Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Alliday ALLSTAR: Funky Finds!

An Alliday Allstar is an organization or business that has gone above and beyond to aid in making our event a success!  Without them, we would not be able to do what we do!  In addition to artist spotlights, we also showcase our amazing Allstars here!  Read our first spotlight with Unanimous Craft here!

Funky Finds has made easy one of the most difficult tasks for artists and crafters - finding the right shows to apply to.  With their incredibly thorough WORLDWIDE calendar of awesome shows, consider every one of your weekends to now be filled.  Funkily filled, that is.  Not only does Funky Finds produce their own kickin' shows, but they also help promote other shows, provide a virtual marketplace for artists, and SO much more!  Funky Finds gives artists, crafters and shoppers endless possibilities to fulfill their incessant handmade needs.

Who are you? 
Funky Finds (http://funkyfinds.com/) has remained dedicated to promoting independent artists, crafters and designers worldwide since 2006.

Tell us a little about Funky Finds.
Funky Finds offers a variety of services (http://funkyfinds.com/services.html) aimed at helping small business owners promote their work on little to no marketing / advertising budget. The Shops @ Funky Finds (http://funkyfinds.com/theshops) is an online marketplace that is easy to use & affordable. We offer four Shop levels starting at just $1.99 per month. All Shops receive a free web ad, as well.

Where are you located? 
Funky Finds is based out of Jefferson, Texas; however, the majority of our services (aside from Texas-based events) are online and worldwide!
How does being involved in the creative handmade community affect you?
We are extremely passionate about helping independent artisans make a living doing what they are most passionate about. Being a part of the handmade community is a dream come true!

What are your favorite handmade items to shop for? 
We love unique artwork, jewelry, and accessories. It's also great to purchase hand-crafted pet goods, as well as bath and body products.
What are you most looking forward to at Alliday? 
Sadly, Funky Finds will not be in attendance at this awesome event. But we know it will be amazing and we will be there in spirit!


What is your favorite holiday tradition? 

Decorating the tree is a favorite tradition because we get to see all our handmade ornaments that have been collected and created over the years.


What holiday do you wish was everyday and why? 

Christmas would be a great one to have every day, because generally people are so happy and filled with true holiday spirit.
If you could create a new holiday, what would it be and why?



Funky Finds day, of course! Then nobody would be funky lost…everyone would be funky found!!!

Stay funky!
Jessica Dougherty

Alliday Artist: Meet be Mary by Hand!

Tell us a little about yourself and your business.
I have been married to my husband for 5 and ½ years and have a daughter, Hazel and son, Drake.  I am a stay-at-home mom, my family and I are raising support to be missionaries to Berlin, Germany to work with a church plant called RESETBerlin.  I was inspired to start creating by my Grandma Mary (for whom I named my shop).  She was an excellent painter, she sewed, crocheted, and her house was filled with so many of her creations.   After she passed away the most precious and desired objects to be divvied up between her four daughters were the things she had made.  I want to have that kind of legacy for my family.  I want to fill my home with handmade things and offer others the same opportunity.  Any object that can be reasonably handmade, for my family, needs to be.

What do you create and what do YOU love about your products.
I desire to create anything for the home: tea towels, napkins, wash cloths, pillows, curtains, etc.  I also have a passion for custom, unique dolls.  I am so proud of my dolls, which I sell as play sets.  Each doll  has a persona (i.e. princess, hippie, pirate), two accessories/toys, and they all come together in a tote bag.  I think children should be introduced to and grow to love handmade and unique toys.  I also desire to be able to repurpose materials that have lost their luster or are waiting to be thrown away and turn them into something else.  I like to use old sweaters, or sheets, or rescue anything usable from a future in a landfill.  I hate to waste things and I love to give dead things new life.  I simply love to create useful and unique homemade objects and I want my handmade items to be an available and a viable option instead of mass produced, cookie cutter housewares.
Where do you find inspiration?
I love the vintage styles of the 40's, 50's, and 60's.  Something about a simpler, slower lifestyle is very appealing to me.  My Grandma Mary always had excellent taste, I love to imagine what she would have owned or made or loved, and then start sewing.  I also find inspiration from actually sewing clothes from vintage patterns.  It seems like the more vintage objects I have around me, the more I desire to create. 

The Alliday show believes that everyday should be celebrated as a holiday!  That being said, which holiday do you wish were everyday and why?
I am not sure if it counts, but I think I would choose my birthday.  There is something special about being celebrated by those you love.  It's not necessarily receiving a present, but just the general goodwill you receive from people, even complete strangers when you tell them it is your birthday. You can even get free cake or pie at restaurants! 

If you create your own holiday, what would it be and why?
I love the entire Fall/Winter holiday season, and I think instead of trying to spread another holiday into a different part of the year I would just add to the Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year cluster.  I'd do it in the middle of October, a couple weeks before Halloween, to celebrate the beginning of Fall.  It would be a Monday (like Labor and Memorial Days) where most businesses close and people would attend Fall Festivals all together.  Families would take special long-weekend trips to Grandma's house to bob for apples, carve pumpkins, and be active outside.

What is your favorite holiday tradition?
I don't know if I have a specific favorite holiday tradition yet, but now that I am a mother I really do enjoy trying to build a set of holiday (specifically Christmas) traditions for my children that are unique to our nuclear family.  I want them to have things to look forward too aside from gifts and consumerism.  
How would you describe your work in three words?
Simple. Purposeful. Personal.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Alliday Artist: Meet Red Fawkes!

Tell us a little about yourself and your business.
Red Fawkes consists of two principle designers - myself (Christy Collins) and Rachel Campbell.  Rachel and I met in the design studio, back in college, almost a decade ago.  The years haven’t changed us a bit; we still work until 3am, we still spend hours in a fabric store and we hardly ever leave a salvage yard empty-handed.

The idea for Red Fawkes was conceived in a coffee shop last year.  Rachel and I share a passion for philanthropy, and to feed that fire, we both volunteer our design services to various charities.  Developing a ‘socially awear’ design studio just seemed like a natural transition in our careers.  Right now we are working with Veterans’ Families United Foundation (VFU).  Red Fawkes and VFU partnered up to create something light-hearted, something simple, something that would tell a story…something that would reach the spirits of the children belonging to service member parents.  We created the Woodstock the Pig line.  This line focuses around a piggy bank therapy tool that promotes open communication and family togetherness.  Red Fawkes expanded on that concept and created a fun apparel and accessory line available for purchase by the public.  Proceeds from the Woodstock the Pig line go to VFU to help fund their mission to provide holistic healing resources for service members and their families.

Even though Red Fawkes specializes in non-profit design, we run a private line of handmade Red Fawkes products that are created with love – that tickle our soul.

What do you create and what do YOU love about your products?
We love that we are storytellers – every design, every product is more than just what you see on the surface; there is a history and a purpose to each design; every piece is part of the journey. 

Red Fawkes sells hand-screened children’s apparel, custom jewelry and photography prints.  We strive to create (or-recreate) products that have a positive impact on the lives of everyone involved.  We source only US manufacturers for our custom metal work and only use local vendors for our supplies.  We look for material of the past to re-create something in the present.  We recycle.
Where do you find inspiration?
Everywhere.  Just this last weekend, Rachel and I were rummaging through a salvage yard looking for pieces, colors and materials to be used for new designs.  I have a weakness for rust.  There is something about the journey a rusty piece has to take to get that beautiful aesthetic look that makes the appearance to me so appealing.  The colors – oranges, blues, greens, reds, silvers, golds – the textures; the layers of complexity and age.  My favorite pieces usually have been left outside to face the elements completely exposed.  I just think it takes a lot of living to produce something of substance.

The Alliday Show believes that everyday should be celebrated as a holiday! That being said, which holiday do you wish were everyday and why?
Love, love, love Halloween!  Its just so fun – costumes, candy, parties and jack-o-lanterns.  What other holiday gives you a free ticket to hit up your neighbor’s house to satisfy your chocolate craving? 
If you could create your own holiday, what would it be and why?
It would be completely awesome if Red Fawkes could start a trend to celebrate ‘Key-Day’.

Key-Day would be a day where the custom is to exchange an old skeleton key with someone special.  With the key being a physical representation that ‘unlocks’ something meaningful in the exchange – like, giving away the key to your heart, the key to your home, the key to your success, etc. - the key to that opens a door to a new world.

What is your favorite holiday tradition?
Holiday greeting cards.


How would you describe your work in three words?
Industrial
Raw
Soulful

Monday, November 28, 2011

Alliday Artist: Meet NancyLand!

Tell us a little about yourself and your business.
I'm Nancy Terry. Daughter of a fine seamstress, Grandaughter of a Quilter and seamstress, who was also a rag picker. Nothing was wasted. Indulged in art as a child. I've been sewing since I was a child. I also love to draw.     
What do you create and what do YOU love about your products?
I make hats and accessories. I love hats and could never afford what I wanted so I taught myself. Over many years of development I find my hats to be very wearable. It is only in the last year I have begun to make Facinators. I call mine Tantilizers and they can be pure expressions of fun!
  
Where do you find inspiration?
Fabrics, textures and colors. Vintage and modern shapes. My friends!
The Alliday Show believes that everyday should be celebrated as a holiday! That being said, which holiday do you wish were everyday and why?
Thanksgiving. A time to celebrate what we have, who we are and our conection to each other.                                                                                                                                                                  
   
If you could create your own holiday, what would it be and why?
World Peace Day. A day when all conflict everywhere would halt and everyone would celebrate what every human being has to offer.
What is your favorite holiday tradition?
Handmade toys for Angel tree girls and boys.
  
How would you describe your work in three words?     
Fun, practical, conversational!
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Saturday, November 12, 2011

Alliday Artist: Meet Buffalo Blue Designs!

Tell us a little about yourself and your business.
My name is Allyson Bailey Wilmowski and I live and design in St. Louis, MO. Following an
unexpected liver transplant in 2004, my life changed dramatically as did the way I think
about life in general and the world around us. My now philosophy, that each day is a gift
that shouldn't be wasted, allowed me to adjust my plans and instead of attending law
school like I’d intended, I got a Masters in Textile and Apparel Management from Mizzou
in Columbia, MO. From there, I decided that I needed to find a career that I loved, so I
began making jewelry and fun headbands, hats and accessories for first myself and
friends. When other people started asking if they could buy things, I knew I’d found the
right place for me. Buffalo Blue Designs was born soon after and is in constant evolution.
I’m always trying to do something new and ways to make old things brand new again.


What do you create and what do YOU love about your products?
Buffalo Blue Designs is wearable art. Handmade in St. Louis, MO, most designs feature
upcycled elements in uncommon arrangements. All are thought provoking, eye-catching
and beautiful in their own ways. Buffalo Blue specializes in handmade precious and
semi-precious stone and antique skeleton key jewelry, wearable art accessories
including hand-blocked millinery hats and accessories featuring feathers and vintage
accents, as well as other wearables. Our best sellers, though, are by far the one-of-akind
collar scarves utilizing upcycled/recycled designer neckties. The majority of designs
are one-of-a-kind and all are made by hand.

I take something old and make it new again-- 95% of my pieces utilize recycled goods
and nearly all are one of a kind. I've found that customers really enjoy the individual
nature of my designs; especially when giving gifts!


Where do you find inspiration?
I find inspiration everywhere. A shape, a color palette, a pattern—I’m very visual which
helps with my designs. I get asked a lot why I work with ties and I always answer that
the patterns fascinate me. My favorite part of my “job” is pairing ties that one wouldn’t
think would work together, but when I stitch them it’s unexpected, but feels so right.


The Alliday Show believes that everyday should be celebrated as a holiday!
That being said, which holiday do you wish were everyday and why?
I’d have to say Christmas because it always brings my family and friends together. It’s
the only holiday we celebrate all together every year. Tradition is important to me and
sharing it with my family and friends each year allows us to make slight changes
(sometimes unintentional) that make each Christmas somehow better and more
memorable than the last!


If you could create your own holiday, what would it be and why?
Because of my liver transplant, I never take a day for granted. I wholeheartedly agree
with the Alliday theme—every day is a holiday when you think about it. I do admit I
celebrate two birthdays every year though; Mine and my new liver’s.
What is your favorite holiday tradition?
As a family, we always go out and cut our own Christmas tree from my Parents’ farm on
Christmas Eve. Then we decorate the tree, wrap presents and eat yummy snacks until
its time to sleep so Santa can come. The smell of fresh evergreens always takes me
there no matter what time of year.

How would you describe your work in three words?
Fashion-forward, upcycled, unique
Twitter: @Buffalo_Blue

Alliday Artist: Meet Sharing Seeds of Hope!

Tell us a little about yourself and your business.
I have only lived in Tulsa for 2 years, but it felt like “home” from the very beginning. This small town girl from Missouri is having a blast with city life here in Oklahoma. I have a hard time throwing things away because I always think to myself, “I could probably use this for something later.” I knew I was in trouble when I was cutting apart an empty tissue box becaue I could just see the design working well on a Christmas card some day. I've also been known to cut apart friends' wedding invitations (after the fact!) to re-use the pretty designs.

What do you create and what do YOU love about your products?
I make greeting cards, hand-bound books, and have been learning to make use of my hand-me-down Singer sewing machine. Making cards & paper creations is therapeutic for me & has provided me with an outlet to be creative, and use up bits & pieces of scrap papers I have been hoarding saving for a special purpose.

Where do you find inspiration?
Most of my cards are made with cardstock & craft paper. I try using reclaimed paper when I can, and I often use random scraps of paper I’ve cut for accents & embellishments on cards. So browse my shop & enjoy!

This year I discovered the thrill of digging through dusty thrift store shelves for vintage postcards. Some of them were mailed over 100 years ago!

The Alliday Show believes that everyday should be celebrated as a holiday! That being said, which holiday do you wish were everyday and why?
I love the magic & hopeful anticipation that comes with the Christmas season. Wouldn't it be grand if we could celebrate that peace & joy with share at Christmastime with each other every day?

If you could create your own holiday, what would it be and why?
I am a firm believer that everyone should be highly celebrated on their birthday. You should have that day off from work & most other responsibilities to do whatever your little heart desires. I just think it's so great that we each get one day out of all the others that is especially about us. (Though it is probably for the best that we only get one day like that!)


What is your favorite holiday tradition?
There are two. First is that we always go to a Christmas Tree Farm in Tahlequah, OK to cut down our tree with some friends of ours that we don't get to see often enough. And we celebrate after with pizza at Sam & Ella's.

The second one is that my husband proposed on St. Patrick's Day with a fondue dinner. We like to celebrate St. Patty's Day with a homemade fondue picnic each year. It is a fun way to remember that special moment!

How would you describe your work in three words?
simple repurposed treasures

Alliday Artist: Meet S.E.P. Designs!

Tell us a little about yourself and your business.
My name is Sarah or Suzie as my husband calls me. I am from Tulsa and have been crafting all of my life it seems. Early this year I decided to take some time off work to stay home with my daughter and get some career perspective. I immediately started working on designing and creating lampshades that had been in the back of my mind for months. 6 months later, I’m still having fun and enjoying the creative outlet. Professionally, I’m an Interior Designer and also do lots of free lance graphic design. So I pretty much love to create all the way around.

What do you create and what do YOU love about your products?
I create one-of-a-kind lampshades that can be used as d├ęcor, transformed into a pendant fixture or even used on a traditional table lamp. I LOVE this because I get to use old, cast off lampshades and give them new life. There is also no limit to what you can use when you think outside the box and I love seeing how things come together in an organic way.
Where do you find inspiration?
Everywhere, everyday. I just try and soak it all in and when I sit down to create and design it all comes back to me. 

The Alliday Show believes that everyday should be celebrated as a holiday! That being said, which holiday do you wish were everyday and why?
Valentines Day, I think we all take our loved ones for granted a lot, especially those of us who have great husbands/wives. I think we all need to slow down and deliberately show our loved ones how much they mean on a daily basis.

If you could create your own holiday, what would it be and why?
I would create a slow down day. It would be a day in which we just spent with our loved ones, enjoying a day without obligations to meet and meetings to attend. Life moves at such an insane pace these days, I think we all miss so much. It would be great to have a day to just slow down and enjoy life.

What is your favorite holiday tradition?
I love going to the Christmas Train with my family every year!
How would you describe your work in three words?
Eclectic, Delightful, Unexpected

Alliday Artist: Meet The Peaceful Housewife!

Tell us a little about yourself and your business.
I’m a mom of 2 who loves to connect with people through meeting their needs.  At The Peaceful Housewife, we teach families how to make their own household cleaners and laundry detergent and we also make our handmade cleaners and products available for purchase.

What do you create and what do YOU love about your products?
I create amazing handmade household cleaning products that don’t harm the environment or your health.  We create laundry detergent, spray cleaners, bug spray, foaming soaps, room and linen sprays and more.  I absolutely love being able to help a family who has a difficult time finding laundry detergent that doesn’t irritate sensitive skin and doesn’t break the budget.  Seeing the smiles on their faces when they realize that they can have a quality detergent for as little as $40 a year makes my whole day.
Where do you find inspiration?
I find inspiration from my customers and readers.  I am truly interested in hearing about the products that they need and finding solutions for them.

The Alliday Show believes that everyday should be celebrated as a holiday! That being said, which holiday do you wish were everyday and why?
I love Christmas.  I love celebrating the true meaning of Christmas, spending time with my family, watching my children open their gifts and the spirit of love and closeness that Christmas brings.
If you could create your own holiday, what would it be and why?
If I could create my own holiday, I would make a National Celebrate Recovery day.  Celebrate Recovery is an amazing faith-based 12 step program to help people heal from their hurts, habits and hang-ups.  I wish more people knew the freedom and healing they could experience through Celebrate Recovery. 

Recovery isn’t just for people who are addicted to alcohol and drugs.  It’s for the wife who can’t let go of the hurtful words from her husband.  It’s for the son or daughter who never felt love from their parents.  It’s for the mom who finds herself unable to get past her anger and frustration over her children’s behavior.  It’s for me.

What is your favorite holiday tradition?
I think my favorite holiday tradition is cooking and baking.  My Granny was an amazing woman who took such pride in baking and cooking for our holiday dinners.  I feel close to her as I’m making pie crusts and mashing potatoes and puttering in the kitchen.

How would you describe your work in three words?
Fun, practical, relevent


Alliday Artist: Meet Story Builder Toys!

Tell us a little about yourself and your business.
We're a husband and wife team who started our business shortly after the birth of our son. At the time the news was full of stories about recalls and lead and BPA so it was a scary time to be a new parent. Suddenly everything was dangerous.

We decided that the best way to know our son's toys were safe would be to make them ourselves, people liked our designs so much that we decided to make a business of it.

What do you create and what do YOU love about your products?
We create handmade wooden and fabric toys. We love seeing the look on kid's faces when they spot out toys at craft shows. They just light up when they see that there is something there for them.
Where do you find inspiration?
From our son, he is the driving force behind all that we do and if a toy survives his 'playtesting' then we know it's a keeper.

The Alliday Show believes that everyday should be celebrated as a holiday! That being said, which holiday do you wish were everyday and why?
Definitely Christmas, there is just a special feeling to the whole season that really resonates with us. Any holiday that stresses kindness and joy in today's world is worth celebrating everyday.


If you could create your own holiday, what would it be and why?
An extra Thanksgiving spinoff where you get all the food and thankfulness while spending time with your family, but you don't have to get up to go shopping the next day. It would be sometime in the summer.

What is your favorite holiday tradition?
Baking together as a family.
How would you describe your work in three words?
Fun, Adorable, Impressive

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Alliday ALLSTAR: Unanimous Craft

An Alliday Allstar is an organization or business that has gone above and beyond to aid in making our event a success!  Without them, we would not be able to do what we do!  In addition to artist spotlights, we'll also be showcasing our amazing Allstars here!

Unanimous Craft is our first of this series and could possibly have taken on the most daunting task any crafter could think of - organizing the crafting community!  I can't even imagine taking on a job like that but am thankful that someone else has!  And has done so in an effective manner!  Their comprehensive website can delightfully suck you in for hours with an endless supply of resources, craftologists, and more.  So go, play around for a bit, list your own resources and discover the wonder that is Unanimous Craft.  You can thank me later - Briana
Who are you?
Rosalie Gale (and sometimes a Hedgehog dressed in an Artichoke Costume)
Tell us a little about your business.
I run a website called Unanimous Craft. It's kind of like Yelp for crafters. You can add helpful resources to the site and then you and other crafters can vote on how useful they are. You can also create listings for your own shops and ask customers to review you. The more good reviews you get - the higher you rank in our popularity contest: http://www.unanimouscraft.com/popularity-contest/top-rated

People can also compile lists of resources (http://www.unanimouscraft.com/lists) that can be shared with friends. It's a good way to share info like, "The 50 best ways to market your Etsy shop for free" or "Annual craft shows in our city." 

Unanimous Craft also has an event calendar (http://www.unanimouscraft.com/events/calendar) that just launched recently. If you run a show - add your event to the calendar for additional free publicity. 

Premium Memberships (http://www.unanimouscraft.com/products) are also available on Unanimous Craft. For $60/year you get a robust profile on the site that links to all your shops and social networks. Your profile is randomly shown on the home page each time it is refreshed. You get discounts on additional advertising on the site and are entered to win a monthly contest for a free ad.
Where are you located? 
Seattle, WA
I also sell Shower Art - Waterproof art you can hang in your shower with a suction cup. Or anywhere else. We're no dictators. 
You can see examples of them in my Etsy shop: Uglybaby. 

How does being involved in the creative handmade community affect you?
I have really become inspired by makers and creative entrepreneurs of all kinds. I love going to shows and seeing all the wonderful and crazy things that people think up. I love seeing the huge crowds at shows buying up all those wonderful and crazy things. It makes me feel better about humanity.

What are your favorite handmade items to shop for?
My latest phase: great headbands. 

What is your favorite holiday tradition?
My husband and I are normally so wiped out by the holiday craft show circuit that we don't plan anything. Ahhhhhh... Last year we started a new tradition called Nestmas. We had a friend come over and we all wore pajamas. Each of us got a pillow and a comforter and we snuggled on the couch while watching a bunch of movies. Nice! I'm looking forward to doing that again this year. 

What holiday do you wish was everyday and why?
I never wish holidays were everyday. Never. Can you imagine going through all the expense and setup Every Day? Noooooooooooo!

If you could create a new holiday, what would it be and why?
Well. I think we've got a really good start on Nestmas. I'm going with that. 

Where can we find you?