Friday, July 30, 2010

caribana : the handmade parade


handmade costumes come alive here in toronto
this weekend for the fabulous Caribana festival.

ever been to a fun costumed street parade?
i think i'd go in peacock blue & red!

what would your dream costume look like?

what's your favourite costume you've ever made/worn?

have a most vivid weekend, lovelies!



@ThetaState's photostream

paulsveda's photostream

EduardoZ's photostream

FeverSky's photostream

scotiabank_cariban a's photostream

EduardoZ's photostream

Jason Prini's photostream

Mega3000's photostream

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Thursday, July 29, 2010

{hand} making change: the D.A.D. project

like many lovelies out there, i'm greatly inspired by folks that create change for the better in the world. gosh.... folks do this in so many wonderful ways. in this rikrak studio series, we'll be meeting wonderful lovelies who are creating a better world with their handicraft. thanks for inspiring good in the world, each and every one of you. today, here's the next {hand} making change feature: the D.A.D. project!



what do you do when difficult times come your way?

two wonderful artists & sisters, emily chen & serena chen, chose to turn a challenging health prognosis into a healthy action: the D.A.D. (drawing a day) project!

emily & serena write: "This project is a tribute to our father, who has been battling stage 4 colon cancer since May 2009. We are taking turns, creating a drawing every day, and donating $10 from the sale of each print... to the Canadian Cancer Society, the largest national charitable funder of cancer research in Canada."

so wonderful!
i was so moved to read how one of the most difficult things about their father's situation are their own feelings of helplessness. gosh - that can be such an obstacle in life, can't it!?

i think it's such a brilliant, positive, hands-on way to turn that helplessness into a way to help! love it!

i've been so lucky to get to know emily a bit over fun tea parties {we found out we lived on the same street in ottawa after tweeting and etsy foruming last year!} and i'm such a grand grand fan of everything mchen. she's an amazing, kind, generous, loving creative powerhouse and i hope you'll visit her latest project!

--> artists: you can also donate your own artwork to help raise funds! just contact serena & emily!

the D.A.D. project
shop | twitter | blog

serena chen

shop | twitter | blog

emily chen

shop | twitter | facebook | blog


have a great *{hand} making change * group,
shop or project that i should feature?

let me know!


have you ever focused on your art
to help you thru a difficult time?

to create change?

tell us! i'd love to hear!

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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

hire a cheerleader - UPDATE!


update ---> woohoo!
thanks so much for all of your cheers, nicies!

i'm delighted to say that the cheerleading is going great.

i'm happy to say i only have ONE SPOT LEFT for this summer's *hire a cheerleader* client schedule.

if you're interested. please contact me at for more details & rates!

thanks thanks thanks!


{re-posted from a little bit ago! }

rah! rah!
shish boom bah!

need a personal cheerleader?
well i'm yours!

after kind encouragements from some dear readers & friends, i'm excited to announce a funfun new rikrak project: i'm now available for hire as your personal cheerleader, to help you and your little indie business grow grow grow!


here's how it works:

1. the rikrak * hire a cheerleader project * is handmade & customized just for YOU!
it allows you & me to work together, just the two of us (yay!) to discuss, analyze, brainstorm, problem-solve, improve and grow your business shop, site, blog and more!

2. the best part is: ... it's a choose your own adventure package... so you choose the elements you'd like us to work together on, what you'd like us to focus on!

3. think personal business consultant + marketer + photo editor + graphic designer + constructive cheerleader, etc, etc, etc PLUS friendly, fun, relaxed personalized consultations ... all rolled into one! THINK of the personalized joy of meeting a friend for tea, instead of deliberating across a giant corporate boardroom or buying a cookie-cutter promo-package, as a great way to build your business.


so if you'd like to:

* fine-tune / grow / launch / strengthen / energize / broaden your indie business
(whether you're a small, medium-sized or large handmade or vintage shop!)

* enjoy relaxed, friendly web-cast conversations & email discussions where we'll talk about your personal questions, hopes, ideas for your business, and garner my professional feedback & ideas for your shop, site or business.

* enhance the look of your shop/ web presence.

* discover ways to increase web traffic to your site(s).

* discuss + implement lots & lots of budget-savvy business suggestions, hear lots of tips, and privately discuss goals for your business and how to achieve them.

* discover inspiring projects customized to fit your needs, wants, hopes & dreams for your indie business.

* invest in a promotional package that will fit your crafty budget!

... then i'm looking forward to hearing from you!


in YOUR *hire a cheerleader* personal package,
you can choose from delights such as:

* private web-conferencing sessions
* product photo improvement packages
(working with your photos, i will edit and improve them to freshen up your shop!)
* a how to take fabulous product photos 101 hands-on session!
* private q & a's about anything indie business-related that i can help you out with!
* a one-with-one shop makeover/ improvement package.
* feedback to help build your web presence thru your blog, social networking, meaningful promotions, etc, using ideas that have really worked for me!
* lots of tips, tricks, fun ideas that i've learned over the years to help with running your indie business.
* step-by-step marketing plans to improve your online presence.
* graphic design products for your business tailor-made for you!
* helpful hands-on info on wholesaling your creations, brand or re-brand your image, packaging your products, creating interest in your shop and more!
* fun at-home projects to help you focus your wonderful talents, and utilize your OWN fabulouslessness, to best project the brand, products and ideas you'd like to share with the world!
...and that's, as they say, not all!

i love cheering folks on.
and i love sharing what i've learned with folks.

i'm so lucky. i've:
a) built my own businesses from scratch & was able to quit my day job to handmake FULLTIME,
b) been lucky enough to be featured in 1000s of articles, blogs, etc.
c) built my clientele to include in over 90 shops, galleries and boutiques around the world
d) worked as a professional handmaker, graphic designer, photographer, blogger, educator and more...
e) and perhaps best of all... i'm someone who understands the joys and challenges of running a little business and the need to have someone new take a look at, suggest and work with you to build /improve/ jumpstart / re-ignite your business.

interested folks can email me at:
for more details, available timelines and rates!
handmade.. just for you!

cheers to you, nicies!
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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

10 days & counting...



remember last summer when i confessed that i'd been eating fresh corn on the cob for 9 days straight... well it's another obsessive food marathon here this summer.

in july, it's always an *all you can eat CHERRY bonanza!* .... i don't know about you, but here @ the rikrak home we're obsessive. oh heavens... about so very many things, really!

like with our food... sometimes we just get on a kick.
and then we eat the same food, everyday, at least once a day, for a week!
or more!
that's where we're at right now with cherries!

there's delightfully cherries cherries everywhere from every farmer's vegetable stand on every corner these days here in southern ontario...
and now we've had yummy sweet cherries for 10 days straight!

anyone else crazy like us?
soon enough, fabulous fresh cherries will be a distant memory.
so i'll obsess while i can.

food obsessive like me?
about what?




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Monday, July 26, 2010

giveaway & a collection: with simple joys paperie


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: vintage pincusions with Simple Joys Paperie.


who (are you) : Lana, wife, mom, self-taught-work-at-home artist

what (are you collecting) :pincushions (mostly antique and vintage, but I also have some made by friends and fellow artists ~ 19 shown in the photos are new, the rest are old ones)

when (did you start) :
although I’ve had a few for several years, I began consciously collecting about 5 years ago

how (many do you have?) : ninety something, last count J, including some not pictured that I forgot about until after the photos were taken

where (do you find them) :
thrift shops, junk stores, antique shops, online antique markets, gifts from friends

where (do you keep them) :
mostly in my studio on shelves, under little glass domes, beside my sewing machine, but I have a few vignettes displayed in other rooms

what (‘s a crazy/interesting story behind one) :
not crazy, but so very kind and thoughtful: a couple of weeks after doing an arts and crafts fair a few years ago, I received a surprise package in the mail from a lady who had visited my booth. She knew I loved old pincushions and had mailed an antique one to me along with another antique glass base to use to make my own!

what (piece would you like to add):
an antique sewing bird pincushion ~ an adorable metal clamp with a metal bird attached that has a pincushion on it’s back; I’ve seen them at online auctions, but they are too pricey for me.

why (do you love them) : for their simplicity and humbleness (you may read a little more about what I love about them here )

which (one is your favourite) & why : the stack of two tomato pincushions. The red one was my mom’s and the pink one was one she purchased for me when I took a home economics class in high school.

what (else do you collect)
lots of things (!) but here are a few: little silver woven baskets, ironstone pottery, aqua and robin’s egg blue pottery, bird’s nests, and folk birds made by friends and fellow artists

thanks so much, nicey.

what a gorgeous gorgeous collection!

just as gorgeous is lana's amazing handmade paper artistry.

ever just need a space where beauty & lightness & a loving heart abound?

surely if it could be in a handmade shop, simple joys paperie would embody it.

take a cyberly stroll thru the delicate, intricate, airy & beautiful space that is Simple Joys for a breath of fresh air, a relaxing escape like no other and genuine sense of a thankful & appreciative handmaking soul behind each piece of art.

you can also visit lana's lovely blog,
and facebook.

another space dear to lana is the National Foundation for Ectodermal Dysplasis.

Lana writes: "If {folks} would ever like to help a cause, to consider the National Foundation for Ectodermal Dysplasias. The website is My youngest son, now 20, has a rare disorder called hypo-hidrotic ectodermal dysplasia and this foundation was a God-send in offering support when we got the diagnosis when he was only 2 years old. The founder called and spoke with me on the phone and the foundation sent all sorts of literature about HED. They also offer medical and financial help to those who need it."

i just love lana's amazine upcycled paper wreaths, love tokens, notecards & more.
and as i settle into my new home, you can
WIN something for own spaces or loved ones!

that's right!

---> one lucky rikrak studio reader will win <--- a $40 USD gift certificate
to use in the Simple Joys Paperie Etsy shop,
on any already made item! WOW!

go visit the lovely Simple Joys Paperie Shop.

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

2. head back to the Simple Joys Paperie shop and *heart* the shop on Etsy.
.. come back and tell us about it.
= 1 entry

3. follow the Simple Joys / Honeysuckle Blog.
... come back and tell us.
= 1 entry

4. follow Simple Joys & the rikrak shop on twitter.
(she's & i'm .
come back here and tell us!
= 1 entry.

5. friend Simple Joys Paperie on Facebook
and tell us about it
= 1 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 entry.

7. follow or subscribe to the rikrak studio blog
and leave me a comment here telling us that you do!
= 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 Simple Joys Paperie giveaway will be chosen on wednesday august 4th @ 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.


have a most beautiful day!
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lucky #368

happy monday, cutiepies!

hope you had a delightful weekend!

first things first.... congrats to the winner of the rikrak studio july sponsors giveaway (a $25 shopping spree!) ... lucky #368... emily of "cream colored ponies & crisp rhubarb strudels" (editor's note: YUM!)

such a sweet blog emily writes. check out her yummy recipes and fun updates!

and be sure to enter the fabulous *my friends* giveaway on now, for a chance to WIN a shopping spree in one of 200+ Etsy shops!

and come back in an hour or so for a brand new fabulous collection & giveaway from such a beautiful shop, it'll be sure to lift your monday morning spirits!
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Friday, July 23, 2010

revealed: your * beach party * looks!

Max & Chichi is a bathing beauty in
her DearGoldenVintage + PranceAndSwagger


ZoeChen looks ready to frolick in the sand wearing
her own gorgeous skirt +

tangente sizzles in dirtycityvintage + WildWomanJewelry

sara sports the beautiful FablesbyBarrie + Sara Thomas Designs
& monica chose the same fabulous bikini +


lori's looking smashing in her cool starletvintage + lizhutnick

Sarah B. looks sunny in her oneaviandaemon + ikabags

welcome welcome, beach party pals!
snag some sand for your beach chair or blanket, and let's hit the waves!

last week i invited each of you to show me your gorgeous handmade or vintage * beach party * looks, choose a beautiful accessory to go with it, and join me for
a lovely little party by the sea!

and what gorgeous responses!
you all look just peachy!

thanks so much to everyone who answered the call.
and while i couldn't include photos of how fantastic we ALL looked, i thought you might like a peek at how some of our favourite handmakers look for the party!

so tell us who your cute celebrity dates are over here,
don't forget to enter my funfun etsy mini giveaway, too {& add YOUR shop to the fun!}
over 175+ shops participating so far!

have a great weekend in the sun!
{and i'll post the winner of the july sponsors' giveaway monday! sorry - a bit behind here today!}

race ya to the water, nicies!

what's your favourite part of a beach party?
i'd love to hear!



ishkabibbles looks just beachy in her own creations:
dress & earrings


PuaWear looks breezily lovely in her own sarong + backpack


faith is lovely in her aftershowershop +
sitting under this irenesuchocki delight


JannysGirl looks cool as a cucumber in this fresh
prettypanda + FormedByDesign

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