Father's Day gifts from the {NewNew} team!

Here are some of the best Father's Day gifts, all handmade in New York by local artists. And all fit for a king!
If your Dad is a fancypants, he'll need a pair of cufflinks.
These are actually nickels with images on the Brooklyn Bridge on 'em. Wowza!
$45 at WabisabiBrooklyn.
I know my Dad was more forgiving of me having cookies for breakfast.
Give him a card and stay on his good side.
$3.50 at Gramkinpaperstudio.

What better way to honor Dad than to give him something to mark his territory?
Who rocks the potty?
$6.00 at LennyMud.
Uber cool and he can know what time it is, now all he needs is a remote and he's all set!
Made from an actual Iron Man comic... it really does tell the time, too.
$20.00 at CantAffordEmClocks.
Yep, Dads can be smelly.
But not if they use this scrubby soap made from sandalwood, vanilla and a hint of lime!
$7.00 at NordeaSoaperie.
Your Dad will remember the movie and think he's the coolest with this money clip.
You just want to make sure he'll have spare cash for that pony you always wanted.
$25 at Citybitz.
This is the cutest Dad-n-kid Robot t-shirt ever!
$23 at MamaRobot.
Do you have the coolest Dad? No?
Well you will when he wears this denim fedora. It's NYC coolness-in-a-hat.
$52 at RocksandSalt.

That brings this week's shopping spree to an end. You can find more great NYC-made stuff for Dads from the {NewNew} team on Etsy if you click here: Happy Father's Day!

Hope it's a great one!

Stephanie Maslow-Blackman

Beneficial Beyotching: Learning How to Complain at Crafts Fairs.

It's a beautiful day, you have an amazing booth at a fabulous, perfect location...but no shoppers appear.


You set up at what promises to be a successful craft show, only to have an inconsiderate neighbor strategically place display fixtures so that they block your product.

WWTNND? (What would The NewNew do?)

We spoke with several of The Etsy New York Team members to find out how they handle situations like the ones above, and to two local show promoters to find out if squeaky wheels really do get the grease.

Yania, from Yania Creations says "I have complained a couple times and always to do with low foot traffic when it was obvious the right promotion was not done. When you are at the right location, right weather, all is good and nobody shows up, that means no promotion was done and that pisses me off."

But many crafters feel that making a complaint about the lack of traffic at a fair can hurt their chances to be accepted into future events that might be well attended.

Holly Ellis from Ellis Design explains: "It took me quite a while to get the backbone to complain to a promoter. But after a while I realized that I pay entry fees, jury fees, and invest my time in being there, so if I have an issue I should speak up." At a poorly attended venue Holly didn't just give the show promoter an earful, however. She explains:"I approached the situation more as an inquiry about what promotion was done. When the promoter fessed up that she was new to organizing events, I expressed my disappointment at the turnout. I explained that I had promoted quite a bit and had a good number of my peeps come but that it simply did not feel like the community had any idea the event
was being held. I could have just fumed all day under my breath and vowed never to do the show again but after speaking with the promoter I felt better and she seemed to appreciate the feedback and knowledge that what she did do was simply not enough."

One show promoter we spoke with agreed that the way Holly approached the situation was helpful. "It is awful when someone comes at you in anger and accuses you of not promoting an event." said one Brooklyn fair organizer, who said she is happy to engage in constructive dialogue with a vendor who asks reasonable questions about what marketing strategies were employed for an event. "Sometimes we can discover new ways of promoting, or get really good suggestions from vendors who position themselves as more of our partners than our adversaries in discussions like this." When asked if speaking up and expressing disappointment in an event can effect admission to future shows,the promoter said simply "we prefer to work with people who seek solutions and don't particularly enjoy working with people who only seek to lay blame, but speaking up will certainly not get you banned from a show."

One vendor who did speak up and saw a good result is Nordea from Nordea Soaperie who spoke up about an overcrowded vendor situation at a recent event. "I wasn't the only one complaining," Nordea said, "but not sure how many actually spoke to the promoter." having the gumption to address the problem in a constructive way paid off when she returned to a later event and found the layout and the spacing much improved. Nordea stresses this about complaining: "Sometimes if you don't let an organizer know what the problems are....they cannot correct them."

One Manhattan show promoter who runs very large events in the city gave us a few simple tips for complaining about craft shows:

Complain at the right time. Chose a moment when there is time, will and energy to deal constructively with the problem. If dealing with an issue like an obnoxious show neighbor- you need to complain immediately--but for something like lack of promotion it may be even better to hold your feedback for a time when you are less emotional and annoyed.

Don't just complain, point out what is good. Balanced feedback includes an appreciation of the positive aspects of an experience. Make sure you are not mired so deeply in the negative that you forget the positives.

Coming forward with a complaint can be a very positive experience for both parties because it can lead to great change. So Speak Up! Please share any experiences you've had with complaining in our comments section below.

We have extended last week's giveaways from Wabisabi Brooklyn and PrismPop. Please read our older posts to enter and win prizes from these great shops.

NewNew plus Glue = Decoupage!

Decoupage, derived from the French word decouper, meaning to cut out, is the creative art of assembling, pasting and varnishing paper cutouts for decorating objects. Techniques for decoupage are actually quite simple. If you can cut and paste, you already know most of the techniques involved. Basically, you cut out pictures; you glue the pictures onto an object; and then cover the object and pictures with a few coats of glue/decoupage medium to protect it. You can decoupage anything! From furniture to dishes to jewelry to home decor...the decoupager is limited only by his or her imagination.

The NewNew York Etsy Team is fortunate to have several of its members who employ this technique in their work. Linda from Purty Bird decoupages onto scrabble tiles like this one: Linda has these tips for decoupage novices: "If you want to use digital images, laser-print them on 28 or 32 lb paper (cardstock is too stiff). As for adhesive, anything that dries clear, flexible, and not too quickly will work, but Mod Podge® is a favorite (especially the gloss-lustre). As for tools, make sure your scissors are nice and sharp. A damp sponge also comes in handy."
Lauren, from Paperelle uses decoupage to turn things like ho hum vintage plastic bracelets into one of a kind, eco-chic accessories!

This bracelet has been meticulously decoupaged with very thin paper strips from a security envelope. The technique yielded a cool pattern in black and white. This is a cute accessory- no one will believe that it was made with items from the recycling bin!
This bracelet is created from a New York State map. Once covered in paper the bangle is coated with several layers of a glossy sealant.
Can't Afford 'Em Crafts decoupages comic book pages onto old records to create these unique clocks.
Copabananas decoupaged vintage sewing patterns on these wooden blocks to create a unique piece of sculptureToday's Giveaway is brought to you by Maryanne from Wabisabi Brooklyn. This shop is full of incredible decoupage jewelry.
When asked how she first started out with this technique, Maryanne replied that she first started decoupaging in high school:" I wish I had a picture of the doorway to my bedroom, which throughout the course of my senior year I covered with an assortment of ephemera that I collected because it had meaning to me: Bazooka gum wrappers; the odd soda bottle label - you get the idea. In college I switched more to collage, mostly to create elaborate letters which I sent to friends throughout the country back in the days before the interwebs made keeping in touch a less tactile sport. Although the surfaces I was decorating were different, it kept my eye sharp for spotting interesting images to crop and reuse."

We asked where she first got the unique idea to decoupage onto pennies, and she told us that while she had a partner who employed the technique on other material, the inspiration to apply the idea to coins was hers. "We were out buying different copper shapes for our jewelry, and I noticed they were selling small flat copper circles for nine cents each. Immediately my thoughts turned to pennies, which I've always loved and picked up (only if they're heads up!) for good luck. The much maligned monetary unit became the basis for the most popular Wabisabi Brooklyn designs."

YOU can win this beautiful green clover bracelet from Wabisabi Brooklyn!!
Wouldn't you love to own this 1 inch copper circle decoupaged with a vintage art deco design?
Just follow these simple steps:
- You must be a follower of this blog
- Visit Maryanne's store HERE
- Come back and leave a comment that describes which item you like from Wabisabi Brooklyn. One entry per person
- Twitter, blog, or facebook about this giveaway and get additional entries! Leave a link in comments.
- Winner chosen at random on March 15-announced here on March 16th.

WINNER OF THE MAY LUK GIVEAWAY IS AMY from OUR SMALL WORLD: A MOM'S VIEW. Amy-please contact May Luk directly to claim your prize.

Artistic Process: What are some influences on your work?

Wabisabi Brooklyn
"My work is influenced by economy - small "e" - not "THE Economy," but economy of use. I try to incorporate vintage and discards into my pieces - hence the penny earring, the focal point of which is our much-maligned but lovely smallest denomination; and the decoupaging with bits of old magazines and catalogs.

The packaging for my cuff links - tiny little hand painted canvas paper with a snippet of paper back collage - was born after I took a painting class and had some pretty bad art work suitable for slicing and re-using. In tiny tiles as backdrop for jewelry, my paintings were finally lovely.

The overriding influence really is summed up in my business name - roughly translated, wabisabi="beauty of imperfection." I see parallels between this and the "one man's trash is another man's treasure" ethos, and it has had an enormous influence on my work."

Wabisabi Brooklyn

Better Than Jam Opening Party

The NEW Better Than Jam Handmade Co-Op opens its doors on February 1, 2010. Located at 1095 Flushing Ave, the Co-Op is soon to be neighbors with 20 other diverse businesses that will inhabit the "Markets at the Loom," providing a varied destination for local shoppers to shop and browse.

Opening: February 1
Grand opening reception: Friday February 5th 7-10pm

Come mingle with the designers and receive complimentary drinks , 10% off selected designers, and a free tote bag with purchase, compliments of The {NewNew} Etsy street team.

Some featured designers are:

The Hand of Fatima
Wabisabi Brooklyn
Better Than Jam
Danielle Maveal
Caja Jewelry
Lingua Nigra
Knit Knit