Monday, October 29, 2012

Fall Shows: Craftland and Acorn to Oak Handmade

              I love to watch Nash smile at me. He's got a look just for me, that's mine alone. He has sea eyes that change with his mood, and for me they turn a brilliant shade of green. It's often accompanied by a soft quiet, "I love you." I would probably walk naked barefoot in the snow for ten miles for that look (and we all know I hate cold weather.). Thankfully for the eyes of little children everywhere, that level of sacrifice has not been required. There's an even better version of this whenever I wear lace or leather and he sees me. His eyes get gold flecks of happiness in them.
             This season we are sold out until at least January with a particular client doing private label work in utilitarian fashion which is saving lives. I'm really enjoying it. It has given me some unexpected flexibility to follow Nash's smile and make a collection simply to make people I know happy. And hopefully see some more happy Nash eyes. It is my wish for you too to see you loved one's eyes light up this season.
            We will be showing at two holiday shows as well as posting a small selection online. I want to stress that these will be very limited edition collections with a small sampling of looks and pieces so hopefully people will enjoy their pieces of art as much as I did making them.

Craftland, The  Scrap Exchange, Durham, NC November 16th- January 18th- This is an annual holiday collection of local artists and crafters focusing on reused and recycled items. I will be showing a small collection of handmade accessories there.

Acorn to Oak Handmade Etsy Team Arts and Craft Sale, The Visual Art Exchange, Raleigh, NC- December 8th from 12-6 pm- A one day show of fun looks and custom designers here in the Triangle. I love the variety of this show our team puts on semi-annually. This time we are partnering with the Visual Art Exchange in downtown Raleigh which promises to be a fun new twist.

For Everyone who is local, can't wait to see you at one or both shows. For everyone else, please feel free to follow online. We look forward to seeing you this season.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Textile Friday: The Village of Yesteryear

            One of the things Nash and I really love, are vintage arts and crafts. Nash is a history major, while I have no reasonable excuse. We often talk about traveling Ren Faires in a few decades with custom blacksmith suits of armor and my indulged love of Victorian and period costumes. That however is a long way off.
             There's many showings of traditional crafts in our state for which I feel lucky. My favorite is the Village of Yesteryear. It's an annual show put on at the NC State Fair for the past 60 years and hosts a ton of local friendly talent. This was my first serious exposure to the arts and crafts. This loom you see here was the first time I ever saw textiles being woven. My girl friend Charlotte Robinson would volunteer at booths when we got older weaving fabric on this particular model, but the magic of it stays with you no matter your age. There's something about a loom to a small child where the shuttle drifts back and forth at eye level for a toddler, the petals pumping, the harness and threads moving back and forth, that is simply magic.
            Even today, I love to sit and watch textile machines work. There's something musical about the rhythm of a master going about his or her task that soothes the soul. Beat. Beat. Beat. Brush. Hammer. The entire building pulses with a steady happy vibe.
                 It makes me eager to put up my knitting again or craft around the house when I get home. I always feel at peace when I'm making something. I wish that translated over at ALL to the rest of my life. Well, have a great day everyone. See ya next week.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

DIY Paper Kite Tutorial

       Thanks everyone who came out to the Acorn to Oak Handmade Etsy Team meeting on Tuesday night for our kite making tutorial. Thanks to Nick Wentworth (and his Dad), we have a cool instructable for you to try your hand at if you missed the meeting and still want to make your own. The windy October weather around here is perfect for kite making and flying. I love quick and easy crafts like this in which most of the ingrediants or tools are lying around your house and can be quickly assembled to provide a great distraction for a sunny afternoon. Have a great day and happy flying! :-)
   Also, congratulations to everyone getting hired and married this month. It seems like it's been a good busy month for a lot of people. It is nice to see friends and family doing well.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Custom Order: Bronycon Messenger Bag

           Today, I wanted to release a fun project I've been working on for a friend for Bronycon. Charlie was inspired by the stained glass windows in My Little Pony. Most of our custom orders are created to make my customers smile and this one definitely hit the mark. I was going to take more, but Charlie made off like a bandit with his new prize! Hopefully you can see the custom leather graphics we did based on his sketches below.
             Custom orders are always a favorite. I do need to start posting more requests online. Roughly 2% of the work our shop does ends up on the internet, the vast majority of it is sold directly to buyers. I'm horrible at taking actual photos as the making part is my favorite!
             But, sometimes...I have great friends and customers who let me take photos. So today...a custom bag for you to see. :-)

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Nash Having Fun Sparring

       This week Nash is taking over to add some fun to your day. Last week, he put together a bunch of sparring practice weapons with his groomsmen (So Hot!) and so this week....he is posting up How-To-Guides on Instructables for people who want to make their own practice weapons. Because you can never have enough wearpons! I hope you enjoy too! And if you want to join in the sparring...just listen for the sound of clashing on a Thursday night near NC State Campus. Have a great day everyone!

Monday, October 15, 2012

October 23rd:Online Licensing for Fine/Graphic Artists and Kite Making

        This past weekend, the VAE had it's semi-annual "The Business of Being An Artist." As usual, they're a great group! This week we are focusing on paper. The first is part is for my fine artists friends who constantly ask me how they can make a living of their art.

October 23rd from 7-8 pm: Online Licensing for Fine/Graphic Artists aka Cafepress (The New Guards): Traditionally, graphic artists were part of the Guild or worked either free-lance or as part of a firm. Graphic and fine artists have a distinct advantage in the arts and crafts game in that their works are copyrighted so you have a lot of options for licensing which means you can build up a revenue stream overtime which generates income for you even if your latest work was not a hot seller. We will talk about the latest online trend, which is corporate licensing by online print firms for profit. The big player in this game is called "" However, we also have local players like Spoonflower, etc. We will talk about rates, the two major types of art buyers, how to take good photos/make online sketches for print, and online graphic sales. I hope this will help all the painters, sketch artists, and other traditional fine artists understand how to build an online shop for free without having to invest in purchasing a lot of physical inventory. This is an adjunct to traditional outlets. This is especially good as most artists can not afford to invest in a lot of inventory sitting in a warehouse somewhere taking up space.

October 23rd from 8-9 pm: Traditional and New Kite Making: Kites are one of the oldest and simplest toys to make. They are also something that make everyone smile. All you need is string, crepe or tissue paper, wooden sticks (dowels or bbq skewers are recommended), glue, markers, wire (optional), and imagination. Like the band, if you can dream it up, you can fly it.
       Can't wait to see you for a night of mayhem...and feathers welcome!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

One Hour Wedding Dress: Speed Sewing

        So sometimes, life catches up with us. This past week we got married which was a lot of fun and very crazy at the same time. One of the big challenges was a last minute dress to throw together as the one from my grandfather got lost in transit. As some of you know, I do not sew silk as a general rule as cotton and linen are much more common around here.
        Crank out the sewing machine, a bunch of vintage lace, and handfuls of bobby pins for a simple tea length dress. Thankfully, I found this little book on Amazon called Sew A Beautiful Wedding by Gail Brown and Karen Dillon. If you've decided to DIY your wedding dress, I really recommend using it as it's packed FULL of practical advice on how to actually sew a wedding dress that looks good. A normal bridal pattern will leave you with yards of ruined silk as it's been half-translated from German or Chinese in this depressing gibberish. Surprisingly, it only took me about an hour to make mine with this great little treasure (the photographer took pictures of me sewing it an hour before the wedding) and while there's things I notice like I should have hung up the dress overnight before doing the last layer of the hemline and pinned it on me for my bubble butt...overall very pleased.
          Yeah! BTW, I would NOT leave this to the last minute if you are making your own dress. It normally takes people 2 to 4 months to sew a full wedding dress with good reason. Have a great day everyone!


Tuesday, October 9, 2012

3D Printer Workshop Offerings In October and November: Plastibots

    Hey guys, so I've been absent for a while so lots of great posts and updates to do. Hopefully you have also been off enjoying the perfect weather too. It seems like it's been a great couple of weeks for everyone. For everyone who missed the spring 3D Printing Workshop, Luis Freeman is finally hosting another 3D Printer Workshop (Yeah!). You can sign up for one of 3 classes this fall or buy one of a limited number of printers. I believe one of them is already sold out, but the other 2 are still available. We really love his printers as they are trouble free and easy to fix compared to normal 3D printers. He also hosts the local 3D printer meet-up group so you know that you have plenty of people to hang out and use as resource afterwards. Please, remember to sign up EARLY. Luis always has a wait list.

The times are:

Express Weekend:

October 12th from 6-10 pm, October 13th from 12-8 pm, and October 14th from 12-8 pm

Workday Workshop

October 22nd from 6-10 pm, October 23rd from 6-10 pm, October 24th from 6-10 pm, October 25th from 6-10pm, and October 26th from 6-10 pm

2 Weekends Workshop

November 3rd from 1-6 pm, November 4th from 1-6 pm, November 10th from 1-6 pm, November 11th from 1-6 pm

Have a great week everyone!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Fall Collection: Beloved

    Hey guys, we're back from our wedding all bright-eyed and bushy tailed. Sorry for everyone on the Blogisphere who wondered where we went. We've been off being happy and in love. Wow, weddings are a lot of work, but a lot of fun too. A special thanks to everyone who helped in countless ways! You made the day for us!

    Especially Roth Brewing for offering up their space for the reception. We are currently putting together a facebook page with people adding their photos. If you came and want to add yours there or stalk us, thank you in advance. The photographer is also putting together a webpage we will look forward sharing for people who want to download or order prints. So thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Have a great day people. We love you all!