Monday, May 31, 2010

the ekphrastic challenge { part four } : mondrian


it's a tour de force, superstars!
the 3rd round of the ekphrastic challenge was met with fabulous nominations and suggestions! i just loved seeing your artistic interpretations of the art & the tones that create it!

so as requested: round #4!

and today, we're ADDING a TWIST to the challenge .. read on!

for challenge 4 we're oohing and aahing Piet Mondrian's famous Composition with Yellow, Blue and Red painting, courtesy of the Tate Gallery.

i just love the lines, the shapes, the balance of fresh tones here. splendid!

so, here's the challenge for you:

using the idea of ekphrasis , a "graphic or artistic description/representation of a visual work of art." study the colours of the painting above. for THIS challenge, i'd also like you to study the linear feel and focus on the shapes therein!

then leave a link here to a handmade item of yours, (or anothers) that is inspired by these colours + SHAPES! (there's the twist - i know you can do it, nicies!)

in about a week, i'll compile the suggestions and post them as our 4th ekphrastic response! just keep in mind, i'm looking for handmade works that fit the colour-palette & the lines and shapes of this piece! thanks!

can't wait to see what you come up with!

and may your day be filled with gorgeous tones!
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Friday, May 28, 2010

what are we reading?

the book collection print by LolasRoom


happy friday, lovelies!
well it's been a busy week: cheerleading, etsy-mini parties, building my pretend dream home.

so i thought we'd celebrate friday by taking a few moments to relax, put up our feet, and hear what you're reading these days.
tell us!
& waddaya think of it so far?

hope your weekend is filled with great stories, nicies!

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Thursday, May 27, 2010

my pretend home: {element 1} the glass wall

glass wall via


glass wall home by john lautner architects via


the frank lloyd wright fallingwater home


it may be all the lego fantasy homes i build these days or my happy chance to work-from-home every day, but gosh i could day-dream away a week or two designing my dream home in my mind! so here's a fun new feature on the blog: my pretend home. each installment focusing on a fun designerly element i adore.

i'd love to hear an element from yours too!
yay dreams!


element one: the glass wall

walls of glass ... practical in a home design? not likely.
a life without curtains feasible? hardly.
would i really like the non-privacy of it all for the family rikrak? doubtful.

but oooh oooh oooh the natural-light lovin' photographer in me would love to have walls of beautiful glass that look out onto inspiring scenes.
{yes - i think the precursor of the glass walled dream home is a visually inspiring view - otherwise eek to that!}

love the fresh, modern, minimalist stylings of these lovelies. suits me just fine!

think 1960's californian oceanside glass home with a dash of the frank lloyd wright fallingwater house meets urban city loft-o-light with lots and lots of windows.

there... now i've got my walls up!
how 'bout you?

play along!
what's one element you'd love in your dream home?


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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

the rikrak etsy-mini-a-thon!

gosh... i feel ever-so-thankful that all of you nicies cheer me on here with kind comments, super messages, wonderful features and more.

so i've been thinking... how can i showcase all of the talent of my lovely friends & readers?

so here it is.... with thanks, a permanent new side-bar feature that will link to YOUR etsy shops, or online handmaking sites!

if you're a rikrak subsciber, reader, or follower, i'd like to feature YOUR shop, so visitors to the blog can see what nicies (& how talented!) you all are!

all you have to do is:

1. create the html for your ETSY MINI (it's super easy) & link to it here below in the comments!
{an etsy mini is a little peek into your shop for all to see on another website!)

a) sign into etsy.
(i suggest opening more then one tab on your browser so you can toggle back and forth!)

b) go to *YOUR ACCOUNT*
c) scroll down the page,
and on the left hand column find & click *Etsy mini* under the *Promote* section.

d)  click/choose *items from my shop*
e)  click/choose *thumbnail*
f)  PLEASE CHOOSE 5 columns & 1 row.
(this is the format i'd like ALL of them to appear in please - it's a horizontal listing of 5 of your etsy shop items, as seen in my example above.)

2. a javascript code will appear in the box below your choices. please copy and paste this text into an email. SEND it to me at with the title *etsy mini*

3. i will then include your shop in *my talented talented friends* permanent post page (AND my current GIVEAWAY! ends oct. 7th)... visitors to my blog can visit it for a constant listing of what my lovely readers are making & selling!

4. i'll be updating the list with new folks every few days to start. depending on how many folks sent theirs in, i may re-organize or rotate them, too!

5. aren't yet a rikrak reader or follower? never too late to join the fun! subscribe or follow today!

6. follow but don't have an etsy shop? i'm also happy to take a 150 x 150 button image from your non-etsy creative shop. include the coded button link in an email to me instead! thanks so much!

thanks for being such amazing, inspiring folks and for all you do to cheer me on with your great ideas, kind words and wonderful work, nicies!
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my talented, talented friends.

thanks to all of the wonderful, creative folks
who have handmade
the rikrak studio community!

this is an periodically updated list of those nicies!

{visit here to have your shop included, too!}


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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

hire a cheerleader!


update ---> book your package before april 1st, and i'll give you a free month of advertising on my blog! woohoo!


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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3 MORE fabulous winners!

first up, congrats to the winner of the BananaSaurusRex eco baggie giveaway: #29 ... margo b! i love how mommy margo mentioned that she loves to wet felt togther with her little sweetie! what a great idea for little hands, nicey! you've got a lucky little baby there who has such a handmaking-loving/eco friendly mommy as you, margo!

next up, congrats to the winner of claire & me kids clothing prize pack is ... #104 ... tara of taming the bookshelf blog! what a superfun blog! it's filled with great book reviews, book giveaways and everything any fun-loving bookworm needs to fill their day with wonderful words! love it!

finally for today, congrats to the winner of the babongo home eco mobile giveaway: #15 L'accent Nou. what gorgeous handcrafted jewelry she makes! take a look at one of the rings from her *abstract collection!* ... just gorgeous, nicey! yay!

so there we have it!
3 more fabulous winners!
3 more fabulous giveaways!

the FINAL kids week giveaway ends TODAY ... so hurry over and enter to win!

happy tuesday, nicies!

i'm working on another post FUN for today, so i'll be back in a few hours with something fun & new new new you're not gonna wanna miss!

see you then!
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Monday, May 24, 2010


spring tulip handpulled lino cut by peaseblossomstudio


happy victoria day weekend, nicies!
here in canada we're enjoying a sunny sunny long weekend holiday, and in ottawa, we're wrapping up our national tulip festival, a celebration of, among other things, you guessed it, those beautiful beautiful springtime flowers.

so i wish you all a day FILLED with colour & celebration, whether you're holidaying or not. we'll be picnicing, playing & firework cheering!

see you tomorrow for more winners from our KIDS WEEK giveaways (one last one to enter here) and lots of sunshiney fun.

what are you up to today, holidaying or otherwise?



needlepoint pillow via haven vintage

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Friday, May 21, 2010

handmade sister cities { part 6 } : bangkok, thailand & washington, DC, USA

row one
HOWEVER: bangkok
unhingedknitter: washington
Ananya: bangkok

row two
shoofly: washington
petitac: bangkok
BeadSiam: bangkok
shaunleighonline: washington

row three
shannispishak: washington (oops! sorry - the *other* washington!)
norah jewelry: bangkok
lovahandmade: washington
Mamadressingroom: bangkok

row four
aftershowershop: bangkok
artsharkdesigns: washington
coolsisters: washington


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 6 }


bangkok, thailand & washington, dc, usa

reading the news of late, it's with a heavy heart that i see the turmoil and strife that beautiful Thailand is coping with these days. a few years ago, mr.rikrak & i called Thailand home for while, and it is without a doubt my favourite place to visit in the
whole wide world.

so today's sister city post is a big hug to all of our dear friends there, and a big *fingers crossed* that peace will come again soon to that area.

i've been lucky to have spent time in both of today's capital cities, and love them both. what especially stands out to me today about the similarity of bangkok & washington are the
a) amazing architectural wonders and b) the fantastic history alive in both cities.

and i think you'll just love the creative makings by both featured here today!

have you been to either/both of these handmade sister cities?
tell us your favourite parts/neighbourhoods/delights/sights!
we'd love to hear!

happy handmaking, bangkok + washington.
have a good good weekend, lovelies.

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Thursday, May 20, 2010

my favourite things: the comeback of the dandelion

fields + fields of dandelions, photo by me.

now i know i'm gonna make some enemies with this one, but gosh, i love dandelions.

here in ontario this year there has been a rebirth of the poor, lowly dandelion flower.
last weekend as we drove across beautiful southern ontario back roads, we were amazed with the fields and fields and fields of beautiful sunshiney yellow dandelions! everywhere.

without scientific proof, i'm pretty sure the Ontario government's cosmetic pesticide ban, in effect since 2009's earth day, is the happy culprit behind this BIG change! so yay to that!

i LOVE it!

at least in my lifetime the dandelion has been seen as a pesky pesky weed. it's my bold hope that the next generation of ontarioans will grow up to love the dandelion as a springtime wildflower, (and yummy edible!) instead.

hoping for too much??!

i've never been one for a perfectly manicured lawn (you should see ours! heavens!) and so i'm especially overjoyed with the comeback of the yellowy underdog!

how about you?
the dandelion: love it or hate it?
ever cook/create/use dandelions for medicinal reasons?
tell us!


fields + fields of dandelions, photo by me.

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lucky numbers 80, 427, and 51!

well it's like a bonanza of winnings here on the blog this week! yippee to that!

we've still got 4 superFUN KIDS WEEK giveaways to draw, so hurry on over to each of those to enter! yay!


1. ends today! --> WIN 6 REusable snack baggies by BananaSaurusRex, here.
2. ends tomorrow! --> WIN a kids prize pack from Claire & Me, here.
3. WIN a beautiful eco mobile from Babongo Home, here.
4. WIN a fabulous eco-softie by Shiny Happy World, here.


now... let's see who are lucky winners are today!

thanks so much to everyone who participated! and thanks to for the numbers!

first up, the winner of the moozlehome stuffie giveaway is #80.... samy of princess samy: love love love this great vintage shop. i think i need those kind of FUN red dancing shoes! woowee! congrats nicey!

next up.... thanks to the amazing cheers for all of my lovely sponsors! congrats to #427 who WON the *i love my sponsors* shopping spree giveaway! the lucky winner is AC ... of adina illustrations!

isn't her work lovely?
adorable illustrations for the home, the kiddies, fashion and more! check it out!

you've won yourself a $25 shopping spree! wee!!!!

and our third LUCKY winner today is #51... gingerale shop .... who has won the *my beautiful girl designs* prize pack! another supercute shop!

just love her children's outfits! so very very sweet! check them out!

gosh - we sure do have a lot of talented folks reading the rikrak studio blog!
cheers to that!

so be sure to enter the remaining 4 giveaways!

and superthanks to everyone.

yay giveaways!
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