Friday, February 29, 2008

Greenjeans Blog in The Crafts Report

Thanks to The Crafts Report for including us in their February 2008 issue!

For this month's "Web Works" section on the back page, the magazine chose to reprint a blog post I wrote back in October titled "Finding Relief from Design Overload." They also printed information about Greenjeans culled from our website. Nice!

The mag arrived at a good time for us since we're starting to plan our outdoor booth for the Brooklyn Flea. I'm new to the outdoor market format and can use all the tips I can get about how to create an effective display, and this issue seems to have a lot of information about that. So double-thanks, Crafts Report!

Posted by Amy Shaw. Image sourced here.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

New Online & In Store - Schlueter, Lee, & DVDs

Erica Schlueter stopped by Greenjeans yesterday with some new pieces for the shop. I absolutely LOVE her new line of embroidered and crocheted jewelry -- it's so different and lovely, and it wears beautifully. Here's a peek! Come in to see it in person, and I'll try to get it photographed for the Online Shop soon... (or call or email if you'd like to learn more!)

Also, I've recently added a few items to the Online Shop including:

Oxblood Teabowls (wheel-thrown porcelain) by Cliff Lee

And we've added a new category: Books & Films! First up are two great craft documentaries: A League of Our Own about the League of New Hampshire Craftsmen (featuring a number of Greenjeans artisans)...

... and Four Hands One Heart about celebrated potters Ed and Mary Scheier.

Posted by Amy Shaw for Greenjeans.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Recap of Greenjeans' Talk on Blogging at ACC Baltimore

On the morning of February 20, 2008, I gave a talk at the American Craft Council's American Craft Show in Baltimore, MD. Titled "Crafting Your Online Presence," my talk addressed craft makers, craft retailers, and others about how blogging can help you with marketing and how blogs are developing and expanding the craft community.

Here I offer some of the content of my talk. I cannot reiterate everything, but hopefully there will be useful information here for you.

You will find links to each blog I mentioned in order of its appearance in my talk. You will also find a version of my Powerpoint presentation, complete with do's and don'ts and other info, that you may view directly here within this post. (I discovered Slideshare while preparing this post by googling "how to put powerpoint into blogger." I love the internet!)

My talk was one of several given by different presenters during the craft show. On the previous day, artist's advisor Nicole Carroll gave a wonderful fresh take on the finer points of selling, offering useful suggestions for improving your sales technique through listening and building a relationship with the customer. (I'll find out if a handout from her talk is available and if so I'll try to post it.)

Please feel free to leave a comment here if you have any questions or if I've overlooked something important, and I'd be happy to address it. Thanks for your interest, and happy blogging!

Blogs Cited:

Greenjeans Blog
Wish Jar
Rare Device Blog
20 x 200
Cai Lun
Karin Birch Fiber Art
Inside a Black Apple
Kitty Genius
Simple Sparrow
Craft Magazine Blog
Whip Up
The Storque (Etsy's blog)
Handmade Nation
Craft Research

Furniture Society After Hours
Extreme Craft
Crafty Synergy
Door Sixteen
Design Sponge
Oh Joy!
Poppy Talk
Apartment Therapy

Also mentioned in the original talk:
Five and a Half
Hear, Hear

Many bloggers list their favorite blogs in the margin of their blog, providing a great way to discover new blogs. You'll find my favorites listed on the right-hand side of my blog.

Other useful links:

Etsy video tutorial on improving your product pictures

Sign up for an RSS reader (like Google Reader or Bloglines)

Recap of the first talk I gave on blogging and craft at the ACC library in September 2007. You may find more useful resources and tips there.

Again, let me know if you have questions or if I've missed something, and thanks for reading!

Posted and slide show by Amy Shaw, Greenjeans.

ACC Show in Baltimore 2008

With hundreds of exhibitors ranging from traditional basket weavers to young designers making jewelry from spun sugar, the American Craft Show presented an exciting, abundant feast of fine works of craft last week at the Baltimore Convention Center.

Click here to view pictures I took at the show, including shots of most of the makers, works, and trends mentioned below.

We love this show, presented by the American Craft Council, not only because we get to see lots of outstanding work and meet some of the best craftspeople in the country, but also because it's when we're able to visit with many of the artists and artisans we show at Greenjeans (like Janice Ho, pictured left, and many others who may be found on Greenjeans Online).

We also love to see the Searchlight Artists, a group comprised of emerging talent nominated for first-time exhibition. This year's group showed strong, interesting work in a well-lit stretch at the back of the hall. Notably: The glistening glass spinning wheel by Andy Paiko (pictured top) impressed everyone not only for its form but also its functionability. Mixing fashion with gustatory delight, artist Ana Claudia Chrisan Calabria showed a dress, an embellished mirror, and corsage flowers all made from spun sugar (and we got to sample the dress - yum!). Lacey Jane Roberts exhibited her life-sized hot pink knitted fence (which is made from the ground up, and is not an actual fence covered in yarn). Haley Renee Bates' poetic silver spoons totally captivated me and I would have purchased the lot of them for myself if I could. Hisano Takei showed her bold yet sweet felted art jewelry. Diaphanous pendant lights covered in curling lengths of silk appeared courtesy of Jung Yeon Choi (pictured bottom). Two Tone Studios showed beautifully designed and well-made functional glassware, and Tanya Aguiniga presented her appealing felted folding chairs (pictured left).

During the days when the American Craft Show is open to the public (it's half a wholesale show, half retail marketplace), the ACC offered shoppers a chance to see and purchase work by 15 new wave crafters. We loved the furry hats by Austin-based designer/maker Chia (pictured on Jae), which are not only warm and a heck of a lot of fun to wear, but also beautifully designed and sewn. Jewelry maker Erica Schlueter, who has been a regular show exhibitor in past years, presented her new `work that combines fine metalsmith jewelry with embroidery and crochet. And I picked up a business card holder made from recycled bicycle tire inner tubes by Alchemy Goods.

Last but not least, we were impressed once again with the ACC's forward-thinking School-to-Market program, exhibiting work by college students studying craft and design. Kendall College presented fantastic work for the second year in a row, and we again found furniture by Eric Britton and Dustin Farnsworth intriguing and very well crafted. Students from Virginia Commonwealth University also showed work, most notably silversmith Adam Whitney and glass sculptor Grant Garmezy. They are all ones to watch.

Of course it's not only work by the new generation of craft designers and artists that's interesting to see, but also the fine, mature work of well-established craft artisans such as Cliff Lee, Keith Lebanzon (pictured), Barbara Sebastian, and Susan Pratt-Smith. I could devote several posts, if not whole books, to each of them.

The ACC is doing a great job of trying to weave together a show of traditional craft and new craft. And what we noticed most of all is the craft/design hybridization taking place, especially among younger exhibitors and the Searchlight Artists.

It seems that many new artisans are are not only dealing with issues of craft, but also taking up ideas about design and art into their work, in a way similar to how artists and designers are taking up craft techniques to better express their ideas. Craft is still the root, but its branches are reaching into the realms of art and design. (Derek Hennigar, shown left, for example.)

Such hybridization is working to make craft more relevant, viable, and interesting. What we saw at this year's American Craft Show is not only the great continuation of craft, but also the sprouting of new ideas about and approaches to craft. We can hardly wait to see what next year's show will bring!

Stay tuned... I'll also be posting info from the talk I gave on Wednesday morning about craft and blogging within the next couple days...

Posted and photos by Amy Shaw.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Ridiculously Cute Palate Cleanser

Well, we're back in Brooklyn after a great week in Baltimore at the American Craft Council fair.

While I prepare my report on the show, as well as an online version of the talk on blogging I gave there Wednesday, here is a totally unrelated web video my cousin found online. It won't tell you much about craft, but will half kill you with cuteness and delight, especially if you watch it all the way through. Let's call it a palate cleanser -- enjoy!

If it doesn't play above, click here to watch on YouTube.

Posted by Amy Shaw. Sourced here.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

In Baltimore, Blogging About Philly

I JUST completed the powerpoint portion of the presentation I'll be giving tomorrow morning at ACC Baltimore, and thought it might be nice (before I hit the pool and sauna in our hotel) to share some pictures from Philadelphia.

Jae and I were in Philly on Sunday and Monday to catch the Buyer's Market of American Craft. We found some wonderful new artisans there who I can hardly wait to share with you... You'll see what we found later this week ('cause I don't have pics just now!)

Our Brooklyn friends Anders and Ken had decided to have a guys weekend in Philly, so we met up with them for dinner Sunday night. We found an AMAZING Mexican restaurant, Las Bugambilias, totally regional home-cookin' lovingly prepared and served in a homey space filled with vintage photographs of Mexican movie stars. The perfect food was served on handmade stoneware dishes (pictured above. They were all signed on the bottoms, I checked...). After dinner I retreated to the hotel so the guys could go do whatever it is that guys do on a Sunday night in Philly...

As I said, we're in Baltimore now and will be until Friday. It's unlikely that I'll blog again before then, but when I do I'll share all the tips and links I mention in tomorrow's talk! Til then, enjoy these pics!

Me, Jae, and Ken at Las Bugambilias. (Taken by Anders.)

A detail of the phenomenal bricolage/mosaic house Magic Gardens.

We window shopped the antique shops along lovely Pine Street. I liked this old cash register and lamp with a glass shade that looks like fabric draped over the bulb.

A very old cemetery on Pine St. These gravestones date back to the Revolutionary War.

Jae strolling up ahead of me. Such a pretty neighborhood!

Posted by Amy Shaw.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Renegade Craft Fair Accepting Apps

Attention all artists and artisans!

The Renegade Craft Fair is now accepting applications for their June fair at Brooklyn's McCarren Park Pool.

Click here to apply!

Posted by Amy Shaw. Image sourced here.

Closed Feb. 19-22

Please note:

We will be closed this week, Feb. 19-22 (Tues.-Fri.), while we attend the big craft shows to find wonderful new handmade work that you will love!

We're open all this weekend and next, though, and of course our Online Shop is always open...

Posted by Amy Shaw. Image sourced here.

Friday, February 15, 2008

"DIY City" Launches

There's a new online magazine in town!

DIY City launched yesterday, and its first issue is all about NYC.

Featuring a different city each issue, the mag covers tons of ground from craft supply resources to street artists to interviews and peeks inside shops.

Denise Carbonell, one of the quilt makers in our current show "Under-Cover," is also featured in this first issue. Congrats Denise!

The editors say this about the inspiration for the magazine:

"DIY City is an online magazine that celebrates the independent artist and the DIY spirit. The idea for the mag grew out of a need to find art supplies and resources in New York City. NYC was a natural pick for our first issue as it seems that just about everyone moonlights doing some type of creative work. DIY, or do-it-yourself, has a broad range of meanings. For us it represents the creative spirit of individuals making things in a move away from mass production. Some of the DIYs we've met make wares to give or trade with others, while many others make them to sell in the ever growing DIY marketplace."

The online magazine format is a little odd to get used to -- there's so much to see and I'd rather hold it in my hands -- but it's definitely worth checking out. Plus, there's no denying that online is more eco-friendly than paper...

DIY City seems like a great idea. Can't wait for the next issue...

(Hat tip to Supernaturale)

Posted by Amy Shaw.
Image sourced here.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Brooklyn Flea Catching Crazy Fire

Several weeks ago, I got an email from the coordinators of the Brooklyn Flea, a new outdoor fair to be held every Sunday at the Bishop Loughlin High School schoolyard (on Lafayette Ave. btw. Vanderbilt & Clermont Ave.) in Fort Greene Park, asking if we'd be interested in coming on board.

Things were so busy that like a dork I put it off. Now I'm kicking myself, hoping we haven't missed the boat...

This thing is gonna be huge! Filled to the brim with indie designers, food producers, antique dealers, furniture makers, the works!

If you're a local maker of any kind and want to learn more, check out their website and register for a booth here. (I'm pretty sure registering does not guarantee you a space, but it's necessary to be considered.)

They have a blog now, so you too can keep track of all the excitement. Check it out coming this spring, and hopefully you'll see us there!

Posted by Amy Shaw.
Image by Brooklyn Flea sourced here.

Greenjeans Gazette for Feb. 08

Check out the latest issue of the Greenjeans Gazette, released today!

If you don't already receive the Gazette in your inbox, you can sign up on our website.

Also, if you'd like to receive the Greenjeans Weekly, an email product blast featuring a different item each week, shoot me an email ( and I'll add you to the list.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Posted by Amy Shaw.
Picture of Jane Kaufmann and Grace Youngren by the author.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Good Stuff on Etsy Multi-Media/The Storque

This afternoon I was hunting for an online tutorial about how to take good object pictures, something I want to share during my talk at ACC Baltimore, and came across this great video tutorial on The Storque, Etsy's blog/online magazine. If you'd like some solid tips for improving the pictures on your blog or website, you can watch it right here.

Since I kinda love online videos, I checked out some others. I hadn't spent so much time exploring the site since I was a Featured Buyer last fall, and am glad I got to today. It is so exciting to see how Etsy is growing and evolving.

Etsy has a whole Multi-Media section of The Storque, with all sorts of web video like studio tours, interviews, and tutorials that address indie business-relevant topics like preparing shipments and making good hang tags. Some of the videos are part of their larger and wonderful How-To pages.

The Storque is a great place to spend some time if you're looking for inspiration or tips for improving your online presence. It's a great resource to surf, and you can even submit your own tutorial here.

Go Web 2.0!

Posted by Amy Shaw.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Report from the NY International Gift Fair

February is fair season for us at Greenjeans, when we go out to see what the hundreds of craftspeople and designers have been up to over the past year and look for extraordinary new work to offer at the shop.

We started with the NY International Gift Fair last week where we picked up two new jewelry makers whom we're very excited to introduce.

The first, adding to our international offerings, is Sarah Lierl of Munich, Germany. In addition to some fantastic wedding band designs (alas, I don't have pics yet), she is also doing a brilliant make-your-own wedding band "kit." It consists of two heart-shaped portions of wax which the couple can shape into whatever form they fancy, and then we will ship it to Sarah in Germany for casting and finishing. Voila, DIY wedding bands! Expect those to appear at Greenjeans in a few weeks...

Our second new jewelry maker is Brooklyn's own Serena Kojimoto, whose work we've been admiring for a couple years now. (That's her Raindrop Lariat at the top.) Serena works in silver and semiprecious stones creating stylish and versatile earrings and necklaces every Brooklyn girl will crave. Her work will also be arriving in a few weeks.

I must mention how completely impressed we always are with the German exhibitors. Walking the fair, sometimes one starts to feel as though they've seen everything before. But then we walk up a few steps onto the platform where a dozen or so German designers and artisans show their work and it's so totally refreshing and inspiring. Besides Sarah Lierl, we loved the cast iron and silver work by Berthold Hoffmann whose bold, utilitarian pieces carry on the Bauhaus tradition. (His silver Tea Service is shown here.)

This week we'll be preparing for the Buyers Market of American Craft in Philadelphia and the American Craft Council's Baltimore show. There will be lots to report on from both, and we look forward to seeing people we only get to see once a year!

I'll also be polishing up my presentation "Crafting Your Online Presence" this week, which I'll be giving Wednesday at 8:30am at the Baltimore fair. I hope you'll come if you're in town!

Posted by Amy Shaw.
Photos courtesy of the artists.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Valentine's Presents to Warm You Up

What a crazy windy snowy day in Brooklyn! It has been such a mild, easy winter thus far that the bluster and cold seemed to take everyone by surprise. Never mind that last night we walked across the Manhattan Bridge to Chinatown for dinner without needing hats, and on Wednesday it was 60-degrees out. The arctic day today (it's 13 out now) reminds us that global warming isn't so much about warmer days as erratic weather patterns, and to remember to keep doing all we can, each of us individually, to address climate change every day.

On a different note: has your sweetheart asked what you'd like for Valentine's Day, and you've said you don't know? Well, let me help you both out. If I may make a suggestion, remind them of the beautiful wine barrel folding chair you both saw and liked at Greenjeans, or the handsome oval basket that would be perfect for the mail, or the beautiful and unusual piece of jewelry you lusted over... Whatever your desire, find it in Greenjeans' Online Shop and email the URL to your sweetie so they can pick it up or order it in time for Thursday delivery!

Because even when they wind's howling and your feet are frozen, a present from Greenjeans will warm you right up!

If you haven't yet, check out "Under-Cover," our winter exhibition featuring small quilts by 16 quilt artists and new sculpture by Jane Kaufmann!
Posted and photo by Amy Shaw.

Friday, February 08, 2008

"Under-Cover" Opening

Wednesday night was the Opening Reception for "Under-Cover," our winter exhibition.

We enjoyed a fantastic turn out with guests packing our small space to see the 21 new works by Jane Kaufmann shown alongside an amazing group of 21 small quilts by 16 quilt artists (including many from Brooklyn) -- Ludmila Aristova, Heidi Atwood, Denise Carbonell, Susanne Clawson, Linda Cline, Mandy Gerth, Kevin Kosbab, Ruth Marchese, Buddy McLaughlin, Diana Robinson, Merrilyn San Soucie, Dorie Blaisdell Schwarz, Pamela Sparr, Steven Stichter, Jeanne Williamson, and Erin Wilson.

All works in "Under-Cover" are on view (and, of course, for sale) on Greenjeans' website here.

Better yet, come over to Park Slope and see the show in person!

Thank you to everyone who came and for making it a festive, warm, and bright event!

Enjoy the pictures...

We invited this burgeoning local artist and admirer of Kaufmann's work to come early and meet Jane. Here she is with her parents getting a first look.

The young fan meets Jane.

Accomplished Brooklyn quilt artists with works in the show, Ruth Marchese, Diana Robinson, and Ludmila Aristova.

The exhibition also includes quilts by Steven Stichter, whose work helped inspire the show, and Erin Wilson, who co-selected the quilts with us.

Guests looked...

... mingled...

... and looked some more.

Jane with cousins from Manhattan.

An installation view, by the window.

And another.

On Thursday, Jane, Grace Youngren (Jane's traveling buddy who is also an artist) and I went to MoMA to see Lucien Freud print show. Then we hopped into a cab and drove through Central Park for lunch at...

... the exquisite Cafe Sabarsky at the Neue Galerie. We took in the Klimt show on view there -- paintings, personal effects, and llots of amazing drawings. And then returned to Brooklyn on the subway.

It was a lovely day after an marvelous evening. (Thank you for coming to NYC for the opening, Jane!!)

Posted by Amy Shaw. Pictures by Greenjeans.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Meet Jane Kaufmann & Quilters Weds. Night!

Just a reminder that the Opening Reception for our winter exhibition "Under-Cover" is tomorrow (Wednesday) night from 6-8pm!

Sculptor Jane Kaufmann will be here along with many of the amazing quilt-makers in the show. We hope you'll be here too!

I'll be putting up all the quilts and sculpture from the show in the Online Shop, so check this link a little later tonight to check it out.

It's going to be a wonderful evening with yummy treats, nice drinks, and some fabulous artisans to meet, so do stop by!

Hope everyone had a good time VOTING today, and we'll see you tomorrow...

Posted by Amy Shaw.
Photo of Opening Reception for our fall 2007 exhibition, Garbage Collection.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Final Selections Announced for "Under-Cover"

We are very happy to announce the 16 quilt makers whose work will be exhibited in "Under-Cover" at Greenjeans!

Congratulations to Ludmila Aristova, Heidi Atwood, Denise Carbonell, Susanne Clawson, Linda Cline, Mandy Gerth, Kevin Kosbab, Ruth Marchese, Buddy McLaughlin, Diana Robinson, Merrilyn SanSoucie, Dorie Schwarz, Pamela Sparr, Steven Stichter, Jeanne Williamson, and Erin Wilson.

Come to the opening reception this Wednesday, Feb. 6, (6-8pm) to see the quilts and meet many of the quilt makers. The show will be on view through March 20.

Click here to see the Complete Submissions (93 quilts by 46 makers), including the ones selected for the exhibition.

Thank you once again to everyone who submitted!