Wednesday, December 15, 2010

happy holidays, nicies!

hope by the wonderful artmind

well lovelies ... it's here!

time to take a wee little break from rikrak-ing + let my hardworking little sewing machine sleep.

+ time to take a wee little break from the daily fun of visiting with you lovelies. a little break to spend some extra-special full-time
time with the family rikrak in that funfun holiday fashion!

thanks so much for such a wonderful year here, and wishing you all a hope-full, peaceful, thoughtful, laughter-filled holiday season.

looking forward to lots of fun + great new handmade delightfulness in the new year here on the blog. i'll be back at the start of january with lots more! hope to see you here!

so happy holidays, lovelies.

i'm so thankful for all of you wonderful, creative nicies out there!
be well, 


peace love & joy letterpress cards by elevated press

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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

comfort & joy

kindness photograph :: by alifethroughthelens


i love the holidays.
i really do.
the festive fun. the visiting. the get-togethers. 
the family time. 
the beautiful focus on handmaking throughout the season. 
love it. 

but i know that beyond the fun & merriment, there are many of our loved ones, dear friends, vital parts of our communities that know the Holidays to be...

a lonely time.
a sad time
a grievous time.
a time of loss and missing.
an anxious time:  being with family, being away from family, wishing for family. 
a very stressful time.

our hugs go out to all of you, loves.

how can we help? 
what can we do?
what helps you get thru difficult holidays?

i've been wondering about this much of late. i'm so happy we all work on the joy part this time of year, but i think i need to work on the *comforting* part. i ask... how can we better comfort those close to us during the holidays?

i hope,  dear friends, we can reach out to those around us who need our love.
to strangers, aquaintances, dear friends, loved ones who need to feel our love and support everyday, especially during the holidays.

how are you feeling about the holidays?
a hug from me to you.  


comfort & joy cards :: by hitchcock creative

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Monday, December 13, 2010

come advertise with the rikrak studio blog!

i just love my sponsors! i'm so thankful for their kind and artistic support each month! and i'm just delighted with how things are going, growing here on the blog with you lovelies. thank you!

so i'm very happy to be offering a few new ad spots as of today for JANUARY 2011.

with january comes  a great time to continue building your wonderful indie business!  i hope it might be a perfect time to showcase your beautiful shops & blogs for all of those handmade shoppers & bloggers & media out there! january is such a great time for new beginnings, and i'm offering a few new ad spots, all at GREAT january prices!

if you feel that your shop, group or blog would be a good fit with the rikrak studio blog feel & focus, and are interested in rates, please email me at 
---> rikrakmail @ <---.

there's lots of continued fun coming up on the blog: funfun guests, little inspirations, more fabulous giveaways you're not going to want to miss, great games, fantastic features and, as always, a few extra fun surprises, too. being part of the fun is a great way to boost sales, increase exposure and build your little business in the handmade community, too!

i'm a handmaker & mommy and know it's a challenging economic time out there... so i try to keep the rates nice & reasonable.

i also love designing ads for folks that need them, too.
so just let me know if i can help!

so come & be part of the fun!
thanks so much, lovelies!
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Friday, December 10, 2010


happy fridays, nicies!
hope you're having a delighful & festive season!

congrats extended today to the lucky winner ... #85 .. dawn correspondence! { i'm such a fan ... i just love this beautiful shop - congrats nicey!} you just won a WONDER world o chocolate from nicole's handmade treats shop! ENJOY!

and hope you'll check out my latest Etsy article, up today, with Polestar & her GORGEOUS snowglobes! & leave us a cheer in the notes there if you can! thanks sweeties!

and last but not least,
don't forget to ENTER my december sponsors' giveaway... you choose the beautiful shop to spend your winnings in! yay!

see you monday, nicies!
happy festivitying!
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Thursday, December 9, 2010

a collection with Polestar.


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:  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 snow globes with Polestar.

is there anything more magical then the whimsical mini world of a snow globe, a bustling city quietly frozen for just a moment?

each teeny tiny scene a perfect microcosm imagining scenes around our globe peacefully covered in beautiful snow this Festive season.

thought you might love this charming International snow globe collection with jewelery artist Jennifer Cowgill of Polestar.


who (are you) : I am Jennifer Cowgill and I sell jewelry on Etsy as Polestar.

what (are you collecting) : I collect kitschy snow globes and travel memorabilia.

when (did you start) : I started collecting these types of things when I was very young, 7 or 8. My Dad was in the Air Force and he traveled all over the world. The most notable thing he brought back was a dead piranha from South America, toothy mouth agape and the whole thing shellacked and glued to a mounting board. Sadly, it is lost to time. My love for this type of trinket from around the world developed from those gifts from my Dad and morphed into snow globes because they are portable and easy to pack.

how (many do you have?): Right now I have about 50, but I've broken and lost just as many to evaporation over the years. Half of them are places I've been and the other half are places friends and family picked up a globe for me in their travels.

where (do you keep them) : Presently, they are on a display shelf in my office.

what (‘s a crazy/interesting story behind one) : Not so crazy but I love the Seattle globe where the couple is sitting in the "snow" with their coffee, rain slickers and umbrellas. I hear North Westerners don't use umbrellas though.

what(piece would you like to add): I would love a globe from the Middle East. I may be acquiring one from Israel soon.

which (one is your favourite) & why : I love the Space Shuttle globe. The Shuttle will be retiring soon, and the globe will be a representation of an exciting era for Space exploration.

what (else do you collect) : I collect vintage buttons and I have a handmade plush and amigurumi collection started.

wonderful! thanks so much,  jennifer.
just as magical as her collection is PoleStar’s sparkling shop: filled with enchanting jewellery perfect for any festive occasion. 

what Holiday goodies do you collect?  
let us know! we’d love to hear!

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Wednesday, December 8, 2010

the i love my sponsors december giveaway!

row one
row two
row three

row four
aren't you the loveliest readers around!
thank YOU, sweet nicies.

thanks for your encouraging words & dear dear comments. it's a pleasure to read thru each comment each day. SUPERTHANKS! i always love seeing what you have to say! and thanks for playing all the little games and activities on the blog, for your warm and wonderful emails too!

AND... thanks so much to all of you lovelies out there who have really made my day by supporting my little adventures, as dear sponsors! you nicies mean the world to me, and i really appreciate it! so with a thankful heart, and with those superwintry days all around,   a little giveaway for all of you!

:::::::::::: the prize ::::::::::::
a fabulous $25.00 gift certificate from me to YOU to spend in
ANY ONE OF MY SPONSORS' shops/ blogs!

that's right... 
one lucky winner will get to spend the prize in any of my sponsors' e-shops or blogs!
{NOTE: if you choose to spend your winnings on one of the  blogs sponsoring this month, you can use your monies toward an ad spot!}

1. visit my lovely sponsors' shops.
(as seen on the left hand column).
come back here and leave ONE COMMENT on what your favourite item is from their fabulous shop! = 1 entry per comment.

you can visit as many sponsor shops as you like
and comment once for each shop.

--> in the case of a sponsor who is a blog : please leave me a comment about which part of their blog you like best!

--> in the case of a sponsor who is a band (i.e. the strip): please leave me a comment about which of their songs you like best (you can listen on the link!)


2. in the spirit of the lovely HOLIDAYS coming soon, tell us your fave way to spread joy over the Holidays!
= 1 entry


3. call, write or email a friend or loved one and let them know how much they mean to you! then come back here and tell us about it (no need to use full names :) 
= 1 entry

4. come follow or subscribe to my little blog 
and join the fun everyday! 
 (please note:--->  to WIN this particular giveaway you must be a rikrak studio follower or subscriber! thanks nicies!)
please leave me a comment about it.
 = 1 entry

5. grab one of my NEW rikrak studio buttons,
like this one from the left hand sidebar, for YOUR BLOG!

the rikrak studio

the rikrak studio

and add it to your blog!
{ ... just copy & paste the text in the box above  onto your blog sidebar! thanks! }

6. tweet about this giveaway
= you can tweet about this giveaway ONCE per day for the duration of the giveaway! (one  entry for each tweet!)
and come back here and tell me about it. please include my twitter account in the update: i'm @therikrakshop on twitter!)

7. follow me on twitter
i'm @therikrakshop
= 1 entry

8. blog about the giveaway and tell me about it here.
= 1 entry

9. do a facebook update
about the giveaway with a link, and tell us here 
= 1 entry

10. please just make sure that each entry is its own comment!



a) it is possible to have numerous entries total per person.
b) please make sure to leave each entry as it's own comment. thanks!
c) for this particular giveaway, YOU MUST BE A RIKRAK studio follower or subscriber,
old or new! thanks!
d) the winner of this giveaway will be chosen from on
january 1st, 2011 @ 11pm EST.
e) please be sure to leave me an email where i can reach you if your account doesn't link to one. thanks.
f) thanks so much everyone! and thanks for visiting the blog!

happy holidays, nicies!
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Tuesday, December 7, 2010

the handmade community HOLIDAY gift-guide: week SIX!

yay it's holiday time!
and no better time for *sharing!*
welcome to the 6th of 6 handmade community co-operative gift guides: where YOU show the world your gorgeous creations + handmade works of others that you LOVE!

each tuesday leading up to the HOLIDAYS, i'll be inviting folks to be part of the fun!
you can find {& keep adding your own goodies to} the first 15 gift guides here:

gift guide { one } :: holiday decor
gift guide { two } :: for baby
gift guide { three } :: jewelry lovers
gift guide { four } :: a beautiful home
gift guide { five } :: book lovers
gift guide { six } ::  well dressed
gift guide { seven } :: for the guys
gift guide { eight } :: gifts under $15
gift guide { nine } :: calendars
gift guide { ten } :: animal lovers 
gift guide { eleven } :: fun for kids!
gift guide { twelve } :: paper lovers  
gift guide { thirteen } :: eco forward
gift guide {fourteen } :: mmm... warm
gift guide { fifteen } :: fun & under $25
today there are 3 different categories you can add your goodies in!
let's see what we can make!

show us your best!
+ the works of others you admire.

please add one item of your own, and one of another's, in any category you'd like!

yay to handmaking and co-operative community building!
{& hope it's great publicity for you too, nicies! }


gift guide { sixteen } 
:: for the artist ::


gift guide { seventeen } 
:: good for the soul ::


gift guide { eighteen } 
:: affordable art ::


come back next tuesday for more fabulous gift guides!
and grab the image at the top & feel free to add it to your blog &  link it to:
{home of the rikrak studio gift guides!}
so everyone can see your amazing handmade ideas for HOLIDAY gifts!

yay handmaking!
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Monday, December 6, 2010

the etsymom blog hop & a sweet salt dough ornaments DIY

 photo by John Paul Urizar via
morning, nicies!
today begins the EtsyMom blog hop, a chance to visit lots of great blogs by handmaking mommies, share in some fabulous festive recipes and craft ideas, AND win a bunch of amazing goodies while you're at it! 

so to kick things off, thought i'd share one of my family's favourite crafty recipes with you. 
it's a great chance to encourage little hands and their creative imaginations!
One-of-A-Kind Keepsake Salt Dough Ornaments Tutorial & Recipe

DIY family ornaments ideas at country woman magazine
Every year, one of our family's favourite Holiday events is the annual tradition of handmaking Christmas Tree Ornaments! As an adult, our tree is filled with those treasured keepsakes my hubby + I created as children alongside our own little one's festive creations! I just love it!

So here's a festive handmade Holiday ornament for you and your child to create! The project is a perfect make-together activity  filled with lots of opportunities to be creative in the kitchen. Using a classic salt-dough recipe, we'll add modern abtsract painting fun! The result is a gift-giving collection of beautiful, original ornaments featuring one-of-a-kind abstract artwork by your budding little Picasso! It's fun for artists of all ages and it's a wonderful, hands-on introduction to the world of modern abstract painting, too!  The ornaments are fun to give individually, in small sets of 3, or why not wrap up a whole set for grandma or grandpa! Don't forget to save some for your own tree - those little artworks will be treasured for many Happy Holidays to come!! Happy creating!

2 cups flour + a bit more for dusting
1 cup salt
1 cup warm water
mixing bowl or food processor
rolling pin
cookie cutters
baking tray
child-friendly paints
paint brushes
ribbon or string
thin tip marker
your delightful imagination!

 ornaments by little rikrak :: photo by me

making fun 3D shapes on
*It's the most fun if your child can participate in all of the steps along the way! Making a BIG mess is half the fun! *

1. Mix salt & flour.

2. Add in half the water, mix, then gradually add the remaining water.

3. Knead mixture until the dough is smooth (up to 10 minutes by hand; about 2 minutes on low via food processor.) Add pinches of flour to create a pliable dough that isn't sticky.

4. For flat dough ornaments, roll out the dough on baking paper or a floured surface. Aim for a dough thickness of about 1/4 -1/2 inch. This will be sturdy enough for little hands to help transfer to the baking sheet, and not too thick for even baking.

5. Using fun cookie cutters or your hands, create fun shapes. Remember, the top surface of the *cookie* shape will be your child's canvas - so aim for a greater surface in the shapes you choose. It will be easier for young hands to create their masterpieces! (Circles, stars, snowflake shapes work well!)

getting the ornaments ready for baking on e-how.
6. Once cut, use a spatula to transfer cutouts to a baking sheet.

7. IMPORTANT: BEFORE BAKING  --> USE the STRAW to make a hole near the top so you can hang the ornament later.

8. Bake the ornaments at 325 degrees for 30-40 minutes, depending on the thickness of the ornaments - or until dry. While the ornaments are baking, this is a great time to talk with your little one about the fun & freedom of abstract painting. Experiment on paper before working with your ornaments so your child can get a feeling for freestyle  painting. Share fun modern art books or websites to enrich the experience. Chat about the terminology of artistic experimenting: dots, lines, colours, curves, shapes, feelings. etc. and encourage your child to paint freely to various emotive words: happy, sad, excited, etc. Practice these for fun on paper. Paint with your child! They'll love seeing how you interpret the emotions, too! Remember - there is no right or wrong in abstract painting!

9. Let ornaments cool before you begin decorating.

10. Let the creativity begin! Turn on some festive music and let your little picasso enjoy splattering and splotting and decorating the tiny ornament surfaces with a variety of paintbrushes! Children 3 and up might love using 3-D puffy paints once a base coat is painted. They add extra texture and dimension to the sweet ornaments. Try painting some of the surfaces a solid colour, letting those dry, and adding new delights on top! Try gluing on beads, buttons, or any fun goodies you can think of. Let your creativity soar!

11. Optional: to preserve, coat with a child-safe paint varnish once everything is dry!

12. Loop string or ribbon thru dried ornament. Wrap in eco-friendly paper your child has decorated, and your handmade Holiday ornament is ready to give!

13. This recipe makes an ornament collection of approximately 20 2-inch wide ornaments, although it's much funner when each ornament is it's own unique size!

- Older children might enjoy making 3 dimensional shapes with greater details.

- Experiment with using various fun kitchen *tools* to add texture to the top of the ornament dough before baking. try finger prints, child-safe kitchen utensils, etc.  Play with the patterns and shapes they create!

- Use the marker to have your child print their name on the back of the dried ornament (or adults can help!) and add the year for extra keepsake fun!

Happy handmade holidays!

Kristal Davis a.k.a. rikrak
my handmade shop:
my handmade blog:

and now....
off to see the rest of the fabulous blog hop!

Check out all of the fabulous holiday-themed projects, gift ideas, and more from our wonderful EtsyMom Blog Hop Contributors from around the world!!

Here's how it works:
1. Hop through each of the blogs listed above to get fabulous holiday inspiration and leave a comment. If you are starting at a blog in the middle of the Hop, start back at the EtsyMom Blog.
2. Leave a comment on this post between now and December 11, 2010.
3. Enter to win our giveaway by doing any of the following. For each thing you do, you will be entered into the drawing one more time:

~Leave a comment on this post between now and December 11, 2010.
~Leave a comment on the Holly Day Blog Hop posts for any of the blogs listed above between Dec 5 and Dec 11, 2010.
~Join our email list (fill out the form in the right hand column).
~Become a follower of this blog! Just click the "Follow" button in the lower right column.
~"Like" the
EtsyMom Facebook Page.
Share about this Blog Hop on your own blog, posting a link to this page.
Share about this Blog Hop on Facebook, posting a link to this page.
Share about this Blog Hop on a message board or forum, posting a link to this page.

To let us know you've done these things, please GO to 
sorry - you cannot enter the giveaway here on my blog.  
 and leave a comment for each thing you did, i.e. one comment for posting on your blog, another comment for posting on facebook, and another comment for joining our email newsletter. If you post it all in one comment, it will count as one entry.On December 11, 2010 we'll choose a winner using the Random Integer Generator from The winner will receive this super sweet gift basket full of handmade holiday goodies, including

a pair of Turquoise Earrings from
a lampwork bead bracelet by
sterling silver and Swarovski pearl/crystal holiday earrings by
a cream colored cotton scarf given by
a raincloud ornament from
a matching splat mat and baby bib from
two pair of earrings from
a gift pack of over 30 pages of vintage paper ephemera by
a lovely sustainable stocking from
a set of holly jolly gift tags from
a set of toddler pajamas in a style of the winner's choice from
a $15 gift certificate from
A gift certificate from http://babyswank.etsy,com/

have a great day, cuties!
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Saturday, December 4, 2010

drumroll please.........

celebrate letterpress card by bluenotepress 

happy saturday, sweeties! 
i've got great news for 8 lucky lucky folks!
so many fun giveaways to send out today.

congrats to the winner of the june bride giveaway: #59 anneritta.

and congrats to the 5 winners of the MEGA giveaway

{ prize pack A }  #805 : oona of backyard mama.
{ prize pack B } #3224   : ashley of a hasty life 
{ prize pack C } #2391  : snowflake07
 { prize pack D} #377 : sarah b. of yes teacher!
{ prize pack E } #1783  : polina of ko triangle
that's a whole lotta fun!

one more funfun giveaway you can enter here this week, nicies!
so hurry in!
nicole's handmade treats! YUM! {ends tuesday} 

have a wonderful weekend.
see ya monday!

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Friday, December 3, 2010

3 sweet angels

amazing work by designer avril loreti 

today's post was supposed to tell you of 8 lucky winners in 3 great giveaways here this week on the blog. 

but if you don't mind... that will have to wait for a special saturday morning post.

instead, i thought i'd share with you a special tale of 3 lovely sweeties that came across our path today, some in unexpected ways.

isn't life wonderful like that?

morning angel
:: a technician at the children's hospital who inspired us with wit and wisdom and a perfect charm with wee ones, who delivered us happy news for a thankfully-not-serious medical update for little rikrak. how thankful we felt that there are whole hospital communities of wonderful folks that bring peace and hope in difficult days. so thankful for those souls.

amazing work by designer avril loreti 

afternoon angel
::  i've been a longtime fan of artisanal superstar avril loreti.  so imagine my delight  when she kindly sent us tickets to the amazing one of a kind show in toronto as a housewarming gift this autumn! such a delight to meet lovely avril in person, and to see her gorgeous gorgeous works on display and see the throngs of folks around her booth oohing and aahing at her amazing works!

i've been delighted to see avril's beautiful designs everywhere this season, and it's so deserved, sweetie. what a lovely soul and kindhearted artist you are. thanks for such a lovely afternoon! &  what a great show { i  LOVE my new avril loreti totebag! sooooo beautiful! }

evening angel
:: after such a great day with the whole family,  our car just wouldn't start. alas. but such a great thing happened: the kindest of towtruck drivers came to our rescue, drove the 4 of us home, and couldn't have been nicer. the surprise of a few hours on a friday night in the cab of a pickup truck with the whole family ended up being a drive filled with laughs and great music. funny how that happens.

in all the busyness of this season, of rushing and stressful times, isn't it great when everyday kindness shines bright?

gosh. i sure think so.
thanks to all of you nicies.
and here's to spreading kindness this weekend.

tune in tomorrow for lots and lots of lucky winners.

 amazing work by designer avril loreti 

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