Wednesday, August 31, 2011

breathing easy

the trick is to keep breathing by farouche


& breathing easy.

i know i take these things for granted until something stands between me and good, deep breathing: figuratively & literally.

i feel so thankful.
for the past year and a half i've been having trouble breathing.
i mean, gosh, it's hard enough to *breathe easy* in a metaphorical sense when lifes troubles get in the way, but when we struggle to breathe in a literal sense,that can be pretty tricky,too,  can't it?!

i'm so lucky.
a few months ago a medical specialist came across my path who was finally able to locate the problem: a mass growing in my trachea.

then a surgeon came into our lives that, through a series of operations over a period of time, is able to help me truly breathe better.

and that makes me breathe easier about almost everything in life!

i'm just home, recovering from my 2nd surgery and feeling so thankful for good, deep breaths.

and i'm thinking of all of you nicies:  facing challenges of all kinds in your daily lives, when things feel overwhelming, too challenging, too daunting or too dark.i'm wishing you all helping, healing hands & inspiring, reassuring thoughts to help you breathe well everyday, too.

 how do you breathe easier on a daily basis, when troubles cloud your lightness?

what cleanses your soul and helps you gain perspective when things just aren't right?

deep cleansing breaths to you all, nicies.
deep cleansing breaths.
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Monday, August 29, 2011

what handmaking supplies can you not live without?

some of my favourite handmaking supplies :: 
pretty pins :: fabulously sharp scissors ::
glorious threads :: gorgeous vintage fabrics!


well i'm readying the tools. 
with little rikrak about to head back to school for the fall, it's back to full-tilt sewing here at the rikrak home!

i'm fondly reconnecting with my art & sewing supplies after a little hiatus ....

and i wonder... which are your personal favourites ?

sharp pencils? 
a beautiful blank canvas? 
gorgeous fabric?
your potters wheel?
that perfect paintbrush?

what handmaking supplies can 
you not live without?

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Friday, August 26, 2011

handmade sister cities {part 10} : budapest, hungary & new york city, new york

row one
vadjutka : budapest

row two
meilingerzita : budapest
Fibrillaria : budapest

row three
zoephobic : budapest
oktak : nyc
granatina : budapest

row four
AkosHorvath : budapest

row five
EnInied : budapest
foldi : budapest
reddoll : nyc


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 actual 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 10 }


budapest, hungary & new york city, usa

well ... one of my favourite folks in the world is visiting this week from new york city. so in honour of great friends, i thought we'd pay homage to that great destination: NYC and one of it's beautiful handmade sister cities, hungary's capital: budapest

gosh i've loved spending many-a-fun excursion in new york over the years - it is CERTAINLY one of my favourite cities i've ever been to: the fabulous architecture, the amazing artistic scene, the vibrant handmaking communities and the endless plethora of inspiring ideas on every city block!

i've not yet been to budapest, but goodness: when i hear friends talk of this beautiful city, i just can't wait for the day to explore it myself! i think these two cultural hotspots are well paired: both so alive with living history, great art, fabulous architecture & amazing artists.

so happy handmaking to budapest & nyc!

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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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

come advertise with the rikrak studio blog in september and october!

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 SEPTEMBER & OCTOBER!

with september & october 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!the autumn  is such a busy busy shopping time for the  Holiday season, and i'm offering a few new ad spots, all at GREAT 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,  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!

PS: don't forget --> just a few more days to enter to win the SUMMER you-choose-the sponsor-shop $25 gift certificate giveaway! yay great sponsors!
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Monday, August 22, 2011

seeking out the best in art and design: outdoor sculpture hopping in NYC with Richard Rabel


have i got a treat for you today, nicies!

it's with great pleasure that i welcome the fabulous art expert, design guru & delightfully charming soul, richard rabel, as guest blogger. richard's unsurpassed expertise in the world of things beautiful will just thrill you, and you'll want to rush over to follow his inspiring art & design finds on his magnificent blog: the modern sybarite.

so let's take a sculptural stroll around nyc. thanks so much, richard!

I’m thrilled to be a guest blogger for rikrak!  It’s  posts on art have always been insightful and so when I was asked to write a series of guest posting on art and design (my blog focuses on these), how could I refuse!!! Momma rikrak is the best.

Today’s post is the first of a series of 3 and focuses on the public garden sculptures around New York City.  The second posting will be on design shopping in SOHO and the third, shopping the NY auctions with the modern sybarite … so stay tuned!

Manhattan in the summer is wonderful and while the tourists swarm over Times Square, MOMA and Lady Liberty, the locals find respite in the shady gardens and parks around the city. What is super about NY is that through collaborations with a diverse group of arts organizations and artists, the City Parks Department brings to the public both experimental and traditional art in over 13 park locations.


(photo credit: Librado Romero/The New York Times)

My first stop is the Grand Army Plaza, across the street from the famed Plaza Hotel on 5th Avenue and 59th Street, where contemporary Chinese artist Ai Weiwei has replicated the 12 animal heads of the Chinese Zodiac.  The inspiration were the much smaller original 18th Century versions which functioned as a water clock fountain in Chinese Emperor Qianlong’s Imperial summer retreat and whose heads were ransacked by French and British troops in 1860.  The 12 gynormous animal heads are contemporary re-interpretations and so the artist is focusing attention to questions of national identity, looting and repatriation, while extending his ongoing exploration of the “fake” and the copy in relation to the original. These are so very cool and cannot be missed!


(photo credit: Bill Orcutt)
My second stop is the new and hip High-Line park, once elevated train tracks in the middle of the city built to alleviate ground traffic in the area and now a wonderful meandering park. The park extends from 10th avenue and 30th street all the way to Gansevoort and as you are walking above the street, you get a perspective of Manhattan like nothing you’ve experienced before.  On rooftops along Washington Street, between West 13th and Gansevoort Streets, the US artist Kim Beck presents 3 sculptures that resemble the skeletal frames behind street advertising billboards.  See if you can identify them.  When looking at them from the front, they have depth but it is when you move past them that you see they are just like theater props!


Moving along, I stopped by Union Square where, from the 1960s to the 80s, pop icon Andy Warhol commanded his Factory that produced his famous silkscreen paintings, films, music, books, and magazines.  So as an ode to Warhol, American artist Rob Pruitt created the Andy Monument located at the corner of Broadway and 17th street.  The 10-foot silver sculpture is the artist’s imagined Warhol dressed in Levi's 501s, Brooks Brothers blazer, a Polaroid camera around his neck and carrying a Medium Brown Bag from Bloomingdale's. Aside from the fact people are making this a makeshift memorial, the sculpture of Andy is quite amazing.

 (top image :: Rob Pruitt's Andy Monument : 
photo credit : James Ewing, Courtesy Public Art Fund )


(photo credit: Rebecca Bullene. Courtesy of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden)
From Union Square I took the subway to the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens to end the day away from people and in the solace of nature.  There, near the Magnolia Plaza and in a shady nook is Patrick Dougherty’s Natural History.  Part bee-hive, part imaginary castle, this sculpture brought a smile to my face… I had never seen anything like it!  Made from organic materials (sticks and twigs) the idea being that as time goes on, the material will continue to decay until the whole things collapses onto the ground it came from.

 I had spent a good day pounding the streets of NY and was happy to live in a city that supports public art …. and what a variety.  From the “traditional” art of Weiwei and Pruitt, to the more abstract sculpture of Beck and Dougherty, New York City has thankfully something for us all!

richard rabel


Based in New York City, Richard Rabel is consistently asked by his clients for his advice on art, design and decoration.  With this in mind he began providing his clients with livable, warm and unique interiors that reflect a 21st century lifestyle and aesthetic. He shares his aesthetic on his website/blog

Speaking several languages, having lived in seven countries and spanning a ten year career as a senior officer and specialist in a London-based international auction house as well as twenty years of art and design study and over thirty years of international travel, Richard has had access to the most extraordinarily exquisite spaces around the globe from San Francisco to Sao Paulo, Buenos Aires to Prague, Mexico City to Geneva, Istanbul to Hong Kong, Paris to New York all of which have cultivated his eye and contributed to defining his exacting taste and modern aesthetic.
what's your favourite outdoor sculpture? 
tell us about it.
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Friday, August 19, 2011

what are you working on: opening!

well happy friday, cutiepies!

exciting news to report here ... my rikrak etsy shop: filled with lots of fun eco friendly & sustainable patchwork & Holiday stockings, is now open again! yay!

in honour of this exciting event, i'd like to offer you nicies a
SALE: 20% off any item in the shop! 
expires sunday august 21, 2011 at 11pm EST

just use the COUPON CODE :: welcome back
and 20% will automatically be deducted from the price!
(does not include shipping charges)

and... for a limited time....

---> BUY 3 rikrak eco friendly stockings, <---
GET the 4th stocking free

sale right now in my rikrak shop!

AND ... you can choose the style (any regular priced stocking) and the COLOURS for your custom stockings!

what a deal!

get those Holiday orders in early!

and see you monday, lovelies! thanks for such a great week back.
have a LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE-ly weekend, nicies!

tell us ... what are you working on? 
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Thursday, August 18, 2011

call for submissions!

you are my favourite greeting card by fifiduvie


wanted: a few wonderful folks who'd like to give something fun away from their beautiful handmade or vintage or supplies shop!

i'm gonna be hosting a BIG GROUP giveaway on my blog next month - { it'll be just like this super MEGA giveaway from last year!} and if that sounds like something you'd like to be part of, please email me at  
rikrakmail  @  
with a link to your lovely shop! :)

i'll write back with more details to those that respond!

thanks for considering it!
yay fun giveaways!

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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

patterns + shapes :: the barnacle


:: handmade barnacles ::

top image ::
textured tile, barnacle by elementclaystudio

collage image (from top left)  ::
barnacle painting number 4 by eelewis
ocean plate by wildcardpottery
tourmaline copper barnacle ring by midwestAlchemy
silver barnacle ring by plyeffects
stoneware barnacle piece by bhicks63
barnacles shoulder pads by Fnine
barnacles storage vessels by Plodes
the barnacle photographic print by newamsterdam

mid image ::
ghost reef soft sculpture by  cornflowerbluestudio

collage image (from top left)  ::
barnacle flour sack tea towel by  freshpulledpaint
aqua barnacles coasters by meghanburch
beachcombing print by oliviacollinsphoto
felt pin brooch by thelintballoon
barnacle ring by delisadesigns
the wise barnacle by jessicadoyle

final image :: 
sealife sculpture by aschwer


frolicking along east coast beaches has left me re-obsessed with the delicate patterns & shapes of the shoreline.

perhaps none are so intriguing as that beguiling organic oval: the barnacle.

it's a mini mystery in it's delicate curves. beautiful.

what shapes are you loving these days, sweeties?

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Monday, August 15, 2011

photo essay: our ocean road trip

{ all images by me: kristal davis / rikrak 2011 } 

i've missed you so.

we're home from our beautfiul east coast getaway & i'm basking in the wonderfulness of renewal & restorative goodness.

so many fun highlights... among them:

* the sheer delight of playing on red sand beach after red sand beach all over pei!

* that brilliant salty ocean air.

* little rikrak's first big rock concert (u2 360 in crazy fun knee-deep mud! )

* wandering across a pod of 30+ seals, sunning themselves on an empty beach at sunset ... wow! 

* fabulous visits with dear friends. thank you, wonderfulones!

* hilarious roadtrip games in the car; & 

* the collection of handmade souvenir sketches little rikrak drew in the backseat all along the way!

gosh i feel lucky.
& gosh i love the ocean.

how about you? love the shoreline?

hope your time has been great since last we spoke cuties!
gearing up for lots more fun here on the blog. 

welcome back!

tell us what you've been up to!

see you wednesday!

{ all images by me: kristal davis / rikrak 2011 } 

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