Friday, April 30, 2010

the ekphrastic challenge *revealed* : part three

gorgeous! just gorgeous!

i put forth a new creative challenge last week- and you nicies rose to it!
and so part three of the ekphrastic challenge began: suggest handmade works that are ekphrastically inspired by the colour palette of a famous piece of art. this time i chose Monet's La Promenade! i love seeing what you come up with... so here we go...



row one

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just lovely, nicies! while we anticipate the next ekphrastic challenge, don't forget to show me what you're wearing to my springtime TEAPARTY looks in the latest funfun event here.

AND.... tune in monday for the WINNER of the green couch designs wall pockets
&
the karen meyers purse giveaways!
(still time to enter karen's! it closes today!)

have a most colourful weekend, nicies!
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Thursday, April 29, 2010

congrats, things to do & an auction!



who's our next lucky lucky winner in the rikrak studio eco week giveaways?

thanks for all of your cheery comments and great eco tips!

this time we're cheering on the winner of that gorgeous vadjutka textile necklace! .... #38 ... jingle of the wonderful blog *just jingle!* i just love all of the touching stories, great reviews and fun projects! love the friendly, welcoming vibe ... hope you will too! hop on over to visit just jingle today!
so yay to jingle .. and thanks again to the lovely vadjutka!
.................................

and nicies: just 2 eco week giveaways left: ending today: WIN a PAIR of green couch design wall pockets! woohoo!



.................................

and ending tomorrow: WIN a karen meyers eco purse! woohoo!



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also, i'm still looking for a few more fabulous submissions for my upcoming *handmade by mom or grandmom* post! check out all the details here ... i'd love to feature you!


..................................
and finally... there are just a few more days to enter your bid in the wonderful Team EcoEtsy auctions... for such a great cause! the prize packs are AMAZING!

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so there we go, nicies!
lots to see & do!
see ya tomorrow!
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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

challenge: show me your springtime teaparty looks!

sempster + rosalera

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cihanbey boutique + the generation

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sandmaiden + vadjutka

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knitting cate + alex keller

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lollycrisp vintage + lillyella

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skip. skip. skip-to-my lou, darlin's!

i just love a pretty springtime teaparty.
and while parts of my lovely land are teetering between tulips & heatwaves one day, and snowstorms & winter boots the next,(good heavens!) it's never to early to DREAM about a springtime party!

so i'm inviting you all to a cyberly one here next week.
we'll have fancy little sandwiches; pastel-coloured macaroons; and use all those pretty teacups sitting regally up in the china cabinet. won't it be splendid?

and no... thanks for asking, but you needn't bring anything. just your lovely self! but you do have a job: show me what handmade or vintage delight you'll be wearing! i'll include your outfits in a post next week! woohoo!


just...
1. choose a fun frock (or something else) springtime-y to wear. think fresh, fun, frolicky!

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 random.org generator to pull a few for us to see!

ta ta for now, nicies!
see you at the teaparty!

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csevenm + nancywallisdesigns

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aftershowershop + rageoftheage

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ureshii + woodlandbelle

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ginamichelevintage + fluur

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iheartfink + zoehong

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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

early bird catches the worm!

woohoo!
here we are @ the results for eco week giveaway # 4 of 7. so fabulous reading your lovely words, nicies! today i'm thankful to the lovely jules mae design for her gorgeous ooak moomoo prize!
and random.org chose ... #6 for us! yessirree bob! the early bird {entry!} got the worm! congrats to lovely blogger sandyalamode. gosh - what a gorgeous, inspiring blog you have, sandy! filled with lovely images, yummy recipes and great ideas! hope you'll show us a pic of you in your beautiful new moomoo! so head on over to sandyalamode!

and fear not.. there are still 3 more giveaways to WIN this week here on the rikrak studio!

::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

WIN WIN WIN

1. giveaway now closed!

2. giveaway now closed!

3. giveaway now closed!
4. giveaway now closed!
5. a lovely textile necklace by *vadjutka*, here. {ends wednesday!}
6. a pair of fabulous wall pockets by *greencouchdesign*, here. {ends thursday!}
7. a gorgeous rose organza purse by *karen meyers* , here.
::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::
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call for submissions!

queen anne's lace by kristen wicklund

.............................

1. do you have something special that your mom or grandmother or motherly-figure handmade?
2.would you like to share a little story behind why it's so special to you for a mother's day rikrak studio post?

3.can you send me a lovely photo of the item?


.....................
if you answered yes to all of the above, i'd love to hear from you! mother's day is a special time to give thanks to all those wonderful moms in our lives, and the handmade gifts mom's receive are so precious. this year, however, i'm looking to feature some fun folks {around mother's day} who'd love to share something special that their mom or grandma or mother's figure handmade!

if that's you - please email me the following at rikrakmail @ yahoo.com by friday, april 30th.


1. please put *handmade mother's day* as the title of your message.
2. your first name (or shop name, if you'd prefer) & link to your shop (if you have one)
3. a description of the special item your motherly figure handmade for you.

4. a little bit about the item; why is it so meaningful to you?

5. have you ever handmade things with this special person? if yes, tell me more!

6. what did you learn about handmaking from this special person?

7. attach a beautiful, natural-lit photo of the item. {by sending me the email, you are allowing me (the rikrak studio) to use your image for sharing with my lovely readers. however, the image is still, of course, yours!}

i will try to feature as many nicies and your motherly handmade keepsakes as i can!

can't wait to see your submissions!


queen anne's lace (with student for scale) by kristen wicklund
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Monday, April 26, 2010

have a favourite poem?

lovin' this 2006 national poetry month poster by the aap

have a favourite poem?
have a book of poetry that you cherish?
have a poet you just adore?


well here in canada (& the usa, too!) april is national poetry month.
a chance to celebrate the "aesthetic & ... evocative" language form that is poetry.

i'm lucky to be married to a fabulous poet, who both writes and studies the form, and so over the years i've come to adore so many fabulous poems, poets, genres of poetry.

i love the energy of a great poem.
i love the way a good poem can inspire us, mesmerize us, romance us, speak for us, motivate us, allow us, evoke us, provoke us: run the whole gamut of emotive thought in a few
perfect

words.

i love how poetry reaches folks of every age. little rikrak (and so many children i've taught!) are so inspired by
language when they read or hear brilliant poetry like: shel silverstein, dr. seuss, dennis lee, and so many more linguistic masterminds who use creative language to engage the wee ones of our world! love it!

as a young adult, i came to love the masterful simplity of poetry:
in a brilliant poem: william carlos williams' the red wheelbarrow,
thru a book: adrienne rich's beautiful i dream of common language,
or learning about a whole body of work to adore: like bp nichol,
basho,
e.e.cummings, or pablo neruda.

of course tastes change over time. (luckily, or i'd still be sporting my neon-technicolour, shoulder-pad studded business suits from my pre-teen years! *phew*) ... and it's always such a joy to discover a new-to-me poem, or poet.

so i want to hear yours!
? have a favourite poem?
? have a poem that has a special meaning to you?
? do you ever write poems?
? have a poetry book that changed you?

{and ottawans: if you're out and about tonight, mr. rikrak is hosting the poetry cabaret: pan-canadian poetics at the ottawa international writer's festival in town: it promises to be a great night with erin moure, rachel zolf, gregory scofield and more!}

happy poetry month, nicies!
yay words!
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Sunday, April 25, 2010



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drumroll please!



happy sunday, lovelies!
it's a rare *weekend* post here at the rikrak studio, {we've been having a glorious day out in the sunny-sun-sun here in ottawa... hope the same for you!} but i know folks are keen to hear who the next lucky eco week giveaway WINNER is!

woohoo!
this time, we're drawing for the fabulous *a la mode stuff* recycled seatbelt tote! such a brilliant design! and so exciting to read all of your amazing cheers for this fabulous shop in your comments!


random. org kindly chose a number... drumroll please..... #176 .. brenda of bstudio! congrats brenda! oooh ---> take a look at her gorgeous handmade shop ----> filled with beautiful gifts perfect for mother's day (it's in 2 weeks! hint hint!) ... such pretty pretty cards, sachets and more! many congrats to you, bstudio!

(editor's note: after posting this card from her shop- i decided to buy it for someone! so pretty and such great prices! get them while you can!)

and nicies... we've wrapped up 3 eco week giveaways, and have 4 more to go!
so be sure to enter the other 4 here... and tune in tomorrow on the blog for a fabulous new week of fun!

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::


WIN WIN WIN

1. giveaway now closed!
2. giveaway now closed!
3. giveaway now closed!
4. a fashionista's dream moo moo dress by *julesmae* here. (---> ends tuesday!)
5. a lovely textile necklace by *vadjutka*, here.
6. a pair of fabulous wall pockets by *greencouchdesign*, here.
7. a gorgeous rose organza purse by *karen meyers* , here.

::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::
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Saturday, April 24, 2010

lucky #327


hot-diggity-dog!
gosh we've been having fun this week, haven't we! so fun to read all of your enthusiastic responses to all of the fabulous eco giveaways! and now... we have our 2nd lucky LUCKY giveaway winner!

thanks so much to the lovely lovely juliet of the broken plate company for giving away one of her amazing reclaimed plate necklaces!

random.org kindly chose a winner ... #327.... napur ... of the fabulous blog *one hot stove*!

goodness sakes! what a blog! chock full of amazing & yummy recipes, i could get delightfully lost for hours in your amazing and beautiful posts, nicey!

so head on over to napur's blog and find something yummy to cook this weekend!

and worry not nicies... didn't win this giveaway?
you still have 5 more giveaways to WIN! :)

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::


WIN WIN WIN

1. giveaway now closed!
2. giveaway now closed!
3. a gorgeous eco chic seatbelt bag by *alamodestuff* here. (ends saturday)
4. a fashionista's dream moo moo dress by *julesmae* here.
5. a lovely textile necklace by *vadjutka*, here.
6. a pair of fabulous wall pockets by *greencouchdesign*, here.
7. a gorgeous rose organza purse by *karen meyers* , here.

::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

see you monday, cutiepies!
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Friday, April 23, 2010

with thanks: to etsy, the storque & gooseflesh!




what a week it's been, nicies!
i'm overjoyed with all of your enthusiastic supportings of eco week!
thanks lovelies!

in other fun news... my latest etsy storque article is up!

check out one of my favourite nature-inspired collections i've ever seen... gooseflesh' stunningly beautiful beach detritus collection.

i promise... it's amazing!

(you might recall she was one of the first in my own collections series here on the blog, way back when!)


so head on over to etsy and leave helle a cheer if you can in the comments!

yay to earth day celebrations everyday!

AND... have a glorious weekend, nicies!
there's still time to enter to WIN the other 6 fabulous giveaways on the blog!


:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

WIN WIN WIN....

1. a beautiful handwoven recycled rag rug by *fiveforty* here!: now CLOSED!
2. a necklace by the *broken plate*, here. (ends today!)
3. a gorgeous eco chic seatbelt bag by *alamodestuff* here.
4. a fashionista's dream moo moo dress by *julesmae* here.
5. a lovely textile necklace by *vadjutka*, here.
6. a pair of fabulous wall pockets by *greencouchdesign*, here.
7. a gorgeous rose organza purse by *karen meyers* , here.

::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::


and see you monday for lots of fun!
cheerio, sweeties!



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congrats!

woohoo nicies!
well it's been a marvelous week... we've met lots and lots of fabulous eco artists, celebrated earth day with wonderful eco ideas, and now... we have our first lucky LUCKY giveaway winner!

thanks so much to the fabulous pegg @ five forty for giving away one of her beautiful beautiful recycled rag rugs!

and so... random.org selected #119.... adrienne ... of oh so retro! woohoo!

i love oh so retro's gorgeous work, fabulous use of colourful, beautiful fabrics and yay ... she's an amazing eco artist, too! yay to vintage fabrics!

{and i love what i just read in her blogger profile: when asked about her favourite movies, she replied: "i like the same movies you do. the ones with cute boys and bill murray."}

a kindred spirit indeed!
so visit oh so retro's beautiful shop.

and fear not nicies... didn't win this giveaway?
you still have 6 more giveaways to WIN! :)

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::


check out all of the giveaways so far!

1. now closed!
2. a necklace by the *broken plate*, here. (ends today!)
3. a gorgeous eco chic seatbelt bag by *alamodestuff* here.
4. a fashionista's dream moo moo dress by *julesmae* here.
5. a lovely textile necklace by *vadjutka*, here.
6. a pair of fabulous wall pockets by *greencouchdesign*, here.
7. a gorgeous rose organza purse by *karen meyers* , here.

::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::



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Thursday, April 22, 2010

handmaking with kids & a giveaway: with karen meyers

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yippee!
it's handmade earth week here @ the rikrak studio: 7 days of celebrating eco-friendly handmade, and meeting some of the amazing artists behind future-friendly, sustainable indie businesses that you & i love! AND today is Earth Day! woohooo!

today's our 7th & final giveaway: a gorgeous recycled wool organza rose handle purse by karen meyers!
so enter to WIN all of the fabulous earth week giveaways here on the blog:
1. a recycled rag rug by *five forty*, here. (ends april 22!)
2. a necklace by the *broken plate*, here. (ends april 23!)
3. a seatbelt mini-tote purse by *alamodestuff*, here.
4. a moo moo dress by *jules mae clothing*, here.
5. a tapestry necklace by *vadjutka*, here.
6. a pair of wall pockets by *greencouchdesign*, here.

each giveaway will be up for 8 days. hope you've been loving them, nicies! and so great to meet some of the fabulous folks behind the green handmade movement!

happy earthday, superstars!

.................................



happy earth day, lovelies!
i know we all know everyday is a great day to celebrate the earth, but i'm thrilled with the enthusiasm i see in the kids all around us: excited by earth day; so creative in their ideas on how we can ALL create change for the better; inspired and full of hope and possibilities and great learnings that we can all take away into our everyday lives!

yay kids!

so what better way to celebrate earth day then a fun & adorable recycled fashion project to make with kids! today we have a special treat: a beautiful, pictoral, step-by-step eco-saavy tutorial on how to make a really great spring & summer hat by the brilliant karen meyers!

i'm delighted to have the lovely karen guest teaching on the blog today! she's a master sewer & eco-forward maker! (and it's not only earth day ... it's her BIRTH day! happy birthday karen!) .... i know you'll just adore her gorgeous shop, filled with upcycled vintage & recycled woolen accessories! check out her fun & inspiring blog. fan her on facebook. and head to karenmyers.net for all things karen! and be sure to read on to see how you can WIN WIN WIN one of her gorgeous handmade, recycled purses! woohoo!






...................................

so onto the tutorial...
maybe this weekend you can have a craft bee with your own kiddies, invite over a neice or nephew, or volunteer to lead a demo with some local kids' groups on how they can make their own recycled hats!

and little rikrak had a great suggestion when he saw the end result: perhaps the style is a little more suited to girls? why not encourage the boys to make one a bit larger for their moms for mothers day? lovely idea!



CLICK TO ENLARGE ANY PHOTO GROUP!
Recycled Denim Hat Tutorial
by Karen Meyers

You will need:

About 12 inches (1/3 yard) of medium weight fabric such as denim, canvas, chintz or corduroy. You can choose from your fabric stash or recycle some fabric from old jeans, shorts or curtains, like I did for this denim hat.

If you are using denim, make sure you have a denim needle for your sewing machine; this will make the job much easier.



1. Take the pattern that you have printed out (the pattern needs to measure from the top of the point to the bottom of the bell shape 9 inches, and across the bottom from point to point 8 1/2 inches. enlarge as neeeded.) and cut it out along the outside line. Place and pin your pattern on your fabric and take special care to lay the grain line arrow on the vertical grain of the fabric. If you are using fabric yardage, the grain line is parallel to the selvedge edge (the long edge of the fabric that doesn’t ravel) but if you are using a recycled garment it may be a bit harder to determine. On the jeans I used for my project, I placed the grain line arrow parallel to the side seams of the jeans, and this worked great. This step is important, and insures that you are cutting your hat quadrants on the bias and will give your hat a little bit of stretch and make it comfortable and fit most sizes.

2. Cut 4 hat quadrants. If using yardage, you can fold your fabric in half and cut 2 at a time and if you are using recycled jeans just lay your pattern on one leg and cut 2, then un - pin your pattern and lay it on the other leg and cut 2 again.

3. Take 2 quadrants and pin them together, right sides of the fabric together along one long edge. Repeat with the other 2 quadrants.


4. Stitch together 2 quadrants at a time, using a ¼ inch seam allowance. The easiest way to achieve this is to line the edge of the presser foot up with the edge of the fabric as you sew.


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5. Press the seams open. Use the “nose” of your iron to help you open up the seams as you press. It gets a little tricky at the top of the hat where it curves, but use the edge of the ironing board to help you (as in the picture) or a dressmakers ham if you have one.

6. Pin the 2 halves together, matching the top where the 2 seams meet.

7. Stitch the 2 halves together again using a ¼ inch seam allowance. (Remember to line the edge of your presser foot up with the edge of the fabric.)


8. Admire your hat that is taking shape!


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9. One of the advantages of cutting your hat on the bias is that the edges won’t fray, so if you are in a hurry or you like the look of an unfinished edge, you can skip this step. Otherwise, finish the edge of the hat by using a zig zag stitch. Put your machine of the widest zig zag it has and sew, allowing the needle to just fall off the edge of the fabric every time it comes down on the right side of the zig zag stitch. This encloses the edge.

10. This is what your edge will look like. If you have a serger you can serge this edge, or even get ambitious and enclose the edge using bias tape. It kind of just depends on the skills of your girls and the time you have for the project.


11. Yippee! You are done with your hat. It’s time to celebrate and maybe cut and sew another one since this was so easy, fast and fun to make!


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Felted Flower Tutorial
by Karen Meyers


You will need: Ribbing from the bottom of a felted wool sweater
(Search your closet for an old sweater that (oops!) doesn’t fit anymore or there are many vendors on Etsy selling wool scraps, just search unders supplies for felted wool scraps.)

A felted wool ball or button for the center of the flower

Matching thread and glue


12. Cut the ribbing off the bottom of a sweater that you have felted, it should be at least 10 inches long.

13. Cut along each indent in the ribbing to within ½ inch of the top edge.


14. Continue cutting along the entire piece of ribbing


15. Run a bead of glue (Elmers works fine or any other fabric glue you have lying around) along the uncut part of the ribbing.


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16. Begin rolling up your flower.

17. Keep rolling it up, pressing it together so the glue saturates the wool.


18. This is what the underside of the flower should look like.


19. Put a nice dollop of glue in the center of the flower and press in your felt ball (or button) for the center.

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20. It looks great! Take a little break and give the glue a chance to dry and set nicely.

21. Now we are going to secure it a bit extra and sew it to the hat. Thread your needle and pull down both ends of the thread to meet so that you are working with a double strand of thread. I teach my girls to never tie knots, especially when working with wool since eventually they will always work themselves free and come undone. Instead, do 3 small stitches (1/8 inch long) in the same place, one of top of each other, and pull tight. This is much stronger and more secure that a knot. So, start with 3 tiny stitches and secure the end of the rolled up flower together.

22. Position the flower in the center of a quadrant and just start whip stitching the flower in place. The stitches don’t have to be too neat since the petals will cover them up.

23. Keep going, whip stitching your flower in place all around until you end up where you started.
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24. This is what your stitches will look like underneath. When you finish, again, don’t tie a knot but secure with 3 little stitches one of top of the other.

25. Cut some leaves from felted wool or fabric scraps.

26. Add a bead of glue to the back. And glue to the hat. You can also sew on the leaves if you like.

27. You are done! Now it’s time to model!
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My cute niece did the honors for me for this tutorial. But check out the pics from our summer camp we did last year. ( I’m not sure if the girls enjoying making or modeling their hats more!)

If you don’t want to make the flower you can embellish your hat with some free hand stitching (like Allie did in her polka dot hat) or add some appliqu├ęs. Kristal has some great ones, like these: http://www.etsy.com/listing/43536763/ironon-funvintage-or-not-butterflies-to right in her Etsy shop! (editor's note: aw thanks, karen! :)

The main thing is to have fun with the kids and share their pride when they make something wonderful with their own hands and creative minds!


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indeed!
brilliant work, karen!
can't wait to try it out with kiddies!


and in honour of earth day! (woooohooo!) ... not only has karen shared her fabulous tutorial, but she's also offering ONE LUCKY rikrak reader this gorgeous Pink Organza Rose Handled Purse, made of reclaimed wool! perfect for spring! for Mother's Day! for the beautiful beautiful sunny days ahead!




1. go visit the wonderful karen meyers shop!
... take a look around ... come back here and leave a comment in this post about your favourite goodie from her shop & why you love it!= 1 entry

2.
leave us a comment about what you're doing to C E L E B R A T E! EARTH DAY.

... = 1 entry

3.
follow karen on facebook
then come back here and tell us!
... = 1 entry.

4. visit karen's lovely blog and become a follower of it
then come back here and tell us!
... 1 entry

5. leave a comment over in this etsy thread here sharing an eco tip.
come back here and tell us about it. = 1 possible entry


6. tweet on
twitter
about this giveaway and come back here and tell us! please be sure to include @therikrakshop so i can find you! :) = 1 more possible entry.


7. follow or subscribe to the rikrak studio blog (that's my blog!)
and leave me a comment here telling us that you do! = 1 more possible entry.

8. share a link to a great project you've HANDmade with kids! a picture or a tutorial!
= 1 more possible entry


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

..........................................
:: RULES ::
a) it is possible to have a maximum of 8 entries total per person.
b) please make sure to leave each entry as it's own comment. thanks!
c) using random.org, 1 winner of the karen myers giveaway will be chosen on friday april 30th @ 5pm EST.
d) open to contestants worldwide.
e) please be sure to leave me an email where i can reach you if your account doesn't link to one. thanks.

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and don't forget to enter to WIN the other fab eco week
giveaways here!
1. a recycled rag rug by *five forty*, here. (ends tomorrow!)
2. a necklace by the *broken plate*, here.
3. a seatbelt mini-tote purse by *alamodestuff*, here.
4. a moo moo dress by *jules mae clothing*, here.
5. a tapestry necklace by *vadjutka*, here.
6. a pair of wall pockets by *greencouchdesign*, here.



and let's all get out there and celebrate our lovely earth!
happy earth day, nicies!
what a great eco week it's been!
thanks so much!
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