Wednesday, June 30, 2010

10000 nicey hearts!

good golly miss molly!
it was with fun surprise that i noticed last week that a little making milestone had come my way on etsy.
i reached 10000 shop hearts in my rikrak shop! i remember, so fondly, that 1st etsy heart (i wrote about it here)

"my own tale was similar to many of yours... after a trepidatious (hmmm.. fake word?) beginning, i finally listed my first item on etsy, 3 months after joining.

gosh, was i nervous!
terrified was i!
and then, like a reassuring little cyberly cheer, someone, someone i didn't know at all, *hearted* my little shop! *swoon!*
fireworks exploded in my little handmaking heart!
and i was smitten!

still am... *xanadu!* the first person ever to heart my rikrak etsy shop was oh the cuteness!

my first heart: oh the cuteness


and here's my post about some of YOUR lovely 1st hearts. and now... a few moons later... many thanks to all of you, and to my 10000th heart was: contasbrasil! love that bag, nicey! wow!

10000th heart: contasBrasil

if you're anything like me,
you love a little milestone like that! :)
thanks, sweeties!
take a look at the beautiful goodies from both of these milestone-to-me shops! ... i was also thinking back to the very first shop
i hearted myself.
it was a shop i still absolutely adore: little quilts/ shelece

the first etsy shop that i hearted: shelece/little quilts

(ps: you can find your 1st heart (who hearted YOU) by searching 's heart-o-matic for your store hearts, then scrolling back to the last page!). and who find out who you 1st hearted on etsy by going to your fave shops (under favourites) and using the scroll back to the beginning button!)

so many thanks - to all 10000 of you nicies!

and though handmaking shops go thru busy times, quiet times, joyful times, hectic times, dry-spells, grumpy times, filled-to-the-brim times, and lean times, (don't we all know it!) those hearts sure are fun, aren't they!?

i'm off to heart some new shops, in honour!

i want to hear about your heart tales:

? what was the first etsy heart you received?
? what's your next heart milestone?

? what was the first shop YOU hearted?

happy hearts to you, nicies!


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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

giveaway & greatest hits: with red marionette


bright & sunny!
zany & funny !

the red marionette boutique promises to tickle-you-pink (and red and blue and orange!) with what i would happily deem cute cute cute!

delight to the senses, Kelli's red marionette is a favourite of many, who love her whimsical, vivid, ear-to-ear grin-worthy toys, plushies and decor! and read on to see how you can WIN a prize pack from her amazing shop! (it'll be a challenge for the lucky winner to decide how to spend that funfun gift certificate: adorable felt cuties, a wreath? a fabulous tree skirt? cute cute ornaments? a sweet little toothy-grinned pillow? love love love!)

so visit the red marionette shop.
the red marionette blog. and follow her on twitter and facebook.

and scroll down to see 4 things that inspire this creative powerhouse!


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 Red Marionette!

#1 – Home Décor.

Because I obsess about home décor. I love browsing through color combinations and textures and patterns that people mix and match. Especially for my wreaths I love the visual assault of color and texture. image

#2 – Vintage Christmas Cards.

Because I have quite the collection of very old Christmas cards that I pull from for inspiration. The smell, feel, sense memory that we all have from our childhood inspires me to keep the vintage feel. I want to make something you can treasure for years or reminds you of things from your childhood with a slightly modern spin. image

#3 – The Circus.

Because even my tent for shows is Circus Inspired! I find the flashy colors and basic shapes to be very appealing. Utilizing whimsy and fun is a requirement for me! image

#4 – Funny Animals

Because I love the little personalities each animal has. And I love even more the quirks that each person has! I try to put that into all of my creations and their descriptions. image



thanks so much for sharing some of your beautiful inspirations with us, nicey!

now... one LUCKY rikrak studio reader will WIN: one Steve the Cat – Felt Pocket Animal AND a $30.00 Gift Certificate for anything in the store!

Kelli writes about the prize pack: Steve loves hiding in bushes and pouncing on unsuspecting passerby's. The distinct call of "HiiiiiYAH!" normally followed by the feeling of something fuzzy tackling your calf is his signature move.

He is wonderful at keeping secrets and loves to play spy! He has a grand time keeping things in his belly for you. Steve can be used as a tooth monster (It should be tooth fairy, but he doesn't like to think of himself as a fairy) A gift card holder, a secret keeper or just a cuddly friend. He also is very skilled at keeping away things that go bump in the night as he is always watching and never needs to sleep!

Also included will be a $30.00 Gift Certificate to anything in the store!

1. go visit the lovely Red Marionette Shop.

... take a look thru her items for sale & come back and tell us about your favourite goodie & why you love it!
1 entry

2. follow the Red Marionette Blog
... come back and tell us.
= 1 entry

3. head back to the Red Marionette Blog & leave a comment on one of her great posts!

... come back and tell us.
= 1 entry

4. follow Red Marionette and the rikrak shop on twitter.
& i'm .
come back here and tell us!
= 1 entry.

5. 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 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.

7. friend the Red Marionette on facebook.

= 1 more possible entry

8. do a
blog post about this giveaway
come back and tell us!
= 1 more possible entry

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, 1 winner of the Red Marionette giveaway will be chosen on wednesday july 7th @ 9pm 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.


yay to cute!
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Monday, June 28, 2010

with thanks

happy monday, nicies!
well i have some long overdue thanks i'd like to start the week off with!
thankfully, my parents showed me the value of a sincere thank you note, and that while best written as soon as you can, that it's never too late to show your gratitude...

so...some thanks for kindnesses...

thanks to all of you nicies for your delightful comments, following my little blog, and for leaving such friendly comments each day! it's a treat to see that real-live folks are reading the blog ( i know that you other bloggers out there know what i mean! :) , and i cherish that so much! i'm so lucky to have such a fabulous bunch of folks with with me in bloggyville!

thank you notes by tickledpinkpaperie

sometime last week i saw that i hit 1400 google friend connect followers on the blog! mixed with all you nicey subscribers, readers and feedburners, that takes me to a delightful number of nicies visiting the blog on a regular basis! so cheers to you all! thanks so much. thanks for the lovely community of support you've all lent my way!


my next thanks is sent out to Etsy - for kindly publishing my latest *collections* article on the storque! based on my own blog series, the collectors: this month's is a tantalizing summery delight for the eyes, with gulf coast cottage pdf's amazing and sunny glass paperweight collection!

if you have the chance, please pop on over to the article and leave your cheers for Jen's gorgeous collection - and tell me what YOUR collecting, too! {i'm always looking for new nicies to feature!}


next up, i'd like to say thanks to all of the nicies who've been featuring my work on their sites and blogs. an extra special thanks to 3 nicies who have featured little interviews with me in the past month or so.

a fabulous blog i know so many of you, along with me, love is *we blog artists*. so i was delighted to be interviewed for their wonderful *tell all tuesdays* - a few little little-known tidbits emerged! :)


come read on the transcanada etsy blog about the CANADIAN i'd love to meet!

and... if you're lucky enough to read japanese, please visit the beautiful blog of my perennial favourite, oktak, for a fun series of questions.

gosh - i'm such a nervous nelly answering interview questions!
good heavens!


and 4th
i'm lucky to get asked a lot about *how did you grow your little handmaking business*. well here's one of the most important things that made it possible: being kindly featured in other handmakers' treasuries, blogs and interviews. i'm eternally thankful for that. i think that is no doubt one of the most important/lucky things that has helped my business to grow to where it is today. i'm so thankful for that!

so... thanks so much to all of the nicies who've been featuring me in their lovely Etsy treasuries of late, especially when i haven't had much of a chance to be on etsy lately. a special shout out to those seen here below, who included me in treasuries that went to the front page on Etsy recently. many thanks to:


etsy admin
jealousy design
zion shore
Old Time Etsy


thanks and thanks again, nicies!

hope your day is filled with gratitude!
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Thursday, June 24, 2010

and the winners are ....

blast those vuvuzelas!

south africa has WON the handmade world cup!
after 1200+ votes, the host nation of that *other* world cup has claimed a momentous victory by beating out SPAIN in the final match of our round robin tournament!

congratualations to the 36 nations that played and voted!
what an amazing world of handcrafters we have!
hope you'll take a few moments to visit some of the fabulous etsy shops from south africa:

you can use the *shop local* tool and search for the county:
south africa

search for cities and towns in south africa, too, like *cape town*!

and the victory wouldn't be complete without a funfun contest winner... thanks to, the $30 shopping spree to ANY south african etsy shop goes to.....

(vuvuzela buzz, please....)

yay! - ulixis is a supernicey from my very own handmaking nation of canada!
congrats to you , lovely! visit her lovely shops: for beaded jewelry,
paper goods
& sewn goodies, too!

thanks so much to everyone who entered,
and spread the handmaking cheer!


and yay - we have 2 other fun winners today, too!

congrats to the winner of the elisa shere earrings giveaway is: #162 candace @ sparklepower! don't you just love her festive shop, and of course, her beautiful and resourceful blog!


& finally...
congrats to the winner of the rag & bone bindery journal giveaway: #6 miss frekkles of knitfrekkles!

miss frekkles has such a cuddly and lovely shop! be sure to visit her gorgeous knitwear creations!

alrighty then.
there we have it!
the end to a fabulous fabulous bunch of giveaways!

but never fear... there's always much more fun ahead!

have a great weekend!
hope you can meet all your happy goooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooaaaaaaaaaaaals!
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something FABULOUSLY canadian!

here's something superfun for all you nicies longing for a summertime little road-trip (even if it's just a virtual one for today!)

i'm so happy to be part of the TransCanada Etsy Team *handmade in Canada party*, staring TODAY!

the fun includes two fabulous giveaways: an amazing prize pack of handmade in canada goodies valued at over $225.USD, as well as aother prize of an amazing handmade rug, handwoven from tshirts by my fave, pegg of five forty!

check out all the details on the team blog.

and happy (almost) canada day (on july 1st!)

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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

giveaway & a collection with: lil fish studios

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 on Etsy, based on these posts! hope you'll just love: antique wooden dough & butter bowls with Lil Fish Studios!


who (are you) : I'm Lisa from lil fish studios
what (are you collecting) : Antique and vintage wooden dough and butter bowls
when (did you start) : About 5 years ago
how (many do you have?) (do I have to tell my husband this actual number?) about 2 dozen.
where (do you find them) : I search garage sales, auctions, and antique stores.
where (do you keep them) : Most are in practical use, holding eggs in my kitchen, buttons in my studio, and showing up in my product photographs.
what (‘s a crazy/interesting story behind one) : My largest bowl - 20" across (!) was a garage sale find that was meant to be. I had seen this beauty at a garage sale a few years ago, and having found myself short on cash, left the garage sale empty-handed and sad. It was two years later that I stopped at a garage sale at that very same house, and much to my surprise, found the bowl was still there. It then became mine. I actually skipped to my truck, clutching this giant bowl to my chest. (I blogged about it here. )
what(piece would you like to add): I'm pretty content with my collection, but wouldn't pass up a bowl with just the right kind of patina and age.
why (do you love them) : These were items that saw practical use and earned their patina through service. That to me, is beautiful.
which (one is your favourite) & why : The largest bowl, my lucky garage sale find, because of its heft, color, and rarity. (it's beauuuutiful!)
what (else do you collect) : I have a large number of vintage buttons and Pez dispensers hanging about.



how wonderful, lisa.
thank you so much for sharing your beautiful collection with us.

i'm an adoring fan of lil fish studios. (see those beautiful wooden bowls on display in her fabulous shop photos!)

our family had a another fabulous weekend away camping a few days ago, and everytime i look at lisa's amazing natural home decor creations i'm whisked happily away to the forest again.

thanks for that, nicey!

a favourite of oh-so-many in the handmaking world, lil fish studios has become synonymous with a love of things natural, beautiful, sustainable & with quality craftsmanship adored by all! i think it takes a truly gifted artist to capture the imagination and beauty of the outdoors. and i know lil fish studios has done just that ... perfectly!

so visit lil fish studios' shop. her lovely blog. follow her on twitter & flickr...
and read on to see how YOU can WIN an amazing woodland prize pack of your very own!


one lucky rikrak studio reader is going to WIN this amazing lil fish studios woodland sampler prize pack, valued at $48!

the artists writes: I'm offering a woodland sampler. There is a set of three wool pinecone ornaments, a rainbow of wool acorns with rusted iron caps, and a birch bark brooch. The pinecones are made of reclaimed wool from coats that I have turned into felt. The acorns are made of wool and real caps from my woods. The brooch is made from a piece of birch branch upon which I've applied a veneer of birch bark, and being inspired by the woodpecker holes in the trees around us, have tapped out a little heart and embroidered it. Everything is made of sustainable materials.

1. go visit the lovely Lil Fish Studios Shop.

... take a look thru her items for sale (& her sold ones, too!) & come back and tell us about your favourite goodie & why you love it!
1 entry

2. heart/fave the Lil Fish Studios etsy shop.
... come back and tell us.
= 1 entry

3. follow the Lil Fish Studios blog.

... come back and tell us.
= 1 entry

4. follow Lil Fish Studios and the rikrak shop on twitter.
& i'm .
come back here and tell us!
= 1 entry.

5. 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 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.

7. do a facebook update about this giveaway
come back and tell us.
= 1 more possible entry

8. do a
blog post about this giveaway
come back and tell us!
= 1 more possible entry

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, 1 winner of the Lil Fish Studios giveaway will be chosen on thursday july 1st @ 9pm 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.


yay to the woods!
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Tuesday, June 22, 2010


it's a veritable wonderland of great handmade giveaways here on the blog this week! fantastic! there are 3 giveaways still open on now:
  • ends thursday: win a $30 Etsy shopping spree to the shop of your choice from the 2010 handmade world cup nation in the FINAL MATCH!

wonderful stuff, huh?

and without further ado... i know you're eager to hear who has won the *june* i love my sponsors' $25 shopping spree! ... congrats to #543 ... ana carina / nanouke!
happy winning, sweetiepie!

isn't her work just captivating? love the etheral, free form style of her amazing wire knit jewelry!


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the FINAL match: the 2010 handmade world cup!

once upon a time, there were 36 teams.
36 handmaking nations from around the world vying to win the coveted :) handmade world cup!

and then there were 2!

welcome to the 2010 handmade world cup FINAL: ROUND E!!
over 1100 votes have already been cast in the 2010 handmade world cup (a superfun & friendly celebration cheering on the world of handmade while our football/soccer counterparts thrill the world at that *other* world cup!)

the winning (top-vote-earning) team from each ROUND D match has moved forward.

our FINAL matchup is:

spain vs. south africa


now you get to vote all over again!

each round of voting counts towards the final drawing of who will WIN the grand prize (a $30 shopping spree in the shop of your choice! same rules as before:
there have been 4 rounds of voting. this is the LAST!

the PRIZE is a $30 shopping spree in the Etsy shop of your choice, FROM the winning country! so for example: if south africa wins the 2010 handmade world cup voting, then the winning entry will spend their $30 prize in ANY south african-based Etsy shop! :) (donated by me, rikrak! :)

the total number of entries will be the cumulative ballots from round 1+ round 2 + round 3 + round 4 + round 5!

NOTE: you do NOT need to have voted for the winning team to win. it will be a random draw of all entries!

:: ROUNDS ::
* the country that receives the most votes each round WINS!
the person/entry who is randomly chosen as the lucky winner of the gift certificate can spend it in ANY ETSY SHOP from the winning nation: either SPAIN or SOUTH AFRICA!


you can earn a ballot for EACH match you VOTE on!
so... a sample vote for ROUND E

"comment 1: i vote south africa"(or spain! you choose!)

"comment 2: i tweeted (give link)
" comment 3: i did a facebook update (give link)"

---> this ROUND CLOSES THURSDAY june 24th @ 5pm EST
1. vote.
you can vote ONCE in this round.
= 1 entry for each vote

2. twitter, facebook, or blog about this event
& come here and tell us
= 1 entry for EACH

3. become a follower or subscriber to this blog! :)
& come here and tell us
= 1 entry

4. leave a forum comment in this etsy thread here

about a handmade item from another country (not your own!)
that you LOVE!

& come here and tell us
= 1 entry

** please make sure that each entry is it's own comment and links to an email, or has an email address attached, so that i can contact the winner! **

on friday, june 25th the WINNING NATION will be announced
& the winning entry will be randomly chosen!

and happy friendly competition, nicies!
yay handmaking around the world!

and thanks so much to the lovely countries from Round D that unfortunately didn't advance: ireland & australia. happy handmaking, nicies!

go teams!

this is it!
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