Enjoy Governors Island in August!

Summer is over halfway through and soon Governors Island will be closing until next year. If you haven't made your way to the island yet, August is a perfect time to take advantage of the smaller crowds and breezy trade winds.

Here are some of the great activities going on at Governors Island this summer:

Better Than Jam Pop-Up Shop: Handcrafted items from over thirty artisans from the {NewNew} team are featured in a pop-up shop in one of the Island’s historic buildings. See www.betterthanjam.wordpress.com for more details.

Bike & Roll: Rent a bike to explore the car-free island! On Fridays, you can take advantage of their one hour of free biking.

Mark di Suvero at Governors Island, presented by the Storm King Center: The exhibition is the largest outdoor presentation of Mark di Suvero's sculptures to be shown in New York City since the 1970s and includes loans from public and private collections, including a number of sculptures from Storm King's own celebrated installation of the artist's work. The exhibition is free and located throughout the island's vibrant public spaces. Learn more about the Storm King Art Center.

FIGMENT 2011 Mini Golf: This summer, FIGMENT is giving its own participatory, free and inspired twist to the unknown and fascinating world of bugs with a return of the celebrated FIGMENT Minigolf Course, themed this year around "Bugs and Features". In the Liggett Hall courtyard, man and bug can putt away in harmony. The FIGMENT Minigolf Course is open and free for the public to play. For more information, visit www.figmentproject.org/minigolf.

Added Value Farm: Come to Picnic Point to take a tour and see the workings of Added Value’s three acre organic fruit and vegetable farm. Beginning in July, visit their Farm Stand where you’ll find locally grown produce, cut flowers and more. For more information, visit www.added-value.org.

See you on  the island!

Windows of Agate

Sailor's Knot Bracelet Tutorial

Last year, the lovely Simone from Groundsel posted this great tutorial on sailor's knot bracelets. This Saturday, June 25th, Simone, Pria, and I will be doing demonstrations and helping visitors make their own bracelets at Governors Island. Please join us at House 6B in Nolan Park at Governors Island from 2pm-4pm. While you're there, be sure to take a look around the Better Than Jam Pop-Up Shop at Governors Island, filled with the best handmade goodies by local artisans. See you there!

Supplies you’ll need:
  • 3.5 yards of twine
  • 14 ounce can for a smaller bracelet or a 20 ounce can for a larger bracelet. Any other round object that has the appropriate circumference for your wrist will do.
1. Wrap one end of the twine around the can to shape an X. Leave about a 4" tail. You will need this tail at the end to finish the bracelet.
2. Wrap the long end of the twine around the can again and bring it up to the middle of the X. Then pass the long end of the twine under the right, upper leg of the X and pull the long end all the way through.

3. Next, move the upper left leg of the X over the right leg of the X to create an oval shape.

4. Pull the long end of the twine through the oval shaped opening you just set up.

5. Turn the can a bit and you will see that the oval shape has created another X shape. Again, pass the long end of the twine under the right upper leg of the X and pull the end through.
6. Repeat steps 3 through 5 until you get to the beginning of your project.
7. You will now find a three-stranded braid. Follow the twine you initially laid out and create a parallel second line. 
8. Continue around the can. If you find that it's getting too tight to pass the twine through the openings, you may want to take the bracelet off the can and continue with the knotting in your hand. If you take it off, be careful not to pull the twine too tight, otherwise your bracelet will shrink on your wrist. 
9. Continue knotting the rope around the bracelet until each strand of the braid has one parallel line — a total of three passes. At this point you can stop or add another three passes to create the traditional pattern of three parallel lines, like the bracelet in the third picture in this step.
10. To finish, just knot the ends together and weave them into the inside of the bracelet.


Handmade Heaven on Governors Island

View of Lower Manhattan from Governors Island

I recently made the easy-breezy trip to the Better Than Jam Summer Pop-Up shop on Governors Island, a project of the Better Than Jam handmade cooperative and The NewNew (see full story posted here a few weeks ago). First, I have to say, How super-easy is it to get there? Not to mention ferry-ride fun? Very.

The shop is housed in Historic Home 6B in the Nolan Park section of the island. The house and setting are just adorable.

Then there's the worn elegance of the shop's interior, which meshes beautifully with the house and setting: Rustic and classy in whitewashed and natural wood, it sets the stage for visitors to fully appreciate the impressive array of locally produced housewares, jewelry, clothing, accessories, stationery, art and toys on offer.

Words don't do it justice so I'll stop my yakety-yak here and just show you some pictures!

Until next time -


Book Lovers Unite with the {NewNew}

I admit. I'm a book-a-holic. You know you're a book-a-holic when you've memorized your 16-digit library card number but when asked what day you were born there is a good ten second pause. For all my fellow book lovers, there is an event going on right now that I know you're going to love. Blurb, an online program that gives you the tools you need to create your own beautiful photo books, has opened a pop-up store in New York City where you can stop by and take part in a series of workshops, speaker sessions, and events starting today until the end of the month. On Saturday, the {NewNew} is hosting a workshop from 4pm - 7pm with four different artists providing tutorials for handmade gifts for the book lover.

Jen of McFlashpants.etsy.com will turn everyday potatoes into book plate stamps to ensure non of your precious books go missing. Norder of NordeaSoaperie.esty.com will show you how to knit a decorative bookmark, keeping you on track during your subway reading. For the sewers out there, Cory of Sansmap.etsy.com will show you how to create a tote bookbag while Nguyen of KnitKnit.etsy.com will lead you in appliqueing book covers.

The pop-up shop is located at 60 Mercer Street between Broome and Grand in SoHo. We hope to see you on Saturday!


Before and After: the Treasure Chest at Governors Island

Who doesn't love a before & after?  Well, I for one simply love transformations of all sorts and that is why I am going to take you on a little adventure from the very beginning of our Governors Island project to now!

Governors Island, you ask?  You know, that lovely little island just off of Manhattan -- just a free five minute ferry away.  What's there you ask?  Among the beautiful tree-lined roads and turn of the century houses, The {NewNew} and Etsy proudly present to you the Treasure Chest, a shop full of locally handmade treasures (from jewelry and home decor, to artwork, clothing, and more!).

Day 1.  We scouted the place out.

Day 2. We explored and measured.

Day 3.  We moved into to our summer home.

Days 4 and so forth.  We decorated!
And decorated...
Until finally... drumroll please...
Ta Dah!

We welcome you to the Treasure Chest - where each weekend the artisans themselves are at the shop to answer your questions about their craft, our shop, our Etsy Street Team, and even New York.

Open Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from now until September 5th!  Stop by and say hello!
And for more info, please go here.

Reported by
Virginia Kraljevic