Monday, January 31, 2011

handmade sister cities { part 8} : shanghai, china + montreal, canada

row one
EllaLai : shanghai
idlebeats : shanghai

row two
TheAngryWeather : montreal
yiduo : shanghai
Paripassu : shanghai

row three
supayana : montreal
irenesuchocki : montreal
fashionwholesale : shanghai

row four
colorhouse : shanghai
ShokayYarns : shanghai
skeptis : montreal
artisanimpact : montreal

row five
shirae : montreal
naochina : shanghai
MarKhed : montreal


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 8 }


shanghai, china & montreal, canada

in honour of chinese new year coming up this week, i thought we'd pay tribute to one of china's beautiful handmaking cities: the lovely shanghai, and one of her fabulous sister cities: montreal. while i haven't had the chance to visit shanghai yet, i've heard from many dear friends of the beautiful handicrafting traditions alive & well in there.

and as luck would have it, i've enjoyed visiting beautiful montreal many many times, to enjoy the amazing arts & culture so vividly abundant in this city. i think these two cultural hotspots are well paired: both so alive with living history, great art, fabulous architechture & amazing artists. 

so happy handmaking to shanghai & montreal!

have you been to either/both of these handmade sister cities? 

tell us your favourite parts/neighbourhoods/delights/sights!
we'd love to hear!

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Friday, January 28, 2011

WIN a $50 rikrak shop gift certificate!

happy friday, cuties!

wanna win a $50 gift certificate to my modern patchwork-y shop : rirkak?
just think of what you could buy: eco stockings for next Christmas? vintage fabric wallets for you & your friends? iron-on fabric birds, letters, etc for all of your FUN crafty projects? some eco art for your lovely home?

this random-draw giveaway is the FAN PRIZE for the 2011 handmade olympics!

there are lots of FUN & easy ways to win: 

please go to any one of the following *handmade olympics* pages to enter. 


1.  nominate  
your own handmade works, AND the works of others in each of the 8 events.   
you get one ballot per nomination! ( possible to nominate 2 entries in each event X 8 events = 16 entries)

follow or subscribe 
to my rikrak studio blog here! = 1 ballot 
3. twitter 

about your nominations + include the hashtag #handmadeolympics in the tweet and come back to each event to tell us about it! = 1 extra ballot (only the 1st tweet eligible) 
4. blog 

about the *handmade olympics* and come back to each event to tell us about it! = 1 extra ballot total.
5.  update your facebook status

about the *handmade olympics* and come back here to each event & tell us about it = 1 extra ballot total.
6.  leave a link to this etsy thread here with an item you're nominating = 1 extra ballot


so ... the winner will be drawn next friday, feb. 4th, when the *handmade olympics* nominations round closes. 

yay handmaking & have a great weekend, sweeties!

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Thursday, January 27, 2011

lovely & inspiring

clockwise from top left ...
:: collage a :: crafterall . this year's girl . renna deluxe . kiokko bebe couture .

:: collage d ::  bayanhippo . balanced adorn+cherish . ikabags


well nicies ... all this could be yours!
or at least some of it could! :) 

that's right. 
all of these beautiful handmade & vintage delights are made & collected by the amazing sponsor shops of the 2011 handmade olympics.  i'm so thankful to all of these superstars for making the events possible!

there are over $2000 worth of prizes up for grabs.
so stop in and nominate your own works, and nominate the works of others that you love in each of the 8 events. 

someone has to win each of the 24 wonderful prize packs, right? 
and you can't win if you're not entered. 

{ & heck, why not make someone's day by nominating them!}

and be sure to visit + oogle at each of the sponsor shops, too!

don't they make gorgeous things? 
yay to beautiful things!

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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

your winter gala looks revealed!

steph charms in ...


ana carina is gorgeous in ...


moira fascinates in ...

skeptis delights in ...


 13 threads charms in...


good heavens ... you beauties look gorgeous!
what a great day to warm up these chilly winter days!
what fun our *winter gala* is!

i asked you to join me at my january *winter ball* and i love the gorgeous looks you nicies came up with! 

wouldn't you agree?!

thanks again so much to everyone who played.
sorry i couldn't include everyone this time around. but you all look STUNNING!

so yay to handmade + vintage! 

so cue the string orchestra; ask your favourite cute dancing partner to join you on the floor, and dance the night away in our imaginary ballroom! *sigh*

and have a glamorous, megawatt-smile day, nicies, whether your strutting your stuff on the red carpet or dancing in your kitchen.

see you tomorrow...

{ & don't forget ... just a few more days to enter to  
win a sponsor shop shopping spree!

& to nominate your own and the works of others in the 


anne charms in ...


itchin' stitchin wows in ...  

bstudio is wintry wonderful in...  


vadjutka is oh-so-gorgeous in...



seaflower studios delights in... 

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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

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 FEBRUARY.

with february comes  a great time to continue building your wonderful indie business!  i hope it might be the perfect opportunity 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 february prices!

if you feel that your shop, group, Etsy Team,  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, the continuation of the 2011 *handmade olympics*  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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Monday, January 24, 2011

handmaking with kids: DIY burlap tic tac toss game tutorial

once upon a time { this past december! } i was the lucky lucky winner of a fabulous handmade giveaway ... a beautiful set of wooden skittles by the design house *wee waldorf.* i've long been a fan of this fabulous handmaking for children shop & i have to say, seeing the work in person is even MORE amazing. it's beautifully crafted, with a gorgeous design and great attention to detail! i'd highly recommend this lovely shop & the fabulous wee waldorf blog (it's FILLED with fabulous tutorials and tips!)

and now...  designer luz has prepared a fabulous DIY children's tutorial for all of us ... and wouldn't it make a fabulous valentine's - day- is -coming- up project! yay!


Burlap Tic Tac Toss by Wee Waldorf 

~1 square burlap fabric (22"x 22")
~20 squares burlap fabric (6"x6" each)
~10 squares freezer paper (6"x6" each)
~8 lbs dried beans or other filler
~fabric paint
~paint brush
~masking tape

Step 1.
Fold your 22"x22" square into thirds and mark a long line creating 3 equal sections. Then rotate and do the same. You should now have 9 equal squares.
 Lay a long piece of masking tape about 1/2" away from the marker line on both sides giving you a 1" paint line.

Step 2.
Paint within the tape lines. Allow to dry and remove tape.

Step 3. 
Now grab your freezer paper and cut out five X's and five O's and iron stencils onto your  6"x6" burlap squares. 

Step 4.
Paint within the  X's and O's stencils. Let dry and remove stencils.

Step 5.
Pin right sides of burlap squares together (1 stenciled square and 1 plain square), stitch sides leaving a small hole to turn.

Step 6.
After turning right side out fill each bag with about 1 1/2 cups of beans.

Step 7. 
Tuck opening in and stitch closed. Continue all the way around the bean bag to create a finished edge.  

Step 8.
Now go play!

thanks so much, wee waldorf. 
for everything! :)

and.... be sure to visit the wee waldorf shop... it's delightfully swoonworthy with a flurry of beautiful, handmade children's and baby's items. 

{& don't forget to nominate YOUR favourite handmade items for children in event 2 of the *handmade olympics* right over here, nicies!

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Friday, January 21, 2011

brilliant blogger: char hamilton

it's a fun new series on the blog, nicies! a fill-in-the-blank interview with some of our favourite super-bloggers from around the blogosphere that inspire each of us everyday with their writings! we all know that brilliant bloggers spend so much of their precious time crafting the perfect posts. so  i thought we'd give our fave wordsmiths a little break: i sent each nicey a page full of fill-in-the-blanks questions { my words in blue } ...  & they filled them in with their insights { their words in grey/gray! } . hope you'll enjoy fill-in-the-blanks with today's brilliant blogger: the inspiring handmaking-cheerleader, artist  & nicey char of we blog artists. 


I'm Char.

I am a Mum of 2 beautiful young girls & a wife to an awesome husband & an artist.

I blog about everyday projects here in Canada and my good friend in the Uk (Tam) shares this venture with me.We also blog about our family & what we love about Life over here: at WE Blog ARTISTS.

{You might be surprised to hear that I can speak a few languages...having been brought up with Scandinavian folks in the UK and then having lived in Mallorca (Spain) for 7 years, where Spanish,Italian and German helps you get by...and now I'm back in an English speaking Country...Canada. Languages as well as Art are a passion of mine...being able to communicate with many people from different parts of the World is VERY PRECIOUS to me.}

Beyond blogging, my  perfect Day would be : to wake up to 18 hours where I could paint and cook all day long, with my family and friends from all around the World, eating delicious tapas, talking all 5 languages, listening to a live band, and playing hide and seek with all the kiddies.
I'm in LOVE with my Husband + my girls.

Here's one of my favourite photos of myself. 

I love this photo because my Mum is in it...she is my critique...when I think of her,so far away in heart eyes well up and then I know and feel I am on the right path in my Life...she gave us SO much love,THANK you Mama!

I just finished another commission of a Family portrait and just started illustrating another Children's book. I'm in the middle of prepping everything for our Mamas and Chicks show I host with a friend.

I love making my girls giggle & making our house feel warm inside...when the girls are crafting,I am baking...and my husband is renovating (my studio to be).

Winter makes me appreciate Summer & amp; Spring makes me love ALL the seasons here in Canada.

A word I love to say is precious.

And I may have made up the word beautilicious!

I thrive off blogging!

The immense creativity and the endless inspiration I get from it makes blogging daily part of me!

I began blogging to push myself back into creating art and crafts daily and now I blog with pleasure, not always showing something i have made...but I enjoy being able to document our daily happenings.

It amazes about blogging that I have met some wonderful and very talented ladies who also blog and create daily!

My 3 tips to a great blog would be: be honest, great photos & don't forget to visit your readers in their Worlds.

Gosh! It's challenging blogging when you get brain freeze!
but fear not, I just get my Earl Grey Tea and OatCakes...and browse my voila...a post is born.

One of my favourite blog posts I've ever written is this one on my Mother.

I will always remember how the whole posting of it made me feel, she deserves the WORLD.

I REALLY ENJOY reading other blogs.

I love TRULA.KIDS blog because it's written by a Mum who has 2 kids...and is always crafting with them or for them.

and I  ADORE the SLEEPY TIME GAL blog because it too is run by a Mum of 4...who creates wonderful handmade goodnesses and posts some awesome recipes.

and of course Esti's PINTAMELDIA blog is one of my favourite places to visit daily because it's also another Spanish blog(written in english too) but it's also special because she is a self taught Artist and has such a calm about her...painting and photos.

This was extremely HARD to choose, as I have SO many favourites...but you can visit the others from the links of our Blog.

One thing I wish I had learned sooner in bloggyville is that Life goes on.

and don't worry: if one day you don't make the post you wanted to then no one will hold it against're your own Boss in Blogville.

My favourite part of blogging is reading the awesome comments and knowing that I have real friends out there who care to just say a little means a lot, THANK YOU.
However, I could do without the headaches Blogger sometimes gives me...although it has been pretty good recently...hope I haven't jinxed it now!

Something new happening on my blog these days is "Tuesdays Tastings"...each Tuesday if I am not interviewing an artist for our Tell ALL Tuesdays I try and post about a recipe which I have tweeked a little. Recently I wrote about Oatcakes as I think I have an intolerence for wheat. Check it out here.

You can find me here at our BLOG "We blog Artists" and you can browse my ETSY SHOP and you can become a FAN and get updates on my Facebook Page.

char hamilton

thanks so much, sandy, for your inspiring words, char. 
such wisdom & thoughtfulness here and always your beautiful, wonderful blog.
{we blog artists features amazing artists, fabulous ideas, has the best giveaways, and is filled with char & tam's beautiful heartfelt wit & wisdom!}
be sure to visit char around the web.. she's such an amazing superwoman! 
& please leave her a hello here, too!

happy blogging, nicies!
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Thursday, January 20, 2011

great green-ie: green post

greening.... i find it exciting and hopeful that while there sure are lots of terrible things going on to pollute & harm our planet, there are so many wonderful folks doing fabulous things to help make the world a greener, healthier place! so, the rikrak studio is happy to feature great green-ies : snapshots of amazing, inspiring. eco-forward-thinking folks & groups from all sorts of fields and paths in the greening movement. some inspire by greening at home, or in their business; in their art or the larger world, or on many levels at once! i've asked each green-ie to suggest an easy eco-idea or tip we might all be able to add to our daily lives. today i'm honoured to present the next in this series! 


what could be a better gift than one that keeps on giving? 
gosh... none!

so join me in a visit to the wonderful world of *green post*: an eco friendly shop with something green green green for everyone. i just love artist kendra' s beautiful works: handmade papers, plantable tags and cards, and papermaking supplies for the DIY in all of us! and i love what she writes about her work: Green Post was created with the intentions to re-use, recycle and upcycle all the "junk" paper that comes into my life: junk mail, useless bills, receipts, tags etc. and what a beautiful sentiment that is: turning junk into beauty!

how delightful it would be to give green post tags as a treat at your next event, or to put one in a card to a friend, or to use them as wedding favours or gift tags. the possibilities are sustainably endless!

it's fantastic to see greening in such a beautiful and functional way. and a special thanks to marnie of crafterall, a fave artist of the rikrak studio, for recommending green post in my call for green artists. it's a great collaboration, indeed, as crafterall, along with other etsy sellers, contributes paper scraps to be used in the making of green post goodies! yay to that!

now... how about  green post's eco tip: if you want to become a handmade recycled papermaker, you will need to become a super paper collector!  collecting paper means you will need lots of storage for all the receipts, tags, notes, misprints and misc. paper scraps that you find.  want one of my simple storage solutions?  

if you are like me, you own lots of bags, totes, purses, backpacks etc.  They hang on a hook somewhere in your home, empty and waiting to be in your favor once more!  why not give your bags and totes a new purpose and use them to store your paper collection? the papers can easily be sorted, will stay clean and free from debris and when you are ready to make paper you can simply grab your bags and go!
paper recycling never looked so good.

green post

have a great green day, nicies!
{and don't forget to nominate your favourite eco friendly items for event 3 of the handmade olympics! go green!}

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