Check out and read my new blog post!
Check out and read my new blog post!
Please come to read my blog at http://www.nikeebottalico.com/blog. I am going to blog journal downsizing a home, living in an apartment for a time and building a new home. I hope you will follow along at nikeebottalico.com
See you over there!
What is it about living in Austin, TX?
I am a native Texan. I have lived in Austin, since the late 1980s. It is a beautiful place to live, music, poets, and lots of makers. There are many fairs and selling spots for the handmade seller. There are many universities and of course The University of Texas~I happen to be a graduate of Saint Edward’s University. Austin is the State Capital of Texas and very photographic. One of my favorite pictures is that of my daughter and her now husband.
Normally I focus on Etsy Sellers for my Blogging here on WordPress. Today, I am focusing on a few things that are happening in the Local Central Texas Area. We locals are very proud of our City and readying for the Holiday Season!
The Pecan Street Festival is one of the largest, and longest-running, arts, crafts and music festivals in the nation presented by The Pecan Street Association (which is a 501(c)4 nonprofit organization). The festival has been produced by Special Events Live since 2006. The Pecan Steet Festival runs this year September 24th (11AM – 10PM) & September 25th (11AM – 8PM). The Festival is located between East 7th Street and East 6th Street in Downtown Austin, TX. You will see many vendors on East 6th Street and the Music areas spill over to 7th Street. (Please note: I tried a number of the links on the Pecan Street Festival page and they are broken or take you to a site that is not the local artist). If you want to see an artist’s work, I suggest looking them up in a Google Search.
A friend of mine Jennie M. Bennett is a beautiful jewelry artist who will have a booth at the festival will be Booth number 99 if looking at the Pecan Street Festival Webpage or walking the Festival she will be located on the North side of 6th Street between Trinity and Nueces. Be sure to look Jennie up, as she is an amazing artist! She handcrafts her Sterling Silver jewelry here in Austin, using jewelry tools for her art! She is a fantastic human, artist and is very down to earth. I really enjoy knowing her. Jennie gives a nod to the South Congress Bridge with her Sterling Silver Bat Jewelry. She also makes jewelry she can customize just for you. Do check her out at the Pecan Street Festival, or on the 23rd Artists’ Market and on online at Etsy Examples of Jennie’s work below. Click the image and go to her Etsy Shop!
One of my favorite people in the world is Brenda Armistead, she is not only an imaginative artist, human being and a really great friend of mine. She not only works in clay, she paints, sews and does machine embroidery. She is very creative and makes a variety of art. Her Etsy Shop is called Grannygoodfish. Below are a couple of examples of Brenda’s work:
A number of Artists or Makers create Bat items as Austin has a bridge where bats live during the summer, it is a great outing to see the bats emerge on South Congress, in downtown Austin.
Brenda Armistead’s smooth, hand-thrown porcelain yarn bowls will be featured during the Hill Country Yarn Crawl at A Sheep at the Wheel Yarn Company, stop #12 on the Yarn Crawl Map. A Sheep at the Wheel is full of beautiful, top quality fiber and supplies, and is located at 3010 Williams Dr. Ste 162 in Georgetown, Texas. Store hours during the event dates of October 7 –15 are 8am – 6pm, and 8am – 5pm October 16. I will be adding more about A Sheep at the Wheel Yarn Company later in the Blog~
I had Brenda give me a write up on on why she loves working in the Austin, Area. She told me that she was never that kid parked in front of the Television, she was outside playing in the dirt under the home’s porch in the dirt. Now, she is a studio potter and a proud grandmother of 4 “brilliant grandkids.” She told me that she loves making and selling in the Austin area as it is a highly creative, rich market scene, and the great variety support for the arts. Brenda states, “the breadth of the Austin market allows me to reach, artistically, in any direction I want. I make a lot of functional wheel-thrown porcelain ware, but I also love sculpture, sewing, and machine embroidery.” To hone Brenda’s skills she attends classes and workshops as time permits her and she funds her continued education through participation in local pop-up market sales and online at her market online. Brenda will be a part of the 2016 Hill Country Yarn Crawl and she has her Yarn Bowls at a Brick and Mortar Store in Georgetown, TX called A Sheep At the Wheel.
A Sheep at the Wheel is a brick and mortar store in Georgetown, Texas about 30-40 minutes North of Austin. It is a great town and has a lot of markets for the handmade seller to sell at.
Susan Moses is the owner of the establishment, she states that Central Texas is such a wonderfully creative area, it has a long history of talented artisans. I asked Susan to answer why they love owning a yarn store? She said that having so many beautiful colors and textures around unleashes the creative spirit. The residents in Central Texas love to create, and Sheep at the Wheel enjoy helping creatives in accomplishing artful activities. Susan’s family has lived in Georgetown for over 20 years. Opening the store helped her fulfill her dreams. Susan states that their customers are fabulous. Plus they enjoy meeting and socializing with other fiber enthusiasts. Sheep at the Wheel features locally thrown yarn bowls from Austin’s Brenda Armistead of Granny Goodfish, hand dyed yarn from Arelene Ottoviano of Bronotta also from Austin. The shop also has their own lines of hand dyed yarns dyed by Georgetown’s own Suzanne Correira of Fireant Ranch and they have other makers for dyed yarns too. The shop carries a wide range of domestic and international brands that made using fair trade.The shop will be joining in the Hill Country Yarn Crawl that runs from October 7 – 16th.
Shop Address & Hours 3010 Williams Drive #162, Georgetown, Texas 78628. Regular store hours: Mon -Sat 10 am – 5 pm & Knit night Wednesday’s 7-9 pm
Yarn Crawl Hours:
My third and final person to blog today is Cara Morgan of Spoiled Cats Crochet. Cara Morgan states that crafting and peddling my wares are in my blood as both her parents are artisans. She can remember when she was young her parents packing everything up to go to a market to sell their wares so she comes from good artisan stock! While she remembers seeing crochet hooks and yarn being around the house, “I didn’t really start crocheting until after college. It was actually a good friend who knits that got me interested in fiber arts.” Cara stated. “Once I got a good grasp on reading patterns and LOTS of practice, crochet became a way to not only create, but also relax and relieve stress.” She is a gal after my own heart as I use creating to relax too.
Cara has a shop on StoreEnvy, she is crocheting such sweet things for the Fall holidays! Spoiled Cats Crochet creates small to mid-sized fiber art for every day or the current season. Each item is handmade in a home studio in Austin, Texas. Cara likes to make fun/silly crochet…”weird things.” Crochet is so much more than tea cozies, doilies, and afghans. She states that her top seller is my 100% cotton Cat Butt Coaster. She is currently working on a pepperoni pizza scarf. Austin appreciates “weird things.” This is one of the main reasons why she loves selling in Austin. The city takes pride in local craftsmanship. Whether it be beer, music, arts, or food, more people in Austin appreciate local handmade goods. Becoming part of the craft community has been such an amazing experience. Cara states that “I’ve met so many other great artists that I admire.” Cara opened a shop to help keep up with her hobby and bring herself more joy learning harder and harder patterns.
Let me know if you have any stories or Craft Fairs you would like me to share! You can reach me at Objectsandoddities on Facebook or http://www.Objectsandoddities.com. I would be happy to write about your Local show~
Are you ready for Halloween, Fall, Thanksgiving?
Hi, how are you this week? I have been busy coming up with designs for the Fall and Winter Season. I am doing my best to design, make, photograph and write product descriptions for my items while getting participants for features for the blog.
I have asked questions of each of the participants. The questions are “what are some of your daily essentials to create your work, tools, and workspace?” I am pretty open to what the blog participants choose to share with me and want to use what they share.
For me, I am all over the place with what I use to make items as I design and am a maker of many varied items. Even though I sell online, some may call me a “Hobbyist,” as I have not settled on what I create. Although this may be true, I am an artist clear to my bones….and I do sell my creations online.
I use many tools for my jewelry design, creating jewelry pieces to making my small boxes. For jewelry, I use pencil and paper, pliers, metal cutters, a torch,and metal. I use three workstations depending on the type of work I am utilizing. For making small boxes, I use paint, different of fixatives, papers, glitter, saws, and a Dremel — really so many more items I have to create my art.
You know if you have read me for a while, I am really interested in Niche Markets, whether that is a handmade maker or a small startup company. I especially love it when women whatever age, they are starting a business (or continuing a growing business).
First up is my friend, Lynn Esteban‘s Creations are jut marvelous!
I adore Lynn’s work. She makes me smile with her creations and I love what she does with a toy everyone loves. Lynn talked a little about her tools for her work and told me that her planner is essential. She says she was not always a planner person, “…I’d buy new ones and they wouldn’t stick. But “Tools 4 Life planner” has been amazing.” Just like Lynn, I bought this planner for myself and fell in love. I love it as it is so positive and gets you to make real purposeful goals. Lynn told me that she cannot believe she still using it, but it really helps her keep the big picture of her life and her business in mind, to set big goals and to break them into manageable chunks. She is able to stay on track and reevaluate what needs to happen in her business each month. She highly recommends it and really so do I! (I added a link to Amazon for you to look!).
Lynn lives in New York and it is hard for her to see Fall is coming so fast. Her children do not start back to school until September 8th so it does not feel like Fall for her just yet. However, for the Small Business owner, one needs to be prepared. Fall is a busy time for Lynn and her family, there are local street fairs and fall festivals she participates in and the kiddos have the Back to School fun & madness in early September. It is all an adjustment for the family to everyone’s new schedules.
Lynn says she loves the Hudson Valley in the fall. Now Fall can be felt in the area as the weather is perfect, the leaves start to change, the apples ripen and there are all sorts of festivals. Lynn’s husband is Canadian, so they celebrate Canadian Thanksgiving in early October. They love having a whole house full of all their “expat friends over for that celebration. Several years ago we didn’t feel like making the whole turkey and stuffing affair, so we made sushi instead.” Once the family made sushi, it was a hit so now the Canadian Thanksgiving Tradition is sushi. Lynn told me that her family also has a “funny tradition for American Thanksgiving.” Since they live several states away from Lynn’s family, each year Lynn’s parents come to town for the week of Thanksgiving. they found that is was surprisingly affordable to have the whole affair catered (Traditional Turkey Dinner).
Brick&Button Packaging — love it!
The Esteban Family enjoys Black Friday for buying a real Christmas tree, wrapping presents, having decorating our Christmas tree. After the tree is decorated, gifts wrapped, time is spent with “Grandma and Grandpa” exchanging and opening Christmas presents. Lynn says it is a “whirlwind of a week but it’s incredibly fun!” Since Lynn is busy with the local markets she easily has handcrafted gifts for her parents (Grandma and Grandpa to the kiddos). “It does result in me scrambling to finish some of my shopping for my folks. Luckily I can easily buy them local handmade goods since I’m at local markets in the weeks before!” Lynn told me most joyfully that Fall is her very favorite season. She stated that “she puts a lot of effort in so she does not become stressed as there is so much to do with a family and her business Brickandbutton on Etsy. She enjoys the kiddos new school routine, the crisp air going hiking with “our plaid shirts on, hayrides and apple picking, watching the leaves change, and best of all, spending lots of time eating with family and friends!” Lynn exudes Joy. I am enjoying getting to know her!
Next up is Nona!
Nona Englund is originally from Finland and has lived in the Netherlands for the past 15 years where life took her on a grand adventure. She states that her home, which she shares with her daughter of 12 isn’t a big one, however, what it lacks in size it makes up in coziness, creative interior solutions, and a warm Scandinavian charm. (My own heart flutters as I love that kind of charm!). Nona dreams of one day living in her “dream home” with a stand-alone creative design studio, but for now, her living room is where all her creative magic takes place. When she’s in her creative mode, her living room is transformed into a design studio.
Nona makes fabric canvas signs which may look quite simple, yet there’s a lot of time, effort, and love going into each one. The essentials she uses to create are different fabrics, canvas boards, twine, burlap, scissors, stamps, ink pads, various glues and varnishes, paint brushes, acrylic paints, fabric markers, pens, wood parts, fabric and washi tapes etc. needed to create the signs are all neatly tucked away in specially designated cupboards, drawers, and decorative wooden chests, and are taken out of hiding when her creative process begins.
Nona states due to the time-consuming nature of creating the canvas signs, and because there are so many phases to creating them especially the 3D beach decor ones, most of them are made to order. Working on the signs while listening to uplifting music or while watching a good movie turns the whole creative process into a wonderfully relaxing and almost meditative experience.
Next up is Anne S. Helsen:
“Oh, by the way, I started my shop after I gave birth to my daughter. I really want to dress up and have made plenty of headbands and hair accessories because she is so cute! From my daughter’s birth, my own business was born. My daughter’s name is Akeisha’s so I called my business, Isha’s Cute Stuffs.”
Anne like many creatives has what I call a crazy creative brain that has ideas or designs that just pop into her head while she is working on something else. The design for the “Spooky Headband” Anne did not want something over the top fluffy but something unique for Halloween. She came up with a process, utilizing felt, thread, needles, and a headband. Anne really likes the result and so do I! I have a grandson so I would need to find something more boyish for him, but I love this headband!
Most of Anne’s creations like her headbands are hand sewn and she utilizes her trusty glue gun to seal it all up. Also, some of Anne’s creations are crochet, she has made crochet hair ties with added charms. Anne uses a sewing machine (Birthday gift from Hubby!) for some items. At this point in her business, she is even wanting to grow into a Cameo3! This is a perfect example of how these small businesses begin to bloom!
Most of Anne’s creations come to fruition on the dining room table as she has two small children 16-month-old who is a bit cheeky and a 3-year-old, both she needs to keep an eye on while she works! She loves it with all “…the screams, laughter, falling and flying toys (don’t worry those flying toys are the soft ones) around because they are my inspirations.” She like all WAHM gets tired like all the creatives with small children. She finds time for a little chocolate milk, during nap time and she is back to business. She is not saying it is easy but she loves what she does.
Next is Elizabeth Taylor, what a name to be blessed with. Just look at this precious baby outfit:
Elizabeth Taylor lives in Asheville, North Carolina and she owns BabyMajestic.etsy.com. She says that she has a craft room that is “exploding!” Since she sews baby clothes, stuffed toys and paper mobiles, she requires a ton of options to view to assist in inspiration! She says “of course, my Singer and Scissors are mandatory, but my fabric selection and boxes full of colorful cardstock make me smile, feel free and inspired. I buy fabric in 2-3 yard amounts, so my items are always changing. I take great joy in being invited to share my creations with my clients.”
WOW, what wonderful Etsy.com creatives! All these items I have shown would be perfect for your Holiday Season and these women, work very hard on their craft and small businesses. I am so glad and proud to be part of the The Joyful Entrepreneur Handmade Community I am involved with that they are also members. I have a new line of jewelry coming up and I will show in the next blog! I am beyond excited, I hope you are too.
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Peace & love
Are Weddings on your Mind?
In Love? Ready to tie the knot? Are you running around with happiness and that glow? Red shoes or Blue?
Austin, TX , Capital of the State of Texas.
Engagement photos of my daughter, her sweetie and best friend.
I have told you in my many musings that I live near Austin, TX, and it is really amazing here. Plus, I have been so blessed with a really gorgeous (smart & talented) daughter and remarkable son in law who together, planned their wedding. (I have a son too, he will be featured later, not to leave him or his partner out, my pen will strike them also!).
I have weddings on my mind right now. I know it is a hundred and five outside… all the spring flowers are wilting and take lots of love to keep them alive. Some are doing well especially the Fragrant or Scented Geranium and the Passion Flower Vine (below).
Nevertheless — if you have a Fall Wedding planned or a Winter Wedding, (even next Spring, dagnabbit) well, time’s a ticking! Plus, you know I make jewelry too… so I think about these things lol! I am a very passionate person and enthralled with Weddings!
Above Coming soon to Etsy
What kind of special day do you dream of? Are you planning a Fall Wedding? What colors are you choosing? Do you have your dress? What about your venue? I have a lot of friends on Etsy and I do love to give them a shout out for their wonderful handmade art! My daughter and her spouse did a lot of shopping on Etsy for their special day.
Your wedding will be one of your happiest days in your life and your partner’s life! Many find it really special to gather handcrafted items made for their weddings to be really extraordinary also.
All this talk about flowers… all my flowers from my yard I have shown you are really beautiful and bring me much peace and happiness. I have a question though, have you ever thought about a permanent boutique?
Amnysti Cavazos, of Paperperfectpetals@etsy makes wonderful items for a Bride and her maids (and all the peeps in the Wedding too)! These flowers are so very beautiful and wow she uses papers with writing, tulle, and gorgeous satin ribbons. Amnysti believes in Romance and having the flowers for a wedding to be an inspiration for the Bride. She also wants to work with the Bride to build the perfect Wedding package, to best suit your wedding day needs (and wants)!
I fell in love with this bouquet for Fall but she will make you any color that matches your wedding colors! Look at these colors, I am just like WOW! What a great choice of colors for a Fall or Winter Wedding.
This is a perfect combination of perfect combination paper rolled roses & kusudama (star) flower, tulle and wonderful satin ribbon. I just love it!
What could be next for your Wedding? Have you thought about what to put on your tables? Both of these shops I have featured in this blog, give you options for your tables too.
Michelle Carter, also has wonderful items, splendid for anytime of year but especially for Fall Weddings and these acorns are a sure fit for you, have a look at the Acorn Candles perfect for your Wedding from heartnectar at Etsy.
What better way to have a Fall Wedding than showing off the Earth, with something rustic and oh so, delightful… could you just see them floating in water, shimmering on your tables, highlighting the smiles on your friends and family’s faces… Michelle is nestled in the Appalachian Mountains and is an activist for our Earth… I adore her products and she not only has candles but her body products! You will have a winner having Michelle make you something for your wedding also!
Whatever you and your partner choose for your wedding will be special! I will keep blogging with ideas and makers for you to see the wide range of artists you have to choose from!
Please keep coming back, I have many more ideas to blog about and will still keep talking about Weddings, Fashion and of course my flowers or my Koi!
love & hugs
nike ~ ❤
Vintage Post Card in my belongings of keepsakes~
Here it is nearing the end of June and we are coming up on July…. I have a few things up my sleeve on my Website and I would love it if you would keep reading my blogs — a lot is going to be happening! I am really working on Bridal Jewelry and Bridal Crowns will be coming this fall! What fun!
I am continuing to evolve and grow my small handmade business on Etsy and beyond!
Many Hearts and gratitude to you for following me here and there.
I have not fallen off the face of the earth… been too busy to blog… what?? You can never be too busy to blog!
I am designing Bridal Collections…
Come see me on Etsy, let me know what Custom Items we can collaborate together to make for your special event!
Still working on them and waiting for more supplies to make more items.
I will let you know how it is going soon.
I had major surgery in December 2015 and have been healing up.
Much love and peace