Sunday, June 28, 2009

Results, new pieces and upcoming events

-Hillary is sad to announce that we did not win the Retro Handmade Team Challenge, but is proud to have lost to such a worthy opponent. In fact, the item that won is the one that Hillary voted for.

-We wanted to let you know that we posted a new necklace on our etsy shop tonight.

-Hopefully soon, we will begin interviewing other artists from our team and asking them all kinds of great questions about creativity and inspiration. Don't worry, these won't be boring "I am interviewing my teammates because I supposed to interviews." In fact, this isn't a team requirement, but we really like to share ideas and get other people's perspectives, so we thought this would be a great way to do that and share it with all of you!

-Last but not least, Hillary Wanted to let you know about another type of creative endeavor that she is involved in. Hillary is teaching an adult tap dance class at Grebel Dance in Pelham. Hillary says that the class is great for beginners who want to learn the basics of rhythm and sound, but is still challenging for more experienced dancers. Please contact Grebel Dance via the contact info on thier website for more details.

Have a Happy Hippy week and a great 4th of July!

Saturday, June 20, 2009


Hillary attended a gaming convention recently and it sparked some thoughts she wanted to share here.

On memorial Day Weekend, my husband and I attended Play On Con, a local gaming and fandom convention here in Birmingham. We even managed to get some Fame out of it. This picture was on the front page of the "local" section of our area newspaper. I thought it was great that we were in the paper, and great that the convention got coverage, but feel thtat the news could have approached the article differently.

I wrote a letter to the editor because I Felt that the convention was not fairly represented in the article. I have always felt strongly that being different and having diverse interests is never a bad thing--it shows up in my hairstyles, my art and everything I do. I felt it unfortunate that the news chose to use words like "wannabe" and "wierdos" in their article.

In truth we are all wannabe's of sorts. We all want to be accepted. The convention was a whole weekend of people hanging out with each other and accepting people for who they are. However, for some reason, the news chose to highlight the differences between participants and whomever they percieve the rest of the world to be occupied by.

In addition to their unfortunate choice of language and tone, They completely missed the boat on highlighting some independent artists, dealers, and, even a local board game company. The open gaming room featured representatives of game companies including Tony from The Birmingham Gameological Institute, a local company producing great games more or less out of a basement. The dealer room had vendors and artists who depend on people coming in and buying things to pay the rent. Not to mention, there were some very talented crafters and artists in the dealer room including a woman who knit pacman hats, someone who made beautiful, complex jewelry and a chainmail artisan. I regret that I do not have their names to give you now, although I will try to get those as well as a picture of the gorgeous, eclectic looking and utterly cool chain mail necklace I bought there.

I have always been proud of who I am-- an artist, a dancer, a crafter, a nerd, a wife, a hippie, and a dog mother. If you're a musician, an engineer, a number cruncher, a geek, a jock, or whatever, you should be proud. I just wish the Birmingham News had chosen to help us be proud of who we are without having to fight stereotypes and misconceptions. I know who I am and I know that it's beautiful, but I shouldn't have to be nervous about co-workers seeing my picture in the paper next to an article about a gaming convention. It's just the type of article the news chose to write that causes those little butterflies everytime I tell someone that I'm into video games or board games.

One more quick note on the subject, I would like to give kudos to CBS42 here in Birmingham, who ran a great segment on the convention, highlighting some of the more fun events of the weekend without any judgemental language or tone... In fact, they made it sound like it might be fun for the general public! Big thanks goes out to them!

Whatever it is you have planned for the week, and whoever you are, have fun and be proud. We'll see you next week.
Being an artisan can be demanding. It's a fun kind of demanding because it allows you to create what you love, get recognized and sometimes get paid from it. But sometimes, the creative juices just don't flow, and you really need them to because if you don't keep a steady stream of pieces in your shop, it will look inactive and no one will pay attention to it. Even if you're not trying to sell, sometimes you can be driven to create more than your brain can hold or create things you don't have the materials or skill for. Or maybe you just don't have time, which is what happened to use this week.
We had tons of ideas for blogs posts and Hillary said she had several ideas for great patriotic earrings, but it's the week of the fourth and we have been incredibly busy. So unfortunately, those great ideas will have to wait for another day.

However, we did want to let you know that our Retro Deco Pin was in theRetro Handmade team blog "Friday Flickr Finds"this week! We Were very happy to be featured! We see you all next week!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Team reccommendations

We visited the sites of some of our Retro Handmade teammates and found a few items that both struck our fancy and matched some of our own favorite pieces.

We thought this "French Blue Cami" by Falling Leaf Designs would go great with our "Solblom" necklace.

Both the Celestrine necklace and this "Blue and Brown Cassette Headband" by Dcartesianos feature the same great bright blue color.

We think that Lidd Designs' "Serendipity", an olive colored mini hat, and our "Retro Deco Pin" almost look like they were made to go together.

Falling Leaf Designs'
"Summer fun Cami" also caught our attention because it uses the same soft green as Hippybeads' "Patty" Necklace.

We think that Retro 80s' "Custom Friendship Ribbon Bracelet" is both a nice complement and contrast to our "You've Got the Needle" earrings.

Any of our pieces would look great in this beautiful "Mosaic Keepsake Wooden Box" by Gemini Moon Mosaics.

And finally, these last two pieces don't go together, but they show that great minds think alike. Both Beautiful Stranger's "Rock 'N Roll" necklace and our "Post Punk Priss" have that same great "metal" style going for them.

We hope you liked our picks, and hope to see you next week!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

new pieces, supporting good causes and, retro handmade challenge

Last weekend Hillary posted about displaying jewelry in Pride Art!
This week she wanted to show you the new piece she made just for Pride Art.

This piece, along with two others from her etsy shop, were displayed at the show Friday. If any of them did not sell, they will be on etsy within the next few days.

Also going up on Etsy this week will be this brand new wire wrapped agate pendant.

In addition to all of this, we wanted to let you know that the RetroHandmade monthly challenge voting is live! Please visit the site and look at all the lovely creations everyone has made. We hope you'll vote for our "Retro Deco" pin. The voting deadline is midnight EST on June 12th, 2009.

Thanks for stopping by and have a great week!