Tuesday, June 30, 2009

July Artist of the Month~ For the Love of...

From the amount of activity on this blog, you'd think that I had nothing going on...but that would be *very* wrong. I had a great time in Ballston a few weeks ago. We were so busy getting caught up with crafter friends, looking at your neighbor Sweet and Light's great, fun designs and setting up all of Stacy's photos that the day flew by!

Two weekends ago, I was in NY for the Clearwater Revival. Rain, fog, showers and WIND! But, also, I had my mom as an assistant, which was a luxury in itself and she brought me hot cocoa that was soooo good! And, brownies too. Yum!

This weekend coming up, I'll be in Annapolis for the First Sunday Festival, for the first time since last year. I will be set up in Whitmore Park, which is on Calvert Street, at the end of West Street away from the circle. Come see my NEW tote bags!!

What: First Sunday Arts Festival

When: Sunday, July 5, noon to 5pm

Where: West and Calvert Streets, Annapolis, Maryland

The REALLY fun news is that it is a different month and that means I get to introduce the July Artist of the Month, Kristina Libby, owner of For the Love of...

Just like buying from large companies that are doing good in the world makes us feel good, buying from smaller companies that are doing great makes us feel great. For the love of... is one such company for me. First, the creator and crafter, Kristina is doll. Genuinely nice and thoughtful, intelligent and insightful, she is saving the world in her own way.

Recently I expressed some stress and anxiety (and who doesn't have these?) and she immediately gave me some bath soak. It just goes to show what kind of business person she is, one who actually cares. And, while this did not solve my pressing problems, it did allow me to s l o w down for a moment in time and think, relax and inhale. I loved it! I also love that her products are made from organic materials in small batches in DC.

So, without further filibuster- the July Artist of the Month- Kristina Libby, For the Love of...

In the beginning...

Tired of a world where emotion is held back and femininity has been demeaned, For the Love of… founder Kristina Libby strives to embrace the joys of feeling beautiful. At age 25, Libby left her job in corporate America to pursue her dream of providing a product that would touch other women’s lives, even in a small way. Calling upon past experiences as both a florist and model, Libby designed the For the Love of… line with the idea that while beauty may come in all shapes and sizes, every woman should have a signature secret that makes them feel beautiful. Nourishing the soul is as important as feeding the mind, and For the Love of … products provide an affordable escape for women of all ages.

Libby uses products from her home state of Maine and from her travels around the world. Blueberry seeds are inspired by her youth, the orange peel by a trip to Spain, the fragrances by a few soul-searching trips in Costa Rica, and the tuberose and sandalwood from a last-minute flight to Cartagena, Colombia. Her hope is to eventually import products from communities around the world and use the funds from the sale of those products to create clean bathing water funds and micro-credit loans for that community.

In keeping with the For the Love of… product mission, five percent of proceeds from all product sales are donated directly to women’s causes on a monthly basis. For this month’s nonprofit group, visit the Affiliations page.

So go ahead: laugh, love, beautify, nourish. You deserve it.

Q~How did you get started?
A~I was riding the train back from NYC with my then boyfriend mulling over my future. I was about to leave my job and was still wildly unsure of what I wanted to do with my life. All of a sudden, I hit it on the idea. "Jason," I said "I'm going to start a business. I think I'll make soaps." "Uhh.. okay...," he responded, the disbelief and sarcasm echoing in his comment. I smiled, the antagonism pushed me on and voila "For the Love of..." was born.

Q~Why do you continue?
A~I continue because I realized that I love the creative challenge that having a brand and a product line brings. I love the wealth of opportunities that this brings me and the many many new people I get to meet!

Q~Where do you get your inspiration?
A~From adventures. I want to be Peter Pan, Captain Jack Sparrow, the Narnia children, and Pocahontas all rolled into one. I want to have adventures that you write home about, that you tell people in long-winded fireside chats. I want to save something and destroy something and feel impassioned and empowered. I want to love, to laugh and to find the bad things to be worth living so that the good is so much better. I want to see the bad and know that its only a passing fancy. I want to have pretend sword fights in the woods and real sword fights with intellect pitted against greater intellect. I want to have a body that can withstand a hurricane and a spirit that can survive the greatest despair and the highest flight of fancy. I want to walk in the woods with LL Bean boots and stroll down Manhattan in Manolos. I want a life that's worthy of covetousness and that is filled with love and happiness and joy. For the most part, I get to live this ridiculous adventure that just happens to be my life and this provides a wealth of inspiration.

Q~Why do you make/create what you do?
A~I create because to not create means I am accepting of the status quo. Creation means that I'm creating something new, something better than before and something my own. I love that. I love being able to start with nothing and end with something. I love to be a force that creates a change.

Q~What is one thing you love about your business?
A~New friends

Q~What is one thing you loathe?
A~The lack of sleep

Q~What is your dream about our art?
A~To create, to sell and to start a new project

Q~What is your mission?
A~For the Love of... is an organic bath and body company that works with a triple bottom line mission-- we want to make a profit while giving back to the community.

Q~Where are you based?
A~Washington DC

Q~Where would you live if you could live anywhere?
A~On an island in Maine in the summer, on a deserted tropical island in the winter.

Q~What would you be doing if not this?
A~I have no idea.

Q~What is next?
A~Fame, fortune, and fun--- if I'm super lucky and work incredibly hard. Fingers crossed. Fingers crossed!

Q~What is your favorite question to ask people?
A~Can you tell me a funny story?

Q~What is your answer to that question?
A~So long and ungainly as to inhibit my answering it here....

You can buy these products in the DC area at Greater Goods, 1626 U ST NW and online at www.fortheloveofbathing.com and www.fortheloveofproducts.etsy.com.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Ballston Arts & Crafts Market This Saturday

This weekend heralds in the second installment of the Ballston Arts & Crafts Market! However, this is the first time this season I will be there. As it is my fourth year, I am totally looking forward to it. I will again be sharing space with my partner in (art) crime, Stacy Rasuch of Love to Create. She is so in love with creating that she has a whole *new* line of photographs. If you missed her Q&A in May, check it out here. Come check those, and my new sun hats, out.

What: Ballston Arts & Crafts Market

Where: Welburn Square, Ballston, Arlington, VA

When: Saturday, June 13, 10am-4pm

Website: http://www.ballstonarts-craftsmarket.blogspot.com/v

See you there~Jen

Green Tip~ Bug Off, naturally

From Family Herbal Remedies~

Try this tips to deter mosquitoes and other stinging things~

*Apply tea tree oil directly to skin. (Avoid getting it in your eyes!)

*Stay in the breeze, or create a slight breeze.

*Eat raw garlic. This makes you less appetizing (to the opposite sex too!)

*Wear earth tones to disguise yourself as nature, thus something a mosquito won't want. Blue is the worst, you make yourself look like an inviting flower.

*Move slowly. Sweat attracts them.

*Use a smudge pot to naturally ward them off.

*Click on the link above for more tips.

Monday, June 1, 2009

June Artist of the Month

The June Artist of the Month is one of my favorite recycler crafters and vendors in general. John Davis of Fisticuffs always has a smile and a laugh, a hug and a joke. I wish he would bottle his good nature and sell that! In addition to being a great person, he has a pretty cool, unique product that is truly one of a kind, from recycled materials. He takes belts and other leather goods and re-makes them into cool cuffs, watch bands and the like. He has even been taking other designer's cast off belts and mixing them into his creations.

Read on for more....

Question: How did you get started?
Answer: It all started when I first saw a really cool old belt thrifting. I thought to myself how cool it would be as a cuff.
Soon afterward I bought a Harley and needed "something" on my wrist. Voila! The conception of Fisticuffs was at hand.

Q: Why do you continue?
A: On top of the gratification of selling something people generally like, I enjoy being out in the public socializing with both the patrons of the show and my fellow crafty folk. It's great to be immersed in the creativity of everyone else.

Q:What is a great success story?
A: I would say this was the first realization that I could actually make a living at the sole proprietor/craft business.

Q: What is one of your greatest failures?
A: Assuming all tattoo expo's were the same. ugh

Q: Where do you get your inspiration?
A: I pull inspiration from all over. Fellow crafters work will inspire me to try new things. New ideas thrown around at shows. Designs I find in bags and belts...

Q: Why do you make/create what you do?
A: I like the style and the look personally. It was how it all started. I've been lucky enough to have built a following that feels the same way.
I just enjoy working with leather and the countless designs I can think of along the way.

Q: Where is your favorite place to sell?
A: I prefer the outdoor craft fairs. It's nice to have retailers sell for me as well but it's not as gratifying as walking away from a great show with loads of new ideas and cash in your pocket.

Q: What is one thing you love about your business?
A: The best thing about my business is the hours and the work itself.
It's nice to be your own person and to travel around. You get to see new places and meet new people.

Q: What is one thing you loathe?
A: I loathe the business end of it. I hate having to keep receipts and log miles. It all pays off in the end if you do it right, but it's a drag to keep up with along the way.

Q: What is your dream about your art?
A: My dream is to be in stores across the nation and eventually over seas. I'm slowly creeping across the states but I'm mainly on the East Coast right now.

Q: What is your mission?
A: My main mission is to create art from discarded materials. I would never consider mass production of my work based on a new piece of leather.
This is one of the main reasons I have not started selling online. Each piece is unique even if it's made from the same basic leather. Each snap, rivet, stitch is hand done therefore imperfect across the lot of several pieces. I think it adds to the charm. I doubt I ever get fully automated machines aside from a sewing machine. I like the hands on part of making each one.

Q: Where are you based?
A: My studio is located in the basement of the house I share, in Silver Spring, MD.
Eventually I'll be in a space of my own but that is far in the future.

Q: Where would you live if you could live anywhere?
A: I would either like to be in DC proper, or potentially Baltimore.
This all started in Chicago, IL. I enjoyed living there but the cost of living was rough and the winters were arctic.

Q: What would you be doing if not this?
The great part of my craft and pretty much anyone who vends on the weekends, is that it really is a weekend business.
You can work a regular 9-5 if you have to and still create.
My day job used to be as an Exhibit Designer. I started at the Science and Industry in Chicago and moved to Bethesda for a private firm doing the same work.
I left that position in Feb. 08' to pursue the cuffs full time.

Q: What is next?
A: I'm going to keep on making cuffs. I see no end in the future. If anything I will continue to expand upon ideas and continually create new things.

Q: What is your favorite question to ask people?
A:I like to ask people how they got started in their craft as well.

Q: What is your answer to that question?
A: I've already answered this one above. :0)

Along with various local shops, John can be found at the following festivals in the next few months~

Honfest/Baltimore/June 13th - 14th (Hopefully - haven't heard yet)
Custer/Chicago/June 20th - 21st

Artscape/Baltimore/July 17th - 18th - 19th

Halsted Market Days/Chicago/August 1st - 2nd
Hot August Blues/Oregon Ridge Park/Baltimore/Aug. 15th

Thank you to all that stopped by the last few weekends.~

DC Counterculture Festival was a long, hot road of fun and laughter. Rus and Joe from Full Sanction had me nicely distracted from the non air conditioned heat all day. Michael from Spaghetti Kiss finally got into the nuttiness and came over the dark side by the end of the day. Either that, or his brain had been fried. Literally. I applauded his excellent drawing skills by buying the skullopus t-shirt. For a less than PG version of the day, check out Rus' blog.

As for the Old Town Art & Crafts Festival, we could not have asked for better weather. Blue skies and sunshine the whole time. While it did rain over night, and my tent leaked, it was a tiny blimp in the whole fun filled weekend.

Thanks again to all that came by!~Jen

Green Tip~ Water your plants right

Watering in the early morning is the best time for outside plants. This will give them the water needed to get through the heat of the day, and also allow any extra moisture to evaporate. Extra water staying on the leaves and ground can lead to fungus problems.