Decoding contemporary art and hand-crafting matters.

Archive for the tag “diy”

Bouquet Full of Crafty Goodness.

Bouquet Full of Crafty Goodness.

So pretty.

Photo by Stephanie Garrison. Image taken during CHA2013 in Anaheim, CA.




A graphic yarn display – very Dwell magazine.

Photo by Stephanie Garrison. Image taken during CHA2013 in Anaheim, CA.

“She Has A Beauty Within.”

It’s impossible to not respond to artwork like this. In a world where beauty has been celebrated to a point of losing one’s self over it, how nice is it to remember that the most beautiful people are those that shine from their actions, not their looks…

Photo by Stephanie Garrison. Image taken in the Tsunieko booth @CHA2013 in Anaheim, CA.

Sucess! (In Small Measures…)

So, only because it’s still fresh in my mind, I’d like to note how happy I am that an online crafting article can pick up steam (while being surrounded by “sexier” content like references to currently-hot pop culture TV shows, Fashion Week and viral cat memes).

My BuzzFeed article, “21 Things You’ll Find At An Enormous Craft Fair” – not my headline but there you go – ( hasn’t done too badly at all for a writer that is currently unknown to the BuzzFeed core readership, about a topic that only about 50% of Americans are stated to pursue. (And shouldn’t crafting have a much higher percentage than that?)

I did reach out via e-mail and Twitter to the companies covered in this article. I also did reach out to the local indie craft stores that I’m a customer at, industry professionals that I personally know (and some that I personally don’t!), as well as other creative and business luminaries in the field.

The result? Encouragement, positive vibes, page hits reactions, re-tweets, re-pins, and a bit of a moment on Facebook. So yay – crafting got some mainstream love. I also got a couple of nice thank-yous from some of the firms I featured. As a freelance journalist (I am also a designer myself, educator and a few other hyphenates – but I had no personal stake in this piece and no professional relationship to anyone in it), it’s great when the feedback is 99.9% positive. One person did put a BuzzFeed “fail” button on my post, but there’s always gonna be haters!

So, lessons learned? When you have a legitimate reason to contact others in a way that can help them too (without spending money, I’m talking more about the exchange of information here), be bold and do it. They might stop and take note.

Next step: putting a personality to my activated yet dormant Facebook company profile; also, join Pinterest and LinkedIn (don’t judge; I need to be writing more than I need to be doing stuff online, ideally!). Woot!

Article In BuzzFeed Today!

Article In BuzzFeed Today!

Hey! My photo essay (with captions) covering the 2013 Craft & Hobby Association Winter Conference & Trade Show dropped in today’s BuzzFeed Shift section. Woot! It was fun to do – time-consuming, but fun.

Photo by Stephanie Garrison. Image taken at the Pebbles Inc. booth during CHA2013 in Anaheim, CA.

Don’t Stop Believin’

Don't Stop Believin'

Guerilla knitting at it’s (sub)urban finest.

Photo taken by Stephanie Garrison in BayHo San Diego, Spring 2012.

Vintage & Antique Buttons Rock

Today I went to the bi-annual artist shindig Glitterfest in Santa Ana, California, where I often purchase vintage buttons – among other artsy materials. In honor of my new stash, I penned a somewhat poorly-conceived and rule-challenged Haiku:

Vintage button rack

Charming samples I shall buy and

Craft new finery.

Let’s hear it for artistic gatherings, fests, retreats and other creatively-bent events. They allow us to source unique and personally meaningful materials for our own projects!

When I Must Finish a Tedious Project…

…I simply kick back with some reality TV and power through it. Why not something a little more high-brow (like National Geographic Channel or it’s ilk)? Because then I’d want to watch and learn something. Figure out what your “white noise” is (if you don’t need complete silence) and, to quote Tim Gunn, “make it work.” Whether it’s music, old movies, or even a table fan, having background sound can give momentum to repetitive or uninteresting tasks.

Happy National Crafting Month!

March is National Crafting Month! Each year, businesses both large and small in the creative community get involved with special projects, make-and-takes, tutorials – even sales promotions. It’s a great time to learn a new hobby and expand your artistic skill set. Perhaps you’d like the challenge of knitting a gorgeous scarf with yummy yarn, or tackling a tote with some newly-learned sewing skills. Cooking, woodworking, jewelry design… do a quick online search and find a pattern that strikes your fancy. Then research whether a teacher or a specialty shop can help start you on your journey (books are great, but personalized instruction can lower the frustration of a learning curve). Have a blast and good luck!

Quick Tip: Shop Clearance Racks Now, Craft Later

Just in passing: don’t forget to look at clearance-priced holiday merchandise in stores. This can include decorative tree baubles, garlands, home dec and floral decor. Many of these things can be used in crafting projects throughout the year. Don’t be afraid to pull elements apart and place them ┬áin separate projects (bits of flowers can be fashioned into brooches, while the remaining greenery can brighten up a bird house mixed-media piece). I am a huuuge bargain hunter, and this is a great way to add items to your stash inexpensively.

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