Friday, June 29, 2012

latvia wins!

:: handmade in latvia ::
1st collage
2nd collage
3rd collage
4th collage
5th collage


blast those vuvuzelas!
latvia has WON the 2012 handmade world cup!
after 4000+ votes, latvia has claimed a momentous victory by beating out last year's winner ITALY in the final match of our round robin tournament!

congratulations to the 36 nations that played and voted!
what an amazing world of handcrafters we have!

hope you'll take a few moments to visit some of the fabulous handmaking etsy shops from latvia

you can use the Etsy *shop local* tool and search for the county:

search for cities and towns in latvia, too!


and the victory wouldn't be complete without a funfun contest winner... thanks to, the $30 shopping spree to ANY LATVIAN etsy shop goes to.....

(vuvuzela buzz, please....)
yay! - congrats to efrat of efrat jewelry 
of Israel!

thanks so much to everyone who entered,
and spread the handmaking cheer!

see you next year sweeties!

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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

custom family portraits

how-to cross stitch family portrait via


family is a magical, mysterious thing sometimes, isn't it?
i've been especially inspired this week about how-to depict family artistically thanks to the amazing TIMO handmade

don't you just love this martha stewart project with custom DIY family cross-stitch artworks? wow!

how do you capture your family's unique nature creatively?
we'd love to hear!

AND... speaking of family, congrats to the WINNER of the TIMO handmade $40 gift certificate giveaway #105 jo of *the hungry crafter!* {what a gorgeous blog you have, nicey!}  ... now you can buy your own wonderful handmade family!  

PLUS ... still a little bit of time to enter 2 other great giveaways happening here on the rikrak blog: 

ENTER TO WIN :  the handmade world cup ( a $30 gift certificate giveaway to the Etsy shop of your choice!) - voting for this FINAL ROUND closes thursday!

ENTER TO WIN: the june *i love my sponsors* $25 gift certificate giveaway! 

have a great day, nicies!

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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

sustainable scraps: vegetable gardening with *17 Apart* {how to re-grow bok choy}


Hey there! We are Tim and Mary from 17 Apart — our little corner of the blog world where we love to share the things that make us tick, diy projects, recipes, the antics of our 2 year old weimaraner puppy, and a few surprises from time to time. We hope you’ll stop by and join our adventure.

tim & mary of 17 apart


about the sustainable scraps series: In our constant quest to live and eat in a more sustainable fashion, we have become big fans of learning to grow many different types of foods organically. After moving from a home with a big yard and lots of ground space for our garden, we then moved into a house in the heart of the city (Hey there, fellow Richmonders!) with no yard. Since then, we’ve been forced to think creatively to find vertical solutions in order to grow the same vegetables we once grew in the ground — and now find ourselves with a thriving container garden.

Through this creative gardening challenge, we’ve come across several other ways to grow vegetables both indoors and out right from the scraps of their previous counterparts. We’ve learned how resilient plants can be and we’re really amazed at how all they want to do is thrive to grow. Over the next few weeks we’ll be sharing examples of the vegetables we’ve been able to successfully re-grow into new food and beautiful houseplants.
TODAY: {part 4} : regrowing  bok choy

How to Regrow Bok Choy

Today we’re thrilled to share another windowsill growing project using nothing more than scraps from the vegetables already in your fridge. This time around, it’s Bok Choy’s time to shine.
Similar to way we showed you how celery can be regenerated straight from the base — so can Bok Choy!

Simply slice the base of the Bok Choy as normal and incorporate the leaves into any dish you might be preparing — just don’t throw away that base! 

Place your base bottom-side down in a shallow bowl of water and sit in the windowsill to let it do its thing.

In 1-2 days you will already begin to notice new baby Bok Choy leaves emerging from the center of your base.

Refresh the water in the bowl over about 1 week and then transfer to a soil filled container or plant directly into the ground. 


Make sure not to let the base sit in the water bowl for too long after it sprouts leaves or else it will get slimy and won’t be able to regrow in soil. We speak from experience:


That was a sad day — so we tried again.

Cover with enough soil to nestle the full base with the leaves still emerging.

Continue to water as needed and watch your new Bok Choy grow!

Just like the celery, we’ve found that re-generating Bok Choy can be a quick and fun growing project to take on with minimal effort (so long as you transfer to soil before it gets slimy, haha). We’d be thrilled to know if you plant to try it out and any other growing experiments you might be taking on at the moment!
thanks ever-so-much, tim & mary! 
so delighted to have you nicies on the blog (we're all such fans of your fabulous DIY & handcrafted lives.) peek at tim & mary's  beautiful new home, their gorgeous doggie Basil, & an abundance of mouth-watering recipes as a wee little intro to these inspiring handmaking superstars.
& be sure to tune in soon for the next installment of the 17 apart series: 
sustainable scraps!

what are you growing these days, nicies? 
we'd love to hear!
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Monday, June 25, 2012

proud mommying moments: handmaking, perfectionism & the pioneer farm

pioneer farm project handmade by little rikrak / images by me : kristal davis / rikrak


confession time:
now don't tell anyone, but i can be a super-over-bearing perfectionist-seeker of a mommy! 
i know, you're probably not shocked, right sweeties? :) 

we all want the best for the children in our lives. 
i do too.
but sometimes i'm a meddling mommy
i want to involve myself in every step of every project to make sure it's as perfect as perfect can be. 
i'll admit: that's not always helpful. :)

so here's a proud mommying moment (and handmaking life lesson) i wanted to share with you all...


so little rikrak had a fun school project last month: the pioneer farm.

  • first there was lots of adorable research. (think supercute little-one handwriting!)
  • then trips to various hands-on sites. (feeding cows, visiting pioneer barns, touching great great great great grandfather-made tools. splendid!)
  • then an essay rough copy. edit. & good copy.
  • then practicing a fun interactive presentation.
  • then building a beautiful model.

through all of it... i wanted to get my mommying 2-cents worth in. but the best lesson of all for me? as tough as it might be, let your little ONE shine! 

if you've ever been privy to a child working on a project, i think we can all agree... it's VERY tempting to try and lend a hand (or lend many hands!) , especially as obstacles arise.

but i had personally decided to be the most hands-off, support from the side kinda helper i could be for this project. i could see the excitement in little rikrak's eyes as he brainstormed fabulous idea after fabulous idea, many of which i couldn't have thought of. 
we all have our own fabulous perspectives, don't we?!

needless to say i'm over the moon proud of little rikrak's hard work and creative figurings on his latest life project.

and just look at this wonderful DIY model!
the cute handcut bales of hay.
the fun pipe cleaner oxen yoke.
the handmade, not factory-made or mommy-made wonderfully child-drawn marker lines on the barn roof.
he MADE that. 
what joy there is in that sentiment, for each of us!
many a time i wanted to get in there and "fix" or "alter" or "adjust" something. 

BUT i KNOW there is great learning, and beauty, in the handmade. "imperfections" and all.
it's a value our family shares deeply.
sometimes my quest for perfection as a mommy invades that ethic.
i struggle with it.

i know some day we'll have to dismantle this fabulous model (unless we can build a *museum for everything little rikrak has handmade* 3rd floor addition to our home! mr.rikrak?)

but for now i just look at it all day on my desk and smile.
and best of all: the pride on his face for a project he handmade. that's a wonderful thing, indeed!

isn't it magical when little ones work hard, overcome challenges and see a project thru with vim & vigour.

well done, sweetie pie. i'm so proud of you.
(and don't you love the open-up barn roof and removable hay loft? makes for hours of fun playing, let me tell you!)

did i tell you how i FORCED us to watch little house on the prairie episodes as bonus *research?* LOVE IT!

tell us something you're proud of in your little ones' lives.

how do you step back and let the little ones in YOUR life shine?

yay to handmade families.


pioneer farm project handmade by little rikrak / images by me : kristal davis / rikrak

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Sunday, June 24, 2012

the final match: ROUND E of the 2012 handmade WORLD CUP giveaway!


once upon a time, there were 36 teams.
36 handmaking nations from around the world vying to win the coveted :) handmade world cup!
and now there are 2!

welcome to the 2012 handmade world cup FINAL: ROUND E!!
 thousands of votes have already been cast in the 3rd annual handmaking event (a superfun & friendly celebration cheering on the world of handmade!)

the winning (top-vote-earning) team from each ROUND D match has moved forward.

our final matchup is ....
Latvia vs. Italy! 


:: handmade from latvia ::
 clockwise from top left
now you get to vote all over again!

NOTE: you do NOT need to have voted for the winning team to win. it will be a random draw of all entries!


round A :: 32 teams :: voting june 4-8
round B :: 16 teams :: voting june 9-13
round C :: 8 teams :: voting june 14-18
round D :: 4 teams :: voting june 19-23
round E :: 2 teams :: voting june 24-28
FINAL WINNING TEAM & lucky entry winner 
announced june 29th!


each round of voting counts towards the final drawing of who will WIN the grand prize (a $30 shopping spree in the shop of your choice! same rules as before:
there will be 5 rounds of voting. THIS IS THE LAST ROUND!

NOTE: you do NOT need to have voted for the winning team to win. it will be a random draw of all entries!

:: ROUNDS ::
* the country that receives the most votes each match-up will proceed to the next round! so be sure to VOTE each round to increases your chances!
the PRIZE is a $30 shopping spree in the Etsy shop of your choice, FROM the winning country! so for example: if canada wins the 2012 handmade world cup voting ( i know, it's not gonna happen :) , then the winning entry will spend their $30 prize in ANY canadian-based Etsy shop! :) 
(donated by me, rikrak! :)

woohoo!! each ROUND will be open for voting for approx. 4-5 days. so be sure to get your votes in.

the total number of entries will be the cumulative ballots from round 1+ round 2 + round 3 + round 4 + round 5!

:: PLEASE VOTE via the rafflecopter BOX below ::

you can earn a ballot for EACH match you VOTE on!
---> this ROUND of matches CLOSES june 28th @ 11pm EST

1. vote.
you can vote ONCE in this round. there is only ONE match!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

you can also tweet, do a facebook update, blog about the giveaway, pin it, etc. (please log in to rafflecopter with your email or facebook account to all the ways to enter!) 

one way to enter is also to grab one of my rikrak studio buttons,
like this one 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! }
yay and happy friendly competition, nicies!
yay handmaking around the world!

thanks to everyone who voted in ROUND D. unfortunately, the following teams DID NOT advance: japan and greece. thanks also to all of the other nations who participated in the 2012 handmade world cup: thailand, turkey, canada, england, scotland, sweden,  australia, denmark, france, israel, netherlands, spain, portugal, usa, austria, belgium, brazil, india, ireland, germany,  malaysia, mexico,  new zealand, russia, singapore, south africa, south korea, switzerland.

yay and happy friendly competition, nicies!
yay handmaking around the world!


a) it is possible to have numerous entries total per person.
b) please make sure to leave each entry as its own comment. thanks!
c) as always, this giveaway is open to all contestants, worldwide.
e) the winner of this giveaway will be chosen from on
june 28th 2011 @ 11:01pm EST.
f) please be sure to leave me an email where i can reach you if your account 
doesn't link to one. thanks.
g) the winning random ballot will be chosen from all rounds of voting added together. 
h) thanks so much everyone! and thanks for visiting the blog!


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Friday, June 22, 2012

really great photos: restoring our faith in humanity

"Plaza Cleaners in Portland, OR, helped over 2,000 unemployed workers who couldn't afford dry cleaning. The store's owner estimated that it cost his company $32,000 dollars." via BUZZFEED.


a man carrying stranded kittens to dry land during floods in Cuttack City, India. Image by Biswaranjan Rout / AP



just in case you needed to restore your faith in humanity...

1.  head over to buzzfeed for 2 amazing series of photographs:

2. pass the tissues!

gosh. the power of a photo & the power kindness & generousity amazes me. 

love it.

here's to a beautiful weekend for you, sweeties. 

(thanks to my dear friend ang for these - you inspire, sweetie!)

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