Friday, January 30, 2009

happy weekend & a mini sale

happy friday, lovelies!
in honour of the lovely snow, the lovely weekend and the end of lovely january... i'm having a wee little mini-sale in my shop!
all ready-made fabric iron-on hearts are on sale ... now 2.75 each (regularly 4.50!!) woohoo! while quantities last!
you can see the sale section here!
have a great weekend, nicies!
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my greatest hits: by munieca

what inspires you artistically & creatively? what would those inspirations look like visually? in this fun new series, 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 *my greatest hits*:

whimsical. romantic. elegant. vintage. artistic. fanciful. all wonderful ways others have used to describe the beautiful works of andrea .... known to many in the handmade world as the incomparable munieca (which means doll in spanish!)

i just love andrea's style ... her sense of whimsy so well balanced with colour and shape; and her use of patterned florals is so fresh and delightfully etheral to me! i was so excited to see her 4 image choices - and it's thrilling for me to see what a perfect match they seem
to be with her distinctive, wonderfully recognizable artistic style! weaving her magic in beautiful Argentina, andrea is a mommy, a teacher, a cinema enthusiast, and a most talented designer, illustrator & artist! here are her 4 inspirations, in her own words:

1. The doll

This item represents many things that I always use in my art. They are: a girl, a doll and red cheeks!
Cute and innocent is the feeling.

2. The Kokeshi doll

I feel attracted and specially inspired by the Asian culture. And the doll of course, is my symbol!
(munieca means "doll!" )

3. Papers

These are one my principal materials. I just love paper!

4. Flowers

Patterned papers, embellishments, beads and any little thing with flowers are essential!!


wonderful! be sure to visit munieca's beautiful handmade shop, filled with delightful, charming & whimsical treats! thanks so much, andrea!

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Thursday, January 29, 2009

with thanks: for kind feedback!

last night i reached a fun little personal milestone... my 1000th feedback in my etsy shop! i have to be honest... when i started out... i never dreamt i would reach that one day! i'm so honoured to have such fabulous customers, and so thrilled to work with such wonderful folks! thank you thank you thank you, nicies!!

so thanks for your feedback & kind words, lovelies! here's to the next 1000!
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Wednesday, January 28, 2009


so many thanks to all of the wonderful folks who entered my little giveaway *spread the love!*

i was thrilled to read all of the lovely comments, and felt so happy to hear of the folks that inspired each of you!!

thru a winner has been chosen!

congratulations to # 21 .... AmandaSue... who wrote:

"My father has always inspired me. He was a single dad who raised me and worked really hard to provide a great life for me, and he has taught me to not take anything for granted and to work hard in life and to never give up my dreams."

love it!

she's won herself a set of 4 rikrak vintage fabric iron-ons, in her choice of beautiful repurposed vintage fabrics!

thanks for sharing, folks! and stay tuned to the rikrak studio blog for a great BIG giveaway in the next 2 weeks!!

and keep spreadin' the love!
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patterns & shapes : the octagon

oh patterns & shapes ... i adore you! here's a fun new series on the beautiful shapes around us! enjoy!

i read yesterday about the octuplets born in California. 8 babies at one time! that's truly amazing! so in honour of thingseight .... the octagon.

when i think octagon, i think sturdy, strong, multi-faceted. and after finding these octagonal beauties.. i think GORGEOUS!! (these were amazing handmade entries in the origami tessellations flickr group October octagon contest, as seen on the amazing site Origami Tessellations! )


wow.... and a few more amazing 8-sided beauties to enjoy:


Pinkshoes Family's photostream

5. Octagon Radio

Jitendra Shekhar's blog


cheers to the octagon!
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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

great green-ies: EcoKate

greening.... i find it exciting and hopeful that while there sure are lots of terrible things going on to pollute 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 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!

goodness i love vibrant colours! and heavens i love eco- conciousness! so imagine my joy when i visit the colourful, vivid, eco-forward shops of the talented EcoKate! At the helm of both EcoKate (home of eco-friendly housewares & more!) and KnitStorm (Handmade knitted cozies, accessories & more!) is the multi-talented and delightful Kate.

I first met Kate as the brilliant co-leader of the EcoEtsy Team - a grand group of fabulous handcrafters dedicated to the environmentally-forward arts and crafts movement! She is a fabulous co-leader! She's a tireless promoter of others with her gorgeous treasuries, and encourages all of us to live a greener, healthier life, in our crafting and beyond! And she has a wonderful, vibrant personality to match her gorgeous recycled cotton yarn handknit goodies!! So here's to Kate! What a great green-ie!

and here's Kate's eco.tip!

"Reduce the amount of beef you eat, in any form. Cows let out a ton of methane (via cow burps and flatulence!), which is a greenhouse gas that's worse than CO2. To add insult to injury, when methane breaks down, it turns into CO2 after a number of years, instead of just going away. The thought here is that if the demand for cow meat declines because more people are eating it less often, cows will then be produced in smaller numbers, which means less cows letting out methane! Heck, if the number of cattle production is decreased enough, perhaps there'd be fewer factory farms in existence, and antibiotics wouldn't need to be used on these animals so much either (another alarming problem with the cramped conditions of the animals we produce for food)."

Be sure to visit her shops: and and her fabulous blog:
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Monday, January 26, 2009

collections: with annarubyking

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 first in the rikrak studio's collections series: 10 & a 1/2 quick questions with a wonderful artist on what they're collecting, (apart from their art supplies! ) hope you'll just love "beach pebbles: with the wonderful annarubyking! "


who (are you?) : My name is Anna, and I'm an Aussie designer living in Athens, Greece.

what (are you collecting?) : I collect beach pebbles.

when (did you start?) : I think I've been collecting the pebbles as long as I've been living in Greece.

how (many do you have?) 49, but that goes up every time I visit the beach.

what (piece would you like to add?) : I'm starting to think about collecting semi precious stones in general, although I fear that could become an expensive addiction and I should probably stick to the pebbles!

what (‘s an interesting story behind one?) : I have a couple of pebbles that are from an active volcano at the island of Santorini. This volcano is thought to be the one that blew up and destroyed Atlantis.

where (do you find them?) : All the ones I have come from beaches here in Greece, but I wouldn't be opposed to foreign pebbles.

where (do you keep them?) : I have some that sit on my bookshelf, and the rest live in a jar. I need to find a pretty bowl or something for them.

why (do you love them?) : I love how each one is a mini time capsule. I wonder about how they got their holes, their different colours and strange patterns over their long long journeys.

which (one is your favourite?) & why? : I have one that has so many holes, almost like a sponge that became a solid rock. I think it's so beautiful and interesting.

what (else do you collect?) : I have a brooch collection, but that is all. Unless shoes count?


i'm an adoring fan of Anna's beautiful paper arts. in fact, her amazing aceo *the walking birds* was my very first purchase on etsy, and our family just adores those adorable, perfect, designerly birdies! i just love her impeccable sense of balance, colour, space, and the repetition of shape she uses so masterfully in her amazing works!

thanks so much for sharing your glorious beach pebble collection with us, Anna! be sure to visit her beautiful shops to see what handmade items of hers you might like to collect for yourself!

have a personal collection of your own that you might like to share with us? please let me know!


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Friday, January 23, 2009

brilliant places to hide!

gosh. i love this set. i first saw it a few weeks ago on designcorner. named *family*, this fabulous work is by designer Kuman Tang. the chairs and table are designed for public spaces, outdoor cafes or anywhere folks need to keep an eye on their goodies! in the family are the Backpack Chair, the Case Chair, the Hanger Chair (each to help hold the namesake!) , and the glass top table has a little compartment underneath to stow tiny items that you can keep an eye on while you visit! brilliant! love it! (little rikrak thought our family could also use "Lego Chair", with an extendable table arm for little kids to build on while the adults visit! great thinking!)
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Thursday, January 22, 2009


heavens! it's cold outside! it's icy & crackly & gorgeous. as i walked over the beautiful bridge this morning i was thrilled to see that the glorious canal was full of tiny little skaters! swervey and lulling and whimical! gorgeous! it looks something like this....

topo in white - set of 4 gift cards


ice and snow jumper




garden bouquet handquilted quilt


so very very beautiful!

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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

a great little giveaway: spreading love!

in honour of the inspiring folks i've been chatting about this week (like pres. obama & the lovely fiveforty!) i'm having a fun little rikrak giveaway!!
TO ENTER: just leave me a comment in this post: who inspires you!

at noon EST on jan. 28th i'll randomly select one entry to win a FREE set of 4 vintage fabric iron-on hearts (to spread some!)... so you can choose your own fabrics and have them in time for valentine's day!! they are lovely little patches that can be ironed-on (no sewing! yay!) to almost anything (a shirt, a onesie, a backpack, a journal, a tote, etc!).... only one entry per person, please.
so... who inspires you! tell us who's spreading love!
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great green-ies: fiveforty

greening.... i find it exciting and hopeful that while there sure are lots of terrible things going on to pollute 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 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!

for me, it's a real honour when i get to meet a wonderful cheerleader: someone who cheers on others and lends encouragement to all! one fabulous cheerleader i've come to admire in the handmade world is the wonderful and generous Pegg of fiveforty! i first met fiveforty in the ever-friendly, daily, Canadian buy n' sell thread in the Etsy Forums. i could fast see her kindess, consideration and warmth emerge thru her friendly posts!

and her amazing eco. art was just beautiful! i was a fast fan! her one--of-a-kind, handmade, handwoven rag rugs are just gorgeous! and to hear her wonderful weaving tales - it just amazes me! her
strength of heart (and strength of body with that rigorous weaving - she's been weaving for over 20 years!) is so inspiring!! and her use of recycled used textiles to make her fabulous rugs, as well as beach pebbles and gemstones in her lovely handmade jewelry, make her a truly great greenie!

so here's to you, pegg! thanks for showing us the beauty in recycling thru your gorgeous rugmaking; your kind kind heart as you inspire your many friends, and your generous soul as you cheerlead your fellow handcrafters! from one of your many fans, thanks! be sure to visit her lovely shop and blog!

and here's an eco.tip from Pegg!

"Our community does not have recycling... pooey... we do compost year round, we garden organically, using our compost. So I recycle our waste vegetable, plant, leaf..matter... and it turns into gorgeous rich wonderfulness for our gardens!"

thanks so much, Pegg! you're a great greenie!
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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

let's celebrate: being inspired!

i'm thrilled! i'm so excited! i'm over the moon!
it's inauguration day in the US - and while i'm Canadian - i know i'm one of many millions, maybe billions of world-citizens thrilled about today, and the hopefullness & happiness that i feel about Barack Obama and what he might mean for us all .. well it really inspires me!

i've been fortunate to have had many amazing, inspiring folks in my life. i hope you have, too! some i'm known well and learned from their great wisdom and hope! (i think here of my amazing parents, my grandparents, & amazing teachers who have shown me grace in the face of peril, and how to live an inspiring life each and every day!)

(hope image by Ben Kimball)

and then there are inspiring folks i've only known & admired from afar... i think of peaceful leaders, gentle & loving heroes, and the folks in our world that spread love and giving over agression & bitterness.

so today i feel that same sort of inspiration. and a hope that we all might feel that twinge of hope for our own journies and for our worlds, too! i feel excitement for our little son that today is a most hopeful kind of day - for his generation, my generation, the palpable joy in my parents' generation, and for my own grandfather, (now 91!) who is amazed & excited to see such a glorious day in his own lifetime!

so let's celebrate! here's to being inspired: to believing we can each make the changes we want for our lives, for our families, for our communities and beyond! who are some inspiring folk in your life? near or far? i'd love to hear! wishing you inspiration!
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Monday, January 19, 2009

with thanks: times 4!

happy monday, nicies! hope it was a great weekend! i'm long overdue with a bunch of thank yous to fabulous folks who have been super-supportive with my rikrak-ing of late! i'm so fortunate to have so many great folks cheering my little makings, but i wanted to say 4 special thanks today before i go any further!!

firstly, so many thanks to all of the lovelies who so kindly include my work in their beautiful treasuries on Etsy. i'm always so excited to see those little yellow or silvery stars in the Treasury! seen here are some of the treasuries that went front page in november & december that included rikrak goodies! so many thanks! i know i missed quite a few in the past month, but thanks so much to those lovelies who let me know! i'm sorry my thanks is so very long overdue! i really really appreciate it!

(please click on the mosaic to see all the various thanks! :)

next up, a superthanks to the lovely folks who've been including me in blog posts & interviews of late! i'm so thankful to you all for your kind words! the most recent is this week's sweet interview by the lovely & talented ThePeachTree, on her beautiful blog. (thanks so much, nicey!)

next up, superthanks to rachael ray magazine for the fun little feature in Everyday with Rachael Ray *faves* in the february edition!! what a fabulous surprise! i had my first exciting foray into print magazines last season, and i'm so honoured!! thanks so much to all of the publishing folks that support handmade & sustainable goodies in their magazines!!!

and last but not least, so many thanks so everyone who has been so kind & friendly about my blogging! i really appreciate it! for all the lovely comments & words & messages: thanks so much! experimenting loves feedback!
(mirror image by junkculture)

so many thanks, nicies! what great cheerleaders you all are!
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