Friday, February 26, 2010

patterns & shapes: on the ski hill

here we are!
we've made it!

it's almost the end of february and i whole-heartedly know that with the coming of march, winter will soon, SOON be a melting memory!

i know we're not out-of-the-snow-laden, blizzardy-storm-warning woods yet, but since it seems like every media outlet touts february as one of the hardest, most depressing months of the year i wanna congratulate you...
you've made it! good heavens!

while i know my own province is battling a crazyville storm today, i thought we'd celebrate the hopefully-soon end to full-on wintry-ness with a little closing ceremonies fanfare to the end of the 2010 olympics, and a final cheer to our own 2010 handmade olympics! what a month! yay!

i'm super excited about march, great new things, snow melting, wonderful stuff ahead, the paralympics, and coming soon to a 4 season-time zone near you: SPRING!

happy weekend lovelies... i'm not a skier, but some pretty patterns & shapes on the ski hill for ya!

and hot dog! hot-diggity-dog! (that's a ski term, right? :)

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Thursday, February 25, 2010

collections: with crafterall

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! ) you can also check out my new *the collectors* series, based on these posts, on Etsy's blog, the storque! hope you'll just love: adorable knick-knacks with the wonderful crafterall.


you know those days when you need a pick-me-up, a little je ne sais quoi?
have i got the tonic for YOU!

alrighty... turn on your computer.
head directly to the beautiful crafterall shop.
escape to Marnie's amazing worlds of topographical delight!

i've been a longtime fan of this favourite shop.
from the first time i remember seeing marnie's beautiful & imaginative papercut work i was smitten.

first of all, she's a paper wizard! her magical way of combining wonderfully imaginative new vistas and discovering sensational new secret islands, lands & waterways in her topo paper works makes her a modern-day magellan or columbus. on top of that, her delightful ability to re-create beloved, favourite-to-us custom shores and waters is the prefect guilt-free escape!

she's also an amazing and warm member of our artistic community - and i love the way she isn't afraid to show her appreciation for things, to support others in our handmaking worlds, and cheer-on and encourage those around her. she's one of the most positive souls i know - and i just love that!

as one of her many fans, i highly recommend an escape to her most beautiful shop and fun blogs. you can find her paper delights in numerous brick & mortar shops, too, including one of my favourite art boutiques in the world: the fabulous & famous MOMA shop! bravo, crafterall!

and now.... a little peek into Marnie's magical at-home world, and her fabulous collection.


who (are you) : My name is Marnie, I’m currently at home with my youngest of two daughters, selling my art on Etsy, and learning to build Web sites.

what (are you collecting) : In general, I collect knick-knacks, but specifically, I collect Hagen-Renaker animals and other miniatures that call to me.

when (did you start) : I bought my first Hagen-Renaker bunny with some birthday money when I was 10. I carried it everywhere in a little jewelry box with batting and took it out when I thought no one was looking.

how (many do you have?): I have a bunch and they’re scattered around my home. The bigger ones are in a corner cabinet in the dining room, and others occupy special little nooks here and there. where (do you find them) : Some were given to me, others I purchased. I love to pick up little ones when I travel, so many are from England. I’ve captured the most recent additions via Etsy.

where (do you keep them) : Most of them live in one of three large, vintage type trays mounted to our living room wall. I like to think that they come alive and have adventures while we’re away, and that they clamber back up into their places just before we come home. Some of them have a very sneaky look in their eyes, don’t you think?

what (‘s a crazy/interesting story behind one) : The little kid carrying the stack of cut wood is extra special to me. In my childhood home, we heated our house exclusively with a wood stove in the basement. Every fall, when the delivery of wood arrived, there was a whole weekend devoted to cutting, splitting, hauling, and stacking the wood supply. Then, as needed, we slid the pieces down an old metal slide into the basement to be stacked there. My three brothers and I always grumbled about the work, but once we began, we sang songs, told jokes, and laughed so hard at times we almost dropped the wood on our toes. My mom gave me this figurine in memory of those honey-golden times.
what (piece would you like to add): I’d love to have even more Hagen-Renaker animals as they hold so much character in their posture and in their faces. I’d also like to get a buddy for my adorable gnome from Etsy seller Dannielle; he is so well made and he makes me smile whenever I see him.

why (do you love them) : For some, I love them because they exude so much charm. I’m a sucker for the tiniest little details and I fall for a cute face. For most, however, I hold them dear because I associate them with a special memory, a significant place, or an unforgettable moment.
which (one is your favourite) & why : I cannot and will not choose a favorite, but the one that perhaps means the most to me is still the original piece to collection – the tiny little brown bunny with a broken ear and a curious look on his face.

what (else do you collect) : Aside from dust bunnies around the house, I also collect good music, original art, ridiculous jokes, and photos of my girls, and kisses from my husband.

thanks so much, marnie!
and have a gorgeous day, filled with delightful little escapes, nicies!
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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

handmade sister cities {part 5}: vancouver + edinburgh

row one
DavieandChiyo : vancouver
locomotive : vancouver
frostcollections : vancouver

row two
EmmaLamb : edinburgh
luxedeluxe : edinburgh
thedoghouse : edinburgh
13threads : edinburgh

row three
TrackandFieldDesigns : vancouver
Cabin : vancouver
brazenhussies : edinburgh

row four
MaggieMowbray : edinburgh
doseprod : edinburgh
nijani : edinburgh

row five
DearDodo : vancouver
tanisalexis : vancouver
emmarts : vancouver


oh how i've always loved the idea of sister cities.
two great places, joined over sea & sky by the idea of common cultural & commercial ties.
this rikrak studio series explores 2 official sister cities @ a time,
and some of the handmaking lovelies that they share!
i've done a bit of research to find official sister cities, and love seeing what handmakers are up to there!
be sure to visit the other handmade sister cities posts here.


handmade sister cities {part 5 }

vancouver, british columbia, canada & edinburgh, scotland

in honour of the 2010 (non-handmade) olympic festivities happening these days in lovely lovely vancouver, i thought we'd take a glimpse at that fair city, her handcrafting superstars, and one of vancouver's many official sister cities... edinburgh.

to me, both are magical by-the-sea spaces, with enchanting vistas, fascinating landscapes, amazing unique histories, and filled with wonderful lore & creativity.

i've been lucky to have spent a few visits in gorgeous vancouver, and hope to explore edinburgh some day, too!

have you been to either/both of these handmade sister cities?
tell us your favourite parts/neighbourhoods/delights/sights!
we'd love to hear!

happy handmaking, vancouver + edinburgh!
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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

challenge: show me your handmade oscar looks!

oscar looks handfashioned by:
1. neawear + hollystalder
2. kaang + TimelessVixenVintage
3. ZionShore + RevolvingStyles
4. stringmealong + verytreschic
5. MichMade + vrreis


it's that time of year again!
when we all head to the oscars, walking the red red carpet with our favourite dashing hollywood star!


now i know you're probably very busy preparing your acceptance speech, doing interviews with vogue & oprah, and tactfully having to turn down offers from johnny depp, george clooney, & josh holloway who are all begging to escort beautiful you! ... but be sure to take a second and show us what handmade (or vintage) lovelies you'll be wearing to the academy awards!!

1. choose a fun frock (or something else)

2. choose a fun accessory for the look.

3. cut & paste a direct link where i can find each item on the net into your comment.

4. make as many 2-part outfits as you'd like (feel free to include goodies from your own work, too, if you' like!)

5. next week i'll include 10 of your looks in a follow up post, and i'll be sure to link to your lovely shop/site, too! great free advertising for creative, dressed-to-the-nines YOU!

6. and hey... if there are LOTS of entries, i'll get the generator to pull a few for us to see!

during the toronto international film festival, we showcased what some of you were wearing - and heavens - where you gorgeous!

can't wait to see what you come up with this time, nicies! see you on the red carpet, cutiepies! i know you'll look marvelous!

oscar looks handfashioned by:

6. cookoorikoo + KMalinka
7. papermode + cocoricooo
8. vadjutka + tangente
9. noemiah + iheartfink
10. hazel + harlow + lizarietz

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Monday, February 22, 2010

greatest hits & a giveaway: with Tickled Pink Knits

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 : greatest hits with TickledPinkKnits (and a giveaway, too!)


ah... the transforming beauty of handmade!

isn't that a wonderful thing? seeing creations that can transport us to another place!

that's exactly how i feel about today's guest, Elena of Tickled Pink Knits. i'm sure so many of you, just like me, have long oogled over this beautiful shop. filled with gorgeous textures and luxurious colours, i just adore Tickled Pink Knits' talented designs, and what a breath of fresh air her work is in every season. a visit to see her is functional escapism at it's best!

and now... a Tickled Pink Knits original piece can be yours! (read on for how to enter this fabulous giveaway!) but first...

i believe that Elena has handcrafted not only the most gorgeous works, but also the most gorgeous of shops: i am always transported by the beauty of her images! now.. let's see what images inspire her....


1. COLOR and SHAPE provide boundless inspiration for me every day, and they directly influence my knit designs. I love exploring the properties of color through the medium of yarn and fiber. It’s sheer joy to play with color juxtapositions, contrasts, and gradations. While I have a few favorite colors (warm orange and turquoise among them), there isn’t a color I shy away from in my work. Form and shape, the undulations of lines, merging and diverging, are also fascinating to me. When knitting and designing, I am always toying with curves, folds, symmetry and asymmetry.

image source


2. The beauty and power of HANDMADE amazes, surprises, and inspires me very, very much. I am fascinated by how imagination, creativity, and vision can be brought to life and expressed by our hands, be it through drawing, embroidery, working with clay, wood, fabric, gems, or fiber. There are few limits to what the hands can shape, mold, sculpt, and fold. This power (and joy!) to take raw materials, small and large, old and new, substantial and virtually weightless, and see them transformed by our hands and in our hands – it’s exhilarating!

source: Valerie Hammond

3. Serendipity is one of life’s loveliest phenomena. You know, the discoveries we make, the people we meet, and the directions our lives take, when we least expect them. For artists and artisans, it is often finding beauty in unexpected place and at unexpected times. The way a tree’s silhouette looks from a certain angle, or the way some random objects colors echo each other, or how sunlight, shadow, and reflection combine at a certain hour to conjure up something mesmerizing. When encountered, serendipity is always magical even if not always tangible. Having experienced it, and hoping it will happen again, and again – that’s an inspiration to me.

source: windowsill daydreaming by minor white

4.I knit almost exclusively with natural fibers, like various wools, alpaca, and cashmere, and so I am infinitely grateful to the amazingly beautiful creatures that provide the gorgeous material that is then turned into yarn. I have a mild (mildly speaking) obsession with imagery and representation of sheep, alpacas, and llamas in all incarnations, and I find it impossible to resist their silhouettes on paper, fabric, stone, and such. So if you are ever in need of a miniature ceramic sheep or an alpaca-shaped pendant, please get in touch, and I will point you in the direction of all sorts of sheep-ly and alpaca-full goodness.


thanks so much, Elena!
now.. this nicey has something superfun for you!

one lucky rikrak studio reader will WIN....

a custom knit wrist cuff/bracelet, designed and made especially for the lucky winner,
by the talented Tickled Pink Knits!
woowee! what a fun prize!

AND... she's also offering FREE WORLDWIDE SHIPPING on any purchase in the shop! (Just use code "rikrak" at checkout, and upon purchase completion, the shipping amount will be promptly refunded via PayPal.)

here's how to enter the giveaway!

1. go visit the wonderful Tickled Pink Knits shop!
... take a look around ... come back here and leave a comment in this post about your favourite lovely goodie from her shop & why.= 1 entry

leave us a comment on something that inspires you!

... = 1 entry

3. visit Elena on twitter and follow her:
... then come back here and tell us about it. = 1 entry.

4. tweet on twitter
about this giveaway and leave us a link to it in a separate comment here. please be sure to include @therikrakshop so i can find you! :) = 1 more possible entry.

5. blog about this giveaway and leave us a link to it in a separate comment here.= 1 more possible entry

6. follow or subscribe to the rikrak studio blog
and leave me a comment here telling us that you do! = 1 more possible entry.

each entry must be it's own comment.. thanks! ::

:: RULES ::
a) it is possible to have a maximum of 6 entries total per person.
b) please make sure to leave each entry as it's own comment. thanks!
c) using, 1 winner of the Tickled Pink Knits giveaway will be chosen on monday march 1st @ 9pm EST.
d) please be sure to leave me an email where i can reach you if your account doesn't link to one. thanks.


happy monday nicies!
hope you had a great weekend - and what a great week it's going to be!

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Friday, February 19, 2010

with thanks to etsy, the storque & momerath!

as the snow flies, and i find myself dreaming of imaginary getaways and lots of daydream travelling, i know wanderlust is on the mind of many snow-shovelling northerners!
and so it's perfect timing for the launch of the next installment in my little Etsy storque series :: the collectors::

this episode features the fabulous
women's vintage passport collection
of momerath. i find it to be such an inspiring and thought-provoking collection.

as you might remember, the etsy series is based on my own :: collections series:: from here on my little rikrak studio blog!
be sure to visit the post on Etsy, and if you can, leave cheers for the wonderful momerath & her fantastic collection . yay to liberating ideas!

and many thanks to etsy, & vanessa @ the wonderful storque, too!

have a fascinating collection you might like to share with us?
please be sure to let me know! thanks!

and have a most wanderlust-ful weekend, lovelies!
even if only in our imaginations!

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Thursday, February 18, 2010

the handmade olympics celebration!

indeed! think like a winner illustration print by the lovely heidi burton


cue the national anthems!
ready your handmade banners!
get out those cameras!
here come our medallists!

welcome to the 2010 handmade olympics medal party celebrations!!

so glad you could all attend! what a fabulous month and a half of handmaking amazingness it's been!

while you're taking your seats... i've just a few words i'd like to share!
(what olympic event would be complete without a speech?!)

cheers to everyone who nominated, cheered on and encouraged others in handmaking, as part of these fun events!

over 15000 individual votes were cast (i *think* that might be more then voted in our last election! :) {you nicies should run for office the way you've inspired grassroots cheering like this! amazing!}

ah, how folks LOVE the handmade community! your enthusiasm was inspiring! the events were created in the hopes of celebrating handmade, and what a celebration you all helped to create!

congrats to ALL of the fabulous nominees, the amazing folks shortlisted for each event, and now, to our medallists!

thanks to everyone who played.

hope it encouraged you, at the very least, to get your wonderful work out there, and to cheer on others in our lovely handmaking village! whether you played, voted, created or cheered, i think we all play a great part in building our amazing handmaking community, together!
thanks for being part of it!

indeed, most of all, let's take a cue from those *other* olympic athletic competitors to achieve our own handmaking bests... dream big, weather the ups & downs, keep trying, surround yourself with great, encouraging folks, and most of all... believe in your self, your creations, and your fabulous work!

without further ado... as nominated by YOU, shortlisted by our fabulous judges, and voted on by YOU, our medallists (whose prizes total over $2000 worth of handmade & vintage goodness) in the 2010 handmade olympics ARE.....


gold: Lucy from Attic 24
silver: Hearts for Haiti
bronze: TIE: Margaret from The Resurrection Fern blog
& The Toy Society

gold: the fancy lamb
silver: maya*made
bronze: betz white

gold: instant party by bunny with a toolbelt
silver: love gnomes by sewn Natural
bronze: rub ons by yaelfran

gold: feeling stitchy
silver: the long thread
bronze: pins + paper


in the event of two nominees coming within one vote of each other, i awarded a tie. ;)

i look forward to featuring some of our fabulous medallists in the upcoming months.
and i especially look forward to continuing to cheer on the handmade community!

personally, i've found myself a whole bevy of amazing new artists to adore, and happily rediscovered many faves! and thanks to the many of you who have told me you've loved them, too!

so grab a beverage (i'm on my 4th coffee!)
take a visit through the medallists fabulous work, meet some new handmaking friends,
and enjoy the celebrations!
thanks, nicies!
what a fabulous party it's been!

thanks again to our sponsors:
alex keller
artisan clay
blomma finds blog
dot handmade
empty nest
the framed frog
funkey monkey company
green violet vintage
hazel & harlow
jadite kate
june shin
kalla studios
little bit of pretty
the little red door
lucindas nice things
luttrell studio
michele maule
mousetrap vintage
open stock party
paisley baby
the peach tree
plushroom soup
pom love
rikrak studio blog
rj charms
small grapes fabrics
too aquarius

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