Thursday, May 26, 2011

Weekend Guide May 26 - 29

Date: Thursday, May 26th
Time: 6-9pm
Location: Indie Genius 409 N. Zang Dallas TX 75208
Cost: Free
More Info:
Etsy Dallas Members Participating: bonny beads, Dowdy Studio, maggie may i, Regal Cottage, ReGeared

Date: Thursday, May 26th
Time: 7-10pm
Location: Smoke Parking Lot, 901 Ft.Worth Ave. Dallas, TX 75208
Cost: Tickets are $15 for KXT members, and $20 for non-members
Etsy Dallas Member Participating: Dowdy Studio

Date: Fri&Sat, May 27-28
Time: 11am-10pm both days
Location: Bolsa Cafe Parking Lot, 614 West Davis, Dallas TX 75208
Cost: Free
Etsy Dallas Member Participating: Dowdy Studio
Date: Friday, May 27, Saturday, May 28, and Sunday, May 29
Time: Friday 7-10pm, Saturday 11-10, Sunday 12-6
Location: Fair Park

Cost: Free
Etsy Dallas Members Participating: Both Hands Studio, Kessler Craftsman

Handmade Days - Jonathon of Napkin Art Studio

Making your art your day job isn't necessarily a conscious choice for some. When you ask an artist what made you want to become an artist, most will tell you that it really wasn't a choice, it just was, since as far back as they can remember. Likewise, when some artists decide to become their own boss and work for themselves full-time it's not just a choice, but the way they've always envisioned it to be. Common perception is that artists as have a fun and easy job, but most artists we know are also some of the hardest working individuals out there. It's hard work making it fun. One of these self-employed and driven artists is Jonathon Kimbrell, the brains, brush and squeegee behind Napkin Art Studio. We asked him a few questions to see what his full-time art business is like so we can peek into his handmade days.

Quick facts
Name - Jonathon Kimbrell
Shop - Napkin Art Studios
web links - +
How long have you been creating art full-time? - Been creating custom paintings and making silk screen prints professionally for seven years now.

What inspired you to start your very own handmade business?

Mostly, I never pictured myself working for 'the man' for too long after I graduated from college, and the only thing I ever wanted to be was a professional artist. I was finally able to start making a living off my paintings and silk screen prints beginning in July 2010. The painting is what started it all, and then I added silk screen goodies to the mix in late 2009. Since I'm a big music fan, and collect gig posters from some of my favorite studios around the country, I wanted to be a part of that creative industry on some sort of level. Thankfully, the ball in that department is beginning to gather some speed and my poster work is getting some notice.

What's your daily work routine like from morning to night?

It really varies. Some days I may only work 2-3 hours, some days I may work 12-15, just depending on the workload and the deadline schedule. I've been better at disciplining myself in waking up and get to work by 10am. Sometimes it is easier said than done! Since my home and studio are essentially one in the same, I find myself working in some form or fashion all hours of the day, every week.What new projects are you working on right now?
Since my latest art exhibit, "We Are Modern" just wrapped up, I'm about to finish another tour poster for the Old 97's and a few other local bands. I have a slew of new print designs ready to be printed and made available on my Etsy shop, as well as starting work on my next exhibit opening in the fall. Also, I'm working on a photography book consisting of my iPhone and Polaroid photography, as well as revamping my independent t-shirt line, "Deathray of Sunshine". This year still has a few surprises left for me, and I don't see the workload slowing down anytime soon.Why do you feel it's important to buy from handmade artists like yourself?
I think many people are growing tired of mass produced goods, especially since the quality of the things we buy from 'big box stores' has dwindled over the last 50 plus years. I don't see the handmade thing as a trend, either. I think handmade is starting its renaissance and will continue to grow and be appealing to artists and purveyors of quality in the coming years. Part of America's identity was wrapped in with the things we manufactured, things that we were extremely proud to make. We've lost that somewhere down the line, and now I think those who are excited to make things with their hands are on a mission to restore some of that pride.

Why do you think the Dallas area is a good place to be full-time handmade artist?
Dallas is a very diverse city when it comes to art collectors, designers, and creative types. There is a growing sense of community here when it comes to DIY and it's exciting to see where this will lead to in the future. There is a support system for artists and crafters like no other here. We're a big city and there is plenty of room for all of our talents!

Thank you Jonathon for giving us a glimpse into your day job and sharing your art with Dallas and beyond. Check out more art by Napkin Art Studio here.

interview by Pamela/Dowdy Studio

Stay tuned for the next Handmade Days featuring: Laura from ChildsPlayDesgin

Monday, May 23, 2011

Member Spotlight: Karma Crochet

Patricia of Karma Crochet is one of the most prolific crafters you'll ever meet... just check out the amount of items up for sale in her etsy shop! From cozy blankets and scarves, to jewelry, notepads and magnets, Patricia offers something for everyone.

She says she's been knitting and crocheting for as long as she can remember, and began selling what she was already making in 2008. Not only is she an avid crafter, she also works full time as a tech and support manager. After her her work day is over, she heads home to start her crafting. Patricia says, "My cat , Sam appreciates that I stay home and provide him with hours of entertainment with the supplies. Sam loves to play with my measuring tape. He thinks he's helping me!"

Find lots more of Patricia's unique handmade goods online at, as well as at the Trinity Audubon Center. Happy shopping!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

From Podcasts to Pop Culture - A Playlist from Tefi Designs

Meredith from SheepishKnittingCrochet recently interviewed Stephanie from Tefi Designs in order to give us more insight into her creative process.

What kind of music do you listen to when you create?

At the risk of sounding incredibly un-hip, I usually have the TV on or am listening to my favorite NPR programs like Cartalk, Wait Wait Don't Tell Me, and Radio Lab.
I have a toddler; my "making stuff" time usually happens right after he's fallen asleep around 8:30 p.m. As a compulsive and proud multi-tasker, I pair up my creative time with my "story watching" time. Current favorites: Weeds, Psych, Law & Order: UK, and The Good Wife.
Do certain genres of music affect your creative process?

Grindcore pretty much makes my creative process wilt and the Blues make me want to poke out my eardrums. Otherwise, I dig all genres at some point or other.

How does music fit into your creative routine?

I usually listen to music when I'm sitting at the computer updating my web site, blogging, and writing press releases. Music basically factors into the part of my creative business that is less "creative" and more "business." (But as a professional writer, I would argue that writing is creative, so there you go.)

Name some of your favorite artists/bands.

Belle and Sebastian, Camera Obscura, The Smiths, Metallica (no, I'm not kidding), the bird and the bee, Grandaddy. Pretty much what I liked 10 years ago I still like today. I'm a loyal music fan - I don't normally stray and pretty much like everything my favorites make.
**NOTE: In the music collage, the bands pictured are Belle and Sebastian, Camera Obscura, The Smiths, and Metallica

Contrary to what I just said, I recently discovered Florence + The Machine and LOVE LOVE LOVE!!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Etsy Dallas Weekend Guide May 21 + 22

Date: Saturday, May 21st and Sunday, May 22nd
Time: 11am-7pm
Location: Palmer Events Center, Austin
More Info:

Date: Sunday, May 22
Time: 4pm-8pm
Location: In front of Enos, 407 N. Bishop Ave, Dallas
Etsy Dallas Member Participating: Dowdy Studio (pick up a limited edition Brew Riot Tee by Dowdy Studio)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Summer Reading List: Alabama Stitch Book

Ah, summer... time to sit in the hammock, read a good book, and get inspired! That's my plan, at least. Then when the weather is unbearably hot, I will be ready to head inside and get crafting! This series will highlight some of our favorite books for inspiration and handmade crafty goodness.

Heralded as the "Haute Homespun of the Deep South" by Vogue magazine, Natalie Chanin's designs involve lots of handwork, creativity, and a unique story. She began her career in New York, and later returned home to Florence, Alabama to get back to her handmade roots. She currently runs a design studio dedicated to slow design and sustainable style, employing artisans from the community to create hand-stitched masterpieces. She shares her story, as well as numerous tutorials, patterns, tricks and tips in Alabama Stitch Book. The gorgeous photos alone are enough to inspire some down-home crafting fun, but you'll find how-to's on 20 projects involving hand stitching, beading, and stenciling that can be done with very few materials and tools.

So what are you waiting for? Get crafting!

Monday, May 16, 2011

DIY on a Dime: BUTTER Gets Re-purposed

Laura Davis of BUTTER is not just my fellow Etsy Dallas member, she's a friend and neighbor.

I love stopping by her house because I'm always sure to see something new she's made with the materials she finds around her. "I try to do everything I can with repurposed materials," says the furniture designer by day, home accessories designer by night (and SCAD alumna, to boot).

"I'm an absolute junkie for thrift stores and estate sales, and I often use my lunch breaks to pop in the thrift stores around my work. My favorite finds = old furniture on the side of the road! You can make some pretty sweet stuff for free." Some of the things Laura makes:
  • clocks from old saw blades
  • lights from old baskets
  • tote bags from fabric samples
  • furniture re-upholstery with vintage/found fabrics
  • napkins from upcycled linens
  • decorative trays from old cafeteria trays

This creative lady is serious about repurposing old materials. She tells me, "I'm trying to be very thoughtful about what I toss out, as well... my fabric scraps either go to teamies [like me!] who could use them, or if small enough (like serger scraps) go to stuffing for plush toys for my nieces." Laura confesses she "almost borderline hoarder" which I can totally relate to.

When she isn't scavenging furniture parts or piling up 6 feet of fabric samples in her office, Laura like to read about repurposing in the crafting age. Some of her recommended reading includes Tossed and Found and Remake It Home.

Visit Laura's online shop to see more of her great repurposed designs: And if you see her at the thrift store, be sure to say Hi!

posted by Stephanie/tefi

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Member Spotlight: Red Tile Studio

Talk about talent running in the family! Mother and daughter duo Red Tile Studio work together to create beautiful art and home decor. Darleen is an artist, and her daughter Amber is a designer/photographer. Their collaboration results in amazing collectible art blocks, as well as original paintings, prints, and custom dog portraits.

I would love to see a whole wall of their art blocks in my home! Many of their pieces are designed to coordinate, and you can purchase them in sets for an instant gallery of your own. As you can tell, they have a shared love of nature and modern design, and an incredible sense of color.

One of my favorites in their etsy shop is their custom dog portraits... how cute is this little fellow! They both have chihuahuas - Amber has three (Sophie, Milla, and Audrey) and Darleen has one (Jack.) You can send them a snapshot or two of your little furry friend and they will create a custom portrait for you.

In addition to painted art blocks, they also create photo blocks featuring modern objects and unique compositions... swoon!

Check out more of Red Tile Studio's work at their Etsy shop, and find out what they are up to on facebook, twitter, pinterest or flickr!

Picture Sunday

Photo Credit: Napkin Art Studios

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Weekly Blog Walk!

Bee Things is being featured on The Working Proof. Their lovely animal themed print benefits the Jane Goodall Institute, here's the post!

For tips on marketing and pricing your craft, visit Tefi's blog.

Hi Fi Jewelry is making their debut in several new locations, even Berlin!

If you are looking for some studio inspiration, the Ruffly Owl shared some really fabulous and practical creative spaces.

Dowdy Studio is having a “big, huge sale for awesome people!” Be sure to check it out!

And, Napkin Art Studio gave us a sneak peek and some behind the scenes info on his new book, “We Are Modern."

Thanks for blog walking with us! Enjoy the beautiful weekend!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Etsy Dallas Weekend Guide: May 14 + 15

Homegrown Music and Arts Fest

Date: Saturday, May 14th
Time: 11am-10pm
Location: Main Street Garden, 1900 Main St., Dallas
Cost: Tickets are $15 in advance or $20 at the door.
Etsy Dallas Member: Dowdy Studio Wagon

Learn the basics of hyperbolic and free-form crochet enabling you to create your own sculptural crocheted objects in this exciting class taught by Etsy Dallas' own, Anne Lawerence. Hyperbolic crochet is the use of increases to create mathematical models of theoretical forms or those found in nature, such as the crenelations of a lettuce leaf or coral reef.

Date: Sunday, May 15th
Time: 11 am - 2 pm
Location: Oil and Cotton 837 W. 7th Street Dallas
Cost: $55 class
More Info: Oil and Cotton
Etsy Dallas Member: Modest Ambition

Date: Sunday, May 15th
Time: Noon-8 pm
Lakewood Village Shopping Center (Gaston & Abrams)
Cost: FREE!
Etsy Dallas Member: Seen Studios

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Etsy Dallas: What Our Moms Make

In honor of mothers everywhere, we asked Etsy Dallas members to show and tell us what their moms make. Every Etsy Dallas member has their own unique artistic talents, and we have a suspicion that at least some of those skills can be accredited to our hardworking and amazing moms.

We love you moms! Thanks for passing down the passion for handmade in that gene pool!

"My maternal grandmother was the seamstress in the family and she passed down her skills and so forth to my mom who helps me out in her free time, and in her summers off (since she's a teacher) she quilts and works on additional home decor sewing projects."
-Cut Out and Collect

"For Christmas my mom hand knitted a beautiful red scarf to keep me warm throughout the cold Texas winter."
-Dowdy Studio (Pamela)

"My mother is a sewing genius--from my favorite Rainbow Bright Halloween costume in the 80s, to my favorite Sunday dresses, to every conceivable theatrical costume--my mother made them all with more love and care than the finest haute couture modiste."

"My mom, Monta, spent days hand-painting and crafting wooden directional signs for our wedding last October."
- Dowdy Studio/Dylan

"Not only did my mom teach me how to sew, but she is super crafty, always working on projects with us, baking us the most amazing cakes (like the Easter cake that was a tree stump with tiny rabbits living in it), and today she continues to make jewelry along with my Dad."
-Mia Maria

"Oh yeah, you could definitely say I get my crafty spirt from my craftabulous Mom who embroiders, paints amazing oil paintings, and makes awesome all natural soap."
-Regal Cottage

"My mom knits sweaters, caps and tiny little boy scarves for Ian, my son".

My mom, Ruth - costumer extraodinaire!

My mom hand sewed all of my winter coats when I was a baby/toddler because they couldn't afford a sewing machine (dad was a struggling medical resident), and she knew nothing of reading a pattern, so she eyeballed everything she made.
-YLK Photography

Friday, May 6, 2011

Thank You to all our Spring Bash Sponsors!

We just wanted to take a quick moment to thank all our lovely sponsors of the 3rd Annual Spring Bash!! Actually, we can't thank you all enough for your support and love for the handmade movement in Dallas. From all of us to all of you we'd live to give you a round of applause! THANK YOU!

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