Tuesday, April 1, 2014

How-To Tuesdays on the Etsy Blog

Did you know Etsy has a bank of How-To Tuesday blogs full of awesome tips and tricks for making amazing things for your home, children and self? Personally, I love DIY, but I'm so busy running a graphic design business, working a day job and going to graduate school. So I prefer DIYs that take less than an afternoon of my precious weekend free time. Here are a few of my favorites from the Etsy blog:

Just for you:
Homemade Lip Balm in Upcycled Containers

Crafts with Kids:
Crafts for Parties!
Happy Camper Piñata 
Make Your Own Kite
Washi Tape Murals

(Image from Ninainvorm)

Around the House:
70's Inspired Macrame Plant Hangers
Geometric Mobiles

And just in time for easter, someone please make these adorable Easter Egg Whoopie Pies for me!

(Image from Heather Baird)

Monday, February 10, 2014

Displaying Artwork in a Rental Home

So, you splurged for Christmas or were gifted something beautiful for Hanukkah. You've set your sights on the the perfect Valentine's Day commemorative piece. However it came to be, you've recently come into possession of an incredible handmade beauty that you can't wait to display - except, you're in a rental home with restrictions on wall hangings and modifications. What's an Etsy buyer to do?

1. Removable Hooks. If you've purchased a piece on canvas, you may not need a frame at all. Canvas is light weight and a perfect candidate for hanging with removable hooks. Look into plastic hooks with foam tape backs that have a peel off tab to use when you're ready to remove your work from the wall. These hooks are available at most office supply stores, big boxes and many local pharmacies and hardware stores.

(Acrylic on canvas from Dreamtime Studios)

2. Choose Frames Wisely. Often frames can make or break a piece. There are lots of options out there - from poster frames to ready-mades to fully custom pieces from local artisan frame-makers. Be choosey, but also be practical. That hardwood molding may sound like a great idea, but it's going to do major damage to your plaster walls or inherited wall paper. Sometimes a light weight poster or frameless frame is the way to go. These can most readily be found at craft stores and your big box of choice.

(Acrylic on canvas from Eden Gallery)

3. Working With Easels. So, you decided on a really beautiful, yet heavy frame to go with your new piece, because it perfectly enhanced your new artwork. This could be an opportunity to check out thrift and antique stores to find a vintage easel. Or get a new easel at an art supply shop and paint it - they usually come in unfinished pine. Be sure free-standing easels are out of the way of foot traffic. The nice part is, you can move your artwork from spot to spot with ease, before nailing down the final location. There are also table-top easels and frame stands, in a fold-out variety that can be purchased in different sizes to fit your piece. I recommend spending a little more for these types, as my experience is you get what you pay for. Table top easels work great for housing your piece on a book case, dresser or counter. If you aren't an easel person, check out vintage telephone tables, skinny side tables and tall, thin shelving units geared toward holding plants.

(Print from Bryan Federico)

4. Blend Your Art In. I love the idea of stashing your art in unexpected places. The piece below, from Laissez Girl shows that if you choose your art to fit your space, you can display it nearly anywhere. Tucked into a bookcase or with your DVDs. On a window sill or on top of your medicine cabinet. Pieces that are created on thicker material can stand up all on their own. 

(Acrylic on wood from Laissez Girl)

5. If You Must Poke a Hole. I've seen lots of great ideas on Pinterest lately, and in person at galleries, that use minimally invasive hanging techniques. Using binder clips hung from thumb tacks will make less of a dent in your wall than hammer and nails. Leave prints unframed and string a pretty cord from one corner of the room to another and clothespin your pieces to the line. Putting holes in the corners will be less noticeable than in the middle of a blank wall. Similarly, if your home as crown molding, it's less messy to drop a line from where the crown molding meets the wall. If you do go unframed, you'll probably need to weight the bottom corners of your artwork, because it's Louisiana, after all - your paper is going to curl!

(Vintage ad from Mad Poet Artist)

I would love to hear your suggestions for alternative methods of artwork display! Leave us some comments and ideas!

Contributed by Emily Frock of Fried Green Design. When not helping out with the Etsy Nola blog, Emily can be found blogging at Fried Green Design, helping brand small businesses and designing beautiful stationery and thoughtful artwork for the lovely people of the world.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Happy Carnival Y'all!

Hello! Welcome to 2014 and welcome back to the Etsy Nola blog! We have exciting new members this year, and our established members have been busy creating new products, updating their sites and continuing to make a name for handmade, vintage and local items from beautiful and sunny New Orleans.

We're in full-on Carnival mode here in the Crescent City and I'm excited to start us off this year with some highlights for my top five favorite Mardi Gras themed items!

1. Home Decor. For those of you who love to show of your mardi gras obsession right from the start, I wanted to share Courtney Mahler's purple, green and gold wreaths. Keep in mind, she welcomes custom orders!

2. Hair Flair. I have fallen in love with all things feathers over the last couple of years. I have spent an embarrassing amount of time attempting to craft my own hair pieces, when all I really needed to do was consult the Etsy Nola Team. Marigold Pascual could have saved me many a glue gun burn with her beautiful creations! Below is the hair band I am currently coveting:

3. Baby Wear. New moms and dads would be doing that newborn a disservice on their first mardi gras if they didn't costume that baby up! It's important to start traditions early in this town. Check out Lilly Pie Creations custom designs for your little one.

4. Masks. There's something really wonderful about a one-of-a-kind, didn't-buy-it-on-Canal-Street mask. It's a treat to bump into a custom, handmade piece that makes you think of mardi gras past. I was very excited to find Mr. Hyde's Custom Leathers on our Team and would encourage you to think about his pieces for the season. His pieces are a little dark and show off the mysterious side of carnival season.

5. Costumes. Confession: I'm not very good at thinking up costume ideas. I love it when a piece just speaks to me and is classy, but fun and occasion-appropriate. Trapped in Time Designs have spoken to me. These are super cute and flirty dresses ready for you to take from parades to balls this season.

There are so many amazing carnival-appropriate items made by Team Etsy Nola members - be sure to check out the most up to date list of shops here, or head straight over to the group on Etsy and start shopping! Happy Carnival, y'all!