Sunday, March 24, 2013

Studio snacks

Miranda, of Emm8Apparel, has some tasty tips for studio-appropriate snacks.

According to science, chewing stimulates brain activity. (I thought I had made this up but turns out it’s real. Look it up.) So I can’t think of a better time to eat than creative time! 

There are just a few guidelines to follow when snacking in the studio: nothing drippy, sticky, greasy, stain-y or crumbly. For me, this means mini wraps. Here are a few of my favorites with clever titles just for you guys.

The Classic Kid-Comfort: A crunchy roll up fluffer-nutter

Ingredients: flour tortillas, marshmallow fluff, natural peanut butter, Cheerios
Spread a spoonful of marshmallow fluff in the center of the tortilla. Spread half a spoonful of peanut butter just beside the fluff. Sprinkle with Cheerios. Roll and engulf.

The Do What Now?: Random ingredients = yum

Ingredients: flour tortillas, cream cheese, chocolate chips, craisins, chopped walnuts (optional)
Spread ¾ of the tortilla with cream cheese. Sprinkle chocolate chips all over (I usually use about a tablespoon per tortilla). Microwave for 10-20 seconds. Sprinkle craisins and walnuts on the cream cheese/choco chip meltyness. Roll and devour.

The Healthy: Eat your vegetables

Ingredients: flour tortillas, hummus, spinach, chopped bell pepper, shredded cheese (optional)

Spread the whole tortilla with a thin layer of hummus. The spread helps to keep bits from falling out of the roll while you eat. Layer on spinach, pepper and cheese like you are making a taco. Add shredded cheese if you so desire. Roll and feel good.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Curbside crawls that inspire

Earth Month is just days away, and Liz of Creative Input By Liz is sharing a little bit of her upcycling inspiration.

Reduce, recycle, reuse. I hear these words a great deal, maybe because I am totally immersed in the movement. I started recycling when I would have to lug a trunkful to any place that recycled. Luckily, today we have curbside pick-up. Speaking of curbsides, I do a curbside crawl on trash days looking for items people consider disposable. My son’s solid wood dresser is from one of my hunts. If I can’t use it, I donate it. 

This habit of hunting for recyclables or items to repurpose has transferred to my art. My favorite sources are estate sales, resale stores, Etsy, and eBay. I also gather inspiration from my search. I consider my ventures to be of divine providence since I have no idea what I will find that will spark my imagination. 

I look for metals in silver-plated trays, copper, brass, and colorful tins. I haven’t stumbled upon anyone with well-priced sterling but I keep my hopes up. I cut up these metal finds to create upcycled jewelry. I also search for pre-vinyl records, books, broken jewelry, belts, vintage wallpaper, and anything I can cut up, use for texture, put in resin or use as a tool.

The photo above is of a piece made from a cookie tin with some great designs and colors. The circular bracelet below was made from a belt and what used to be a copper vase. The cross piece is riveted onto a portion of a brass planter.

Jacky Sylvie with Hi Fi Jewelry brings her love of music to the world of upcycling with her fantastic necklace made from vinyl records. The records I use come from the early 1900s, before vinyl, and are much thicker. I picked up a batch from an estate sale thinking they were worth a bundle. No such luck. Somehow I decided to soften them in the oven and cut them with cookie cutters to create pendants. The one below is my favorite.

The metals I scour for are anything from trays and vases to brass planters. There are some silver plated pieces that are plated onto copper. I particularly remember large compote I found with a beautiful bird and flower design. I raced home to cut it while preserving the design. It will make a beautiful necklace for the Etsy Dallas Spring Bash in April.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Some Time Summertime

Hey there. I’m Miranda and this is my first Etsy Dallas Blog post. Hooray! My shop, Emm8Apparel, sells contemporary clothing that takes classic silhouettes and adds a little rock and roll. 

I built a playlist around the theme of running away and I listen to it in the studio. It keeps me totally pumped, inspired and focused on what I’m creating.

The theme of my summer collection is Running Away. I was really captured by a song on My Chemical Romance’s Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys called Summertime. It’s about two people running away from brutal enemies in a post-apocalyptic California. Or more generally, and for my own purposes, it’s about two people leaving their problems behind in search of a better life elsewhere.

Here's my playlist:

My Chemical Romance- Summertime
Arcade Fire- Keep the Car Running
Something Corporate- Woke Up In A Car
Sarah Jaffe- Clementine
Milo Green- 1957
The Killers- Runaway
Passion Pit- Take a Walk
Frank Sinatra- Come Fly With Me


Thursday, March 14, 2013

Weekend Guide: March 14 + 15 + 16 + 17

Custom Green Dowdy Tee Week

Date: March 13th-March 15th
Time: Wednesday 12-6pm, Thursday 12-8pm and Friday 12-3pm
Location: Dowdy Studios, 10025 Garland Rd #G, Dallas,TX
More Info:
Participating Etsy Dallas Member: Dowdy Studio

Dallas Arts District Spring Break Block Party

Date: Friday, March 15th
Time: 6pm - Midnight
Location: Flora and Harwood Streets, Dallas, TX
More Info:
Participating Etsy Dallas Member: Dowdy Studio

Four Corners Brewing Brewery Tour

Date: Saturday, March 16th
Time: 12:30 - 3pm
423 Singleton Boulevard, Dallas, TX
More Info:
Participating Etsy Dallas Member: 
Dowdy Studio

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

From Chaos to Creative

It’s time for a peek inside the studio with Liz of Creative Input By Liz.

I get distracted easily, an understatement to be sure.  With my creative endeavors strewn all over 2000+ square feet, two children, three dogs and a husband, my wheels were spinning and I was frustrated ‘cause I couldn’t settle down to work without looking for something or tripping over a mammal from my household.  If I was in the bedroom working, inevitably I would need a thingy in the office on the opposite side of the house.  Then I would forget what the heck I was looking for by the time I arrived in the office.  Ugh.

Enter my friend, neighbor, and fellow jewelry artist, Jean.  I will call her simply, goddess of get-it-done.  She offered to help me make a studio in the garage.  I thought she was crazy.  She is just one of those people who enjoy helping the overwhelmed people do the undoable.  So, when she arrived with her get-it-done crown on and her words were, “There are only two things that should happen in a bedroom.”  I guessed correctly that making jewelry wasn’t one of those two. We got buzzy.

I was already parking my car outside the garage so I could store my curbside “treasures” that I was going to restore/repurpose into wonderful objects of beauty and awe.  Needless to say, the garage was full and no projects were completed. The first step was to create the creative space. Since I already had my big-girl pants on, I loaded up my mom van and gave the treasures to charity.  On the way home, I felt lighter; a van load lighter.  Space created, check.  
The kiln and a work table were already in the garage.  Everything else, everything, was taken from all over the house.  After a solid eight hours, Jean left me with the bones of my new studio and a sense of accomplishment. I wouldn't say all my stuff is arranged, but every day, I organize. Every day I find something I was looking for and/or find two of what I was looking for a month ago. Every day I have a place to go that is mine. 

Part of making the studio a place for designing, is having color, inspiring books, pictures, words, and meaningful tchotchkes around me. 

Walter Soza has a print called "Barcelona, Espana" that would hit the color aspect. I enjoy the way the colors overlap each other.

And, under my inspiring words category I would love to have the print, "Don't put off being creative" by Brandon Griswold of Honeycomb Print Shop. My point is to construct a space that is a reflection of me, for my spirit. Thursday, my mission was to get a TV in the garage so I wouldn’t feel like I was missing my shows, mainly Dallas Stars hockey.  I got a ginormous TV for cheap from CCA and picked up a set-top box.  Mission accomplished. The kids have watched more on the TV than I have, but now I am not missing anything. My studio is perfect for me.

Today, I sit at my desk in my studio typing this post.  I have music on, a dog by my feet, and my coffee cup close.  I am sure this is Heaven for me.  Check back in the summer, I may be singing a different tune.

Spring Break

Whether you're lucky enough to actually pack your bags this March or just need a little mental Spring Break, here are some great handmade travel goodies curated by Jenni of Jenni20 Designs. (She knows a thing or two about travel, y'all.)


The sun was warm yesterday as I sat on a patio with good friends sipping good brews. We might have left our wild and crazy school days behind to work 9-5 jobs, but who says we have to leave SPRING BREAK behind, too?

Here are some hand-crafted items from fellow Etsy Dallas members and a few travel tips I've picked up along the way.

1. Being organized doesn't have to be boring...
Tuck your passport into an oilcloth passport cover and never fumble around in the bottom of your bag for it when it's your turn to step from behind the yellow line.

passport cover by Jenni20 Designs

2. Postcards are so 20th century...
Send along some snail mail they'll actually love. (Wish you were here, dear!)

hello dear by PaperBeatsRock

3. Leave your pet sitter with a fashionable key chain they wouldn't dare lose...
Of course, it might be difficult to get your keys back when you return because it's so awesome, but that's for another blog post.

leather key chain by Gildem

4. Hotel amenities can be hit or miss...
Have sensitive skin or just like to shower with your favorite scent? It's best to bring your own soap.

handmade glycerin soap by The Pig and the Peacock

5. People like interesting vacation stories...
Meet a celebrity on the beach? Need to reflect on the interesting encounter you had with a handsome stranger in an art museum? Keep all your wicked thoughts in one place--and then tell me when you get back!

hand stamped moleskine by Made by Rori

6. Always eat where the locals eat...
Always. Trust me on this.

print by Squint Photography

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Weekend Guide: March 9 + 10

Dowdy Studio Wagon @ Good 2 Go Taco

Date: Saturday, March 9th and Sunday, March 10th
Time: 9am - 2pm
Location: 1146 Peavy Rd, Dallas
More Info:
Participating Etsy Dallas Member: Dowdy Studio

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Texas Independence Day is March 2

Celebrate Texas Independence Day with all the things that make our state great.

Sorry, there's no beam-me-up brisket and beer Internet delivery system...yet. So, while we wait (impatiently) for that to be invented, here are some goodies from some great Etsy Dallas members via Jenni of Jenni20 Designs.

Treasury Link
Related Posts with Thumbnails