The {NewNew}?

Who doesn't love a hood?
BetterThanJam has a couple of different color
combos for sale in her shop.

This winter white scarf is perfect for fireworks.
From UndergroundCrafter.

If you're headed to a fancy party, but want to stay
toasty, this scarf from EllisDesign
just might do the trick.

Baby's first New Year? Make sure
the little one stays warm with this
hat and vest set from BurryBabies.

Perfect for a rockin' good
New Year's Eve! From JuliaEmily.

As luck would have it, these are on
"blizzard sale" at Knitting Guru

Want more options? Shop local with The {NewNew} -- just search "newnewteam" and "scarf," "hat," or "gloves" -- and you'll have everything you need to ring in the New Year in style and comfort.

Sue De
made for you


Happy New Year: Japanese-American Potato Salad Recipe

All over Asia, New Year's is the family holiday of the year, and Japan is no exception. Back in the old country, people sit around on New Year's Day reading their enormous stacks of New Year's cards and eating Osechi, but we've gotten a little more casual this side of the pond. (A friend of mine calls it the "hang-over party.") The main traditions we've saved at my household are spending a whole day eating delicious food enjoying the company of family and close friends.

Try this Japanese-American twist on good old potato salad!

Japanese-American Potato Salad
(serves a crowd)

5lbs of Russet Potatoes, peeled and in large dice
8 hard boiled eggs, shelled and in large dice
1 cup frozen peas
1/2 carrot, roughly grated
2 Tbsp. dried baby shrimp
2 cups mayonnaise (more or less depending on your taste)
Salt and Pepper

Boil potatoes in lightly salted water until tender, but firm. In a large bowl, combine potatoes, eggs, peas, and carrot. If necessary, mince baby shrimp finely (you shouldn't be able to see them once incorporated into the salad), sprinkle over salad and combine. Add mayonnaise until it reaches the consistency you like, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. This salad tastes best if left in the refrigerator overnight to let flavors combine.

You might tuck this recipe away until the Lunar New Year, it's never failed on Chinese New Year's either!