Thursday, February 11, 2010

Time Keeping Finds

Recently myself and the hubby-to-be were out doing the obligatory registering for wedding items, and we kept coming across cheesy clocks. Believe it or not, we don't own any clocks other than one digital alarm, so if we aren't in the bedroom, we are at the mercy of the sun to know what time of day it is. And none of the generic store-bought clocks were doing it for me. So here are a couple better ones, and they are handmade to boot.

How adorable would this one be for a kitchen? From Faire Houre, this is a limited edition made from repurposed ceramic.

Tend to change your mind a lot? That's the beauty of chalk, from Woodstock Clock.

Here are some other great ones -

(Bingo clock: New York Clocks. Dali-style clock: Pragmatic Effects. Brownie camera clock: Roc 99. Ceramic clock: M Bart Studios.)

(Embroidery clock: LAM Designs. Owl clock: Decoy Lab. Nude in water clock: Jessilyn Joy. Hard drive clock: Pixel This.)

And how geek-tastic is this math clock?

(From Geek Gear.)

Who needs mass-produced when art like this exists? Have a good Thursday all.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Giveaway Roundup - Second Week of February

Fabulous freebies are given away every day on the internet, you just need to know where to look! Rachel's here to give you the low down...

Snippet & Ink are giving away a FRICKIN GORGEOUS 14 karat gold headband from Eddera.

(Photo via Snipped & Ink.)

I'm loathe to tell you about Young House Love's fab freebie this week because I want it myself. A bomb diggity Delta Pilar kitchen faucet that turns on with the touch of your skin. No more messing up the faucet with soapy or dirty hands! (Or in my case, with black painty hands after a coaster making sesh.)

Style Me Pretty has got a $4,500 custom bridal jewelry giveaway that quite honestly every woman would love to have.

Waterrose is offering up a month's worth of free advertising.

My Structured Chaos has got a free Valentine's Day print up for grabs.

Kara Annis Jewelry is giving away something cute every week for the month of February.

Chic and Green has got some of the ever popular Bare Escentuals cosmetics to give away.

Eco Chic Hand Knits has some adorable nautical-themed place cards that would be good for any "I'm On A Boat!" themed parties you might be throwing soon.

(Photo via Eco Chic Hand Knits.)

Go out there and win yourself some shwag!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Woman Behind the Curtain - Bonnie S!

So when I said I'd post this week's Artist Interview Monday, clearly I meant Tuesday. Of course. (I've been getting ready for the craft fair and had to run down to NYC for some business and blar di blar...)

Without further excuses from yours truly, this week's Woman Behind the Curtain is Bonnie S. from Pre-Algebra Designs.

What was the first handmade thing you ever created?
Besides the various dioramas, models of California missions and shoebox robots I made for school projects, the first serious project I crafted as an act of free will was probably an Easter dress I made when I was 10. It was long and A-line with thin straps. I used a royal blue rayon with white daisies.

(All creations and photos by Bonnie S. The house is made of felt, the silhouette is of Charles Darwin, and the hearts are crayons.)

Who/what inspires you?
I'm really inspired by science. . . Particularly biology. I love the way tissue slides sort of lend themselves to creative interpretations. Hmmm. . . Among other things, I'm inspired by emotion and human vulnerability. . . I've always been intrigued by the intersection of words and crafts. A lot of my pieces have song lyrics incorporated into them, and I've recently started using excerpts from Craigslist Missed Connections for inspiration. More generally, I'm drawn to organic shapes, classic patterns and motifs that mimic nature. I love to travel, so I try to pull from traditional cultures whenever I can.

(Wallets and photos by Bonnie S. Both are available from her shop.

What are your favourite online haunts?
I used to lurk heavily on Crafster, but less so these days. Ravelry is a favorite for knitting ideas. I hate to say it, but I've gotten some good ideas from Martha Stewart.

(Bonnie's yarn-organizing-method. Photo by Bonnie S.)

What are you reading/listening to these days?
I work in public health, so a lot of what I read has to do with health, culture and politics. Mostly it's totally depressing, but equally fascinating (if you're me). I'm listening to a lot of indie pop these days (Phoenix, MGMT, Santigold), but I have a penchant for a lot of really moody stuff too. . . Bon Iver, Iron and Wine, Sufjan Stevens and My Brightest Diamond seem to be getting a lot of play right now. I also love love love the WNYC Public Radio show, RadioLab. It talks about the world in a way that really resonates for me.

(Photo of Bonnie by Rachel.)

What aspect of creating thrills you/terrifies you?
In general, I'm deeply afraid of rejection. Putting things that I make up for other people's judgment is pretty scary. . . Crafting is one of the things in my life that I know I do well, so if someone doesn't like my stuff (unless it's clearly awful), it's hard not to take it as an appraisal of me as a person. It's so basic, but I'm thrilled by the idea of creating beautiful and useful things. That's why I craft.

(Hair rosette created and photographed by Bonnie S. Available in her shop.

Name something you want everyone to know about the Woman Behind the Curtain.
I do my best work when I'm deeply inspired or moved by something. When someone asks me to make something, particularly if it's for someone I don't really know, it's hard to make something really amazing. I'm getting to a point where my friends have more than enough hats, aprons and felted rocks, but need to grapple with making compelling things for people I don't know. After all, my mom only has room for so many scarves.

(Creation and photo by Bonnie S.)

Thank you for playing along, Bonnie!

Next week's artist interview segment will be with John Frechette of Strapped Belts. Also coming up this week will be a DIY on floor staining from Melissa R. of Sew Cute and Crafty, so stay tuned!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Williamsburg Craft Fair

All right cats and kittens, Rachel will be coming to you LIVE at her first craft fair next Saturday! Whee! If you live in the NY area, the Williamsburg Love-A-Fair is going down in Brooklyn the weekend of February 13th and 14th. Come see me on the first day, trying like mad to look like I know what I'm doing.

Graphic: Williamsburg Fair

Doors open at 11AM. Come get something for your sweetie (or yourself) before Valentine's Day!

On Monday, I will have an artist's interview with Pre-Algebra Design's Bonnie S.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Weekly Giveaway Roundup

Snow snow snow. Everywhere. See, this is a weird phenomenon to me having grown up in Southern California. Living in New York is a shock to the system. Every time I wake up and the world is white, I feel like Bambi experiencing it for the first time all over again.

But enough about me. Onto the giveaway roundup!

Grosgrain is giving away TWO best of Etsy sample packages on her site.

Sfgirlbybay is hosting a sweet Amy Butler organizational giveaway.

Poppytalk has got a handmade Valentine giveaway featuring the beautiful calligraphy of Hello Handmade that has been all over blogland.

Speaking of paper goods, Young House Love's weekly Fab Freebie is personalized stationary from Wild Ink Press.

If bridal gowns and walks down the aisle are in your future, Style Me Pretty is giving away a WEDDING. Flowers, photographers, event staff, the works! I'd enter myself if I didn't all ready have half of those things booked.

That's all I've got for now. If you're running a giveaway in the future and want to be added to my weekly giveaway roundups, give a shout.

In the near future, I've got a How-To coming from apron-maker Melissa, and an artist's interview with Bonnie. There will be plenty of photos with both, I promise!

(Photo credit: Me!)

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Pink-Tastic Finds

I was feeling a girly-vibe today, so I had a wee browse through Etsy to satisfy that craving. How fantastic are those covered magnets in the bottom left?

(Credits: Top row - GinaCreates, HeartZeena. Middle row - Papa Totoro, RedBirdBroadDesign. Bottom row - Shop Srapyard, AceroStudio.)

Meet Rachel


This is the official blog of Rachel from Coasting Along, an Etsy shop selling, you might have guessed, coasters. But not to worry; this will not merely be a forum for shameless self-promotion (though there will be some of that as well.)

This is also meant to act as a round-up blog of sorts. A place to come to see what's going on in the world of design. There will be lists of the week's giveaways in blogland, current motifs and items I'm digging, and of course shout outs to Etsy shops that I think are offering some really neat stuff. There will also be the occasional wedding-related post as well as personal posts regarding any DIY projects I have going on around the apartment.

Eventually, I hope to host my own giveaways as well as featuring artist interviews with some of the very talented people out there.

And a few quick notes about me - my introduction to the burgeoning world of handmade businesses and DIY came about due to the collision of two specific events: engagement and unemployment. When wedding bells were decidedly in my future, I began browsing the bridal blogs. Of course, we are in a recession, so for the most part DIY is in, costly overproduction is out. Also thanks to the recession, the typical avenues to earning a paycheck were yielding nothing. And from that mixture of joy and disappointment, my coaster shop was born, as was my obsession with design blogs.

My hope is that you will enjoy what's on offer here as much as I enjoy posting about it.