Friday, February 27, 2009

warning: highly addictive fun ahead!

WARNING: if you love fonts & fun... you're gonna LOVE this! highly addictive fun ahead!!

i first came across this fun site a few weeks ago, and then was reminded about it by the wonderful behind my tutorlists' recent post! try this out! go to and let the fun begin! you can enter a bunch of words, on a theme, for fun, about your business, about an upcoming event!

here are some that came up for when i entered my shop address in the 2nd field:

then click GO!

you can then keep clicking on *randomize* til you find a colour combo or font or style you love! it's endlessly great! you can also choose your own custom colour palette, change the fonts and more!!

you can also choose to wordle your own list of words (1st field!) or a feed, too! so fun! here's a pretend party invite!

just think of the endless fun uses for these!
so happy wordle-ing! and have a fun weekend, nicies!
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Thursday, February 26, 2009

what are you listening to?

i'm often fascinated by how one art form can influence, intersect with another. today we're talking sound. i'm asking folks (on the etsy forums) to tell us what they listen to... in various circumstances... here's the first....

what are you listening to... while you make your art / craft? (part one!) here's a sampling:

Message relief sculpture


scenicartisans who wrote: uncle tupelo and its spin off bands are what i put on a lot. maybe too often.

above: Magnolia Pleated bag - Dark Slate Denim

SweetgumHandbags who wrote: NPR

Church Doors - 8x10 Fine Art Print


WilliamDohman who wrote: Fleet Foxes, Live, Sublime, Beck, The Black Keys, Muse, Smashing Pumpkins, Mates of State, She & Him, Zero 7, Bush, Ryan Adams, Regina Spektor, The Shins, Built to Spill, Rage Against the Machine

Chunky Grey Cabled Neckwarmer


jeannieknits who wrote: mix CDs with a huge amount if artists. My recent favorites being; Kings of Convenience, Owen Pallet, She and Him, Tokyo Police Club, Bright Eyes, Spoon (always), The Shins (always), Beck (of course), MGMT, Someone still loves you Boris Yeltsin.... And it goes on, and on.....

Be't by nicht or by day print


thecuriousrabbit who wrote: the amelie or juno soundtracks

Lucky Money Smokey Quartz

tracyrevell who wrote: (sometimes) movies - Clue (my fave right now) or any of the Harry Potters (I know I'm a dork) Elizabeth (both) is another fave



moxy who wrote: Dogs snoring

Black with White Snag Free Stitch Markers Set of 8 Small Loop
jeanettejed who wrote: I set my computer to AOL radio and listen to country or to alternative rock.

Cocoa with Chocolate Hearts, Gourmet Slippers


PhineasandLou who wrote: Nothing usually. I am either hanging with my family, or it's early before I go to work so I just try to get some work in. When I have a moment to choose, I look for 80's movies, girly make me cry romance movies, or the Golden Girls...those kinds of things. I'll be watching a Ben & Jerry documentary this weekend for inspiration!

above: Silver Shimmer Cubes Dangle Earrings


TheSilverHand who wrote: The Who, Sublime, Live, Enya, Type O Negative.

above: Buttons and Key - Original Mixed Media ACEO
by artangel who wrote: B52s, Oasis, The Cure, Motown, The Cocteau Twins - quite eclectic!

so fun to hear what folks are listening to! thanks so much for sharing!

also coming up:
what do you listen to... while you work (that may or may not be different then craft!) and what do you listen to ... when you wanna dance?
you can chime in on those threads now for future features. thanks!

... and i'd LOVE to hear what you listen to while you craft! please leave us a message here in the comments, and i'll try to feature as many of you as i can next time!
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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

under the weather

oh dear. poor littlerikrak isn't feeling much better today. thanks to all of the nicies who have sent their well wishes. :) hopefully better soon! so here's a little handmade goodies care package for my little sweetie...who's the best little lego spaceship builder around!

these cuddly, recycled sweater slipper boots by 4pippi
this beautiful, snuggly quilt by
these fun DIY wooden toys to paint
by goosegrease
this hilarious (and useful!) moustache handkerchief by
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wow! i've gotta say... i was so thrilled & excited to read all of the wonderful, heartfelt comments as entries for the rikrak 2yr etsy-versary giveaway! thanks so very much to everyone that entered. i loved reading of your successes, and your great cheerleading of other folks' milestones too! what a super bunch of folks you all are!

the entries read a bit like a wonderful, touching book of inspiration! there were tales of personal triumphs: achieving things that, at some point, folks thought never possible; battling & winning over disease, difficult times, & triumph over tragedy; rebuilding homes & relationships; many tales of our own personal successes, at home & beyond; our professional successes, and so many glorious stories of building artistic businesses, communities and more, to let our talents flourish! indeed, woohoo! and i just loved how folks left cheers for others! that's the spirit!

i found many new wonderful blogs, artists & sites thanks to your entries. what a talented bunch of participants!

without further ado... so i'm happy to announce that the winner of the the rikrak giveaway pack, as chosen by is # 39 of 203 official comments! ......... congratulations "weblogartists!"

now this was my first introduction to this fun new-to-me blog (a co-venture by two great artists) ... and just take a look at the beautiful etsy shop: Blueshine Baby, that the winners run! aren't these creations adorable?

thanks so much to everyone. i really appreciated all of your kind, supportive words, too! folks sure are doing amazing things in their lives, and it's inspiring to see lovelies so thankful & appreciative for all of the great things we have! yay rikrak readers!

be sure to come back in a few more weeks for another fun giveaway!
and thanks so much! keep celebrating!
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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

collections: with Gabriele

i just love seeing what folks are collecting. i guess i kind of feel it tells us just a little bit about what inspires them, what they love, and what they choose to surround themselves with in their home. today, i'm delighted to present the next in the rikrak studio's collections series: 11 & a 1/2 quick questions with a wonderful artist on what they're collecting, (apart from their art supplies! ) hope you'll just love: vintage tins: with the wonderful Gabriele of Emmarts/Fluur!

who (are you?) : Gabriele. shops: Emmarts and Fluur

what (are you collecting?) : tins of all kinds

when (did you start?) : there were suddenly a bunch of tins, I kept them and so....

how (many do you have?) : ca. 50

where (do you find them?) : they find me

where (do you keep them?) : in a glass covered upper drawer

what (‘s an interesting story behind one?) : I once dropped the tiny round licorice tin. It started speeding down a sloping street. Other people tried to help success - the tin was faster. Jumped even artisticly over a gully hole! That chase ended in someone's front yard! :-)

(piece would you like to add?) : any single tin that "talks to me"

why (do you love them?) : because of the attributes: sturdy, safe, open/welcoming, the texture, their sounds depending of the contents

which (camera is your favourite?) & why? : the Hansaplast tin - it still holds the spirit of my MIL

what (else do you collect?) : ceramics without frills, matches, shopping lists, found shopping carts that have stalled.


thanks so much, Gabriele!

now i always admire a great teacher. and i think of Gabriele as a wonderful teacherly artist. we first met thru the ever-fun Canadian Buy N'Sell Threads on Etsy. she's always a great resource. she compiles lists & info so we can support each other. she is an avid art collector, and supporter of other artists in every way. she encourages us to expand our knowledge by sharing great facts and tidbits of wisdom at every turn, and i think she has such a fun sense of humour! and i think those are some wonderful teacherly attributes!

as an artist, Gabriele crafts beautiful artworks, and they're so affordabley priced! i love a beautiful abstract aceo i own of hers, and i think her excellent use of colour & texture is so very very lovely.

be sure to visit Gabriele's two lovely shops: Emmarts: "to tickle your senses" (as Gabriele puts it!) and Fluur: her 3-dimensional arts.


thanks again, Gabriele!
and i'll see you all tonight when i draw the giveaway winner! (still a few hours left to enter or to save at the rikrak sale!) stay tuned!
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Monday, February 23, 2009

handmaking with kids: art magnets with pinkfire designs

for me, there is nothing as fun as making something with kiddies! the curious, creative, limitless possibilities of a child's mind is so inspiring! here's a fun new series for the rikrak studio, with lots of fun, easy, inexpensive handmaking projects for you to make with your children, your younger family members, your students or some fun kiddies you know & love (or easily adapted for adults to make as their own fun projects!) i've invited various fun folks to share a handmaking with kiddies idea with us: it might be a craft or art; a handmade excursion or handmade recipe. today is the next in the seires handmaking with kids: art magnets with guest Keri of Pinkfire Designs. enjoy!

a fun project by Keri & her 3 wonderful daughters, Morgan, Rylee & Madison! in their words...

"My kids love to see their art displayed, what kid (or adult…) doesn’t! So I thought a fun project would be to take some of the art and turn them into magnets.

Here are the steps:

  1. Get drawing or painting!
  2. Scan the pictures into your computer.
  3. Crop the images so there is no extra white space.
  4. Using a word processing or desktop publishing program, arrange the pictures onto a full sheet of paper.
  5. Print onto magnet sheets. I used 8 ½ by 11 inch sheets that I purchased at an office supply.
  6. Once printed allow to dry and have your kids cut them out.

We have some posted on our fridge and my girls are going to give some to their grandparents as gifts.

This was a fun family project that kept a 3, 5 and 7 year old entertained!!! Which is always a good thing.

Hope you will try this with your kids!"


thanks so much, nicies. your artwork is gorgeous, little sweeties! we're always looking for fun ways to preserve & share artworks at our home... so i just love this fun project!

now... you'll also love keri's beautiful handmade jewelry shop!
i can attest first-hand to the gorgeous, fantastically chic & fashion-forward style of her beautiful, creative & brilliantly crafted works!

i first met Keri through the wonderful Trans-Canada Etsy Team, and whenever i've had the chance to visit with her, her wonderful warmth & love of her little sweeties just leaps off the page! so here's to a wonderful mommy & artist! thanks so much, keri!

be sure to visit the pinkfire designs shop! and happy handmaking with kids!

hope you had a great weekend! see you tomorrow... when i'll announce the giveaway winner!

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Friday, February 20, 2009

my greatest hits: by Carina Envoldsen-Harris

what inspires you artistically & creatively? what would those inspirations look like visually? in this fun series, (please see the others here) ... i’ve invited some wonderful artists to share with us 4 images of inspiration in their artistic life, something of an interview in images! the guidelines were basically this: choose 4 visuals (something like your creative-stimuli *greatest hits!*) that you feel most inspires & expresses your art or craft today. for some, it might be a person, place or thing; a material; a pattern; a colour; a sound or song, etc. it might be a photograph, a drawing, a scan, etc. i’ve tried to leave it a bit open-ended so that we might better glimpse into these artists' motivations and their amazing, raw talent! today i’m delighted to present the next in the series *my greatest hits*:

when i think of carina envoldsen-harris, the idea of superlatives comes to mind. first, she might just show the most spectacular use of colour in her art that i've ever seen. (and you know how i love colour!)... each of her different arts uses the loveliest interplay of tones and hues. taking a look thru her portfolio is a bit like a delicious dream in living technicolour! (see for yourself) ... i love it!

she's also fantastically multi-talented. it amazes & inspires me that one soul could be so adept in so many different arts. and she's amazing at all of them! she's a fabulous crocheter, designer, gocco-er, embroiderer, sewer, to name a few of her talents. following her for the past few years on flickr, each day is like a brilliant, unbelieveable surprise: "what new craft will carina master today?!" ... amazing! i really admire multi-talented folks!

thirdly, carina is also a blogger extraordinaire. she runs a very popular craftyblog, and way back in 2007, when i was just starting out rikraking, she was the very first person to ever ask if they could interview me about my crafting. that was so kind of her. so.. add fabulously kind to the list of carina superlatives!

i've asked carina to share with us a little glimpse into her gorgeous mind! here are 4 images that inspire her, in her own words:
Watercolour box
because I'm a colour magpie and it spells creativity and endless possibility to me

End pages from Regnbue Rim (Rainbow Rhymes)
because it reminds me of drawings I did as a kid

Girl because she is beautiful, mysterius and exotic;
the world needs beauty, mystery and exotic things, places and people

Turquoise drawers because of that delicious colour


oh thank you much, carina! just lovely!
now i'm the proud owner of 2
Carina Envoldsen-Harris works: a gocco print (gorgeous!) & an original embroidery piece (amazing) ... both are fantastic!

and now you can have your own wardi original, too. in her gorgeous new shop: polkaandbloom here's a sunny glimpse!

thanks so much, carina! have a great weekend, everybody! may it be full of beautiful colours!

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Thursday, February 19, 2009

a great little moment in time!

photo of President Obama on Parliament Hill, Ottawa.
taken by little rikrak, age 5 , up on daddy's shoulders,
(edited by mommy!). taken 19.02.09

oh goodness! we just got back from a wonderful little trek downtown... to see President Obama! he arrived in our lovely Ottawa this morning, and we joined 1000s of other fans on Parliament Hill to cheer his arrival. it was great! we didn't even really think we'd see him. all the reports said we wouldn't. but we all just wanted him to see us, as canadians, cheering him on! we hoped he'd see how very very much we respect, admire & appreciate him as a leader. and it was super! so many fun folks. such a great spirit in the crowd. seeing little rikrak so excited about just glimpsing at history. and then...he arrived! the crowd waited. cheered. hoped. lots of cars in the motorcade.. and then... a glimpse of him! standing at the foot of the peace tower. the clock @ 11.45. and he smiled that great smile & waved! there was an electric, tearful, joyful cheer that errupted! fantastic! what a great time!

now i've been thinking lots this week about time. the passage of time. milestones: my own little celebrations, and all of the wonderful reasons to celebrate that so many of you have shared for the giveaway. (thank you! i love reading them. what amazing tales folks are sharing!!). i think of chakra pennywhistle's vintage cameras and all of the special times and events folks record. and now today there is another great little moment in time!

these are surely difficult
times for many folks, for many reasons. but i think it's also an inspiring time. there are great things going on... just check out some of the amazing stories folks are celebrating today in the giveaway comments! it's really inspiring! so in honour of a great time ... and seeing an inspiring scene in front of our lovely peace tower clock this morning (see above photo by my little sweetie!) ... some beautiful clocks for you... to help show that the passage of time can be such a lovely lovely thing.

handmade doily clock by andfurthermore

RND wall clock via momentoitalia's photostream

vintage sunbeam clock via bythewayside

handmade splat red bamboo clock by pilotdesign

recycled bike wheel clock handmade by pixelthis

GE vintage wall clock via atouchofvintage

george nelson vintage clock via monitorpop's photostream

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