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Maker Stories

Friday Giveaway: Rainy Showers Bring Fall Flowers

October 1, 2010

Congrats to our winner Keri Butler. Hope you all had relaxing weekends! Be sure to subscribe to the Goods via RSS, to get the heads up about our next giveaways and contests!

It’s been raining here in Brooklyn all week. I don’t know about you, but I sure need a pick-me-up!

Luckily this week we’re giving away one of artist Jenn Bell’s Pansy or Echinacea Wall Hangings— made of copper, glass, and enamel, and a sure to keep the flowers blooming year round.

I talked to Jenn for a few minutes this week about how she creates creates her handmade pieces.

“There are daily accidents that turn out to be gorgeous,” says Jenn of her creative process.

What does she mean by that?

“… As I’ve grown up I’ve realized that you have no idea where each day is going to take you and rolling with the punches makes everything better. I’m incredibly hard on myself, so I have pieces all over my shop that I have deemed unacceptable. Friends come over and just randomly point and say, “I like that one.” So I take it to a show and someone else likes it. Sometimes making art seems to be this balance of listening to your gut and ignoring it all at the same time.”

Here’s Jenn at work in her studio.

And the lesson this week is that it’s quite alright to give yourself a break every now and then.

Leave a comment below to win one of Jenn’s beautiful handmade wall hangings, and let us know what you’re doing this weekend to give yourself a break.

As always, you can leave a comment on our Facebook wall, or tweet @uncommongoods to triple your chances to win.

Maker Stories

Friday Giveaway: Wax Seal Necklace

September 17, 2010

Thanks to everyone who shared your stories about the loved ones in your lives. And congrats to Sarah Solducky, who will be sending her holiday cards with a special seal this year.

Stay tuned for more giveaways by subscribing to theGoods.

This week we’re honored to give away one of Tania Condon’s elegant sterling silver wax seal necklaces, that she will custom engrave for one lucky winner.

And this week, you have the chance to win one, custom made. Your sterling silver wax seal necklace comes with a tiny tag that you can have engraved with the initials of a loved one and a date to mark a special day in your heart. Your pendant also comes with your choice of initial and a block of wax, so you seal your letters with a personal touch.

Tania Condon’s son Julian is the main inspiration for her pieces, including the sterling silver wax seal necklace, available custom-made for $95. After the birth of her son, Tania took up metalsmithing in order to make a bracelet for her newborn baby. She learned first at classes at a college in San Diego and then with the help of other masters in the trade. Using the design of a wax fob she saw in a British Museum, she came up with the idea of the pendant.

Tania says, “I love writing letters and sending them via snail mail and I seal them with a wax seal of the letter T. Sometimes I get carried away and even use the wax seal for my bills!”

Want to win? You know what to do! Leave a comment below telling us what special event or person you might commemorate with a sterling silver wax seal necklace. Then leave a comment on our Facebook wall, and tweet @uncommongoods on Twitter to triple your chances. We’ll announce the random winner on Monday.

The Uncommon Life

Eat, Pray, Love, Wear

September 16, 2010

We wouldn’t want to imply that a fashion accessory can bring you the sort of answers that Julia Roberts seeks in her new film, Eat, Pray, Love, but we did want to point out the handmade, fair trade black floral belt that Julia Roberts wears as she explores Italy, India and Indonesia.

We just learned this morning from the belt’s designer, Jenny Krauss. Jenny works with artisans in Bolivia and Peru who handweave these belts from a curly wood thread.  She found meaning in her life by working to make sure these women had a market to sell their crafts. “It’s important to give and empower those less fortunate,” she says. “Most people don’t have a lot of opportunity to better their lives, so it feels good to be able to contribute something empowering and sustainable.”

You can support these fair trade artisans, get started on your own personal journey, and pick out your own belt at UncommonGoods.

From what I hear, Julia Roberts’ character eats a lot of pasta while she’s traveling through Italy. Luckily this black floral belt can be let out a few notches as needed.

Maker Stories

Carolyn Parello Opening

July 30, 2010


Usually on a Friday afternoon, I’m looking forward to the weekend, but right now I’m looking forward to Monday!

That’s because we’re sponsoring artist Carolyn Parello’s exhibit at Piola Pizza. The opening is this Monday, August 2, from 6-8 PM.

Come out to see Carolyn’s fantastic paintings, meet some of us UncommonGoods folks in person, and of course, grab a slice of pizza.

Hope to see you there!

Maker Stories

Get the Blues

May 20, 2010
Laura Lobdell

Calling all New Yorkers!

Like jewelry? Like manicures? Indulge in some girly fun today (Thursday, May 20th) from 6:30 to 8:30 at Butterfly Studio Salon where Uncommon jewelry artist Laura Lobdell will be hosting a jewelry and polish party!

Inspired by the glossy blue doors of Paris’ shops, Laura created this steely-blue-gray nail polish to complement her silver jewelry and celebrate the beginning of summer! Come by Butterfly Studio Salon to receive a complimentary mini manicure and a bottle of Laura Lobdell 183 nail polish, and check out Laura’s latest jewelry collection.

Butterfly Studio Salon
149 5th Avenue between 21st & 22nd (Second Floor)

Make sure you RSVP –

Have fun, girls!

Maker Stories

Tammy Roy at Green Festival

May 19, 2010

Green Festival

Attention Chicagoans!

Our favorite dumpster diver – Uncommon artist Tammy Roy – tipped us off about a very cool festival happening in your neck of the woods this weekend (May 22-23).

Green Festival is little get-together of about 350 diverse local and national green businesses. There will be how-to workshops, a Fair Trade pavilion, a Green Home pavilion, an Organic Food and Gardening pavilion, a Community Action and Green Careers pavilion…plus fun stuff for kids AND delicious organic beer, wine and cuisine! Makes me wish I could go!

Tammy Roy (shown here digging for metal) will be in the Green Home pavilion exhibiting some of her amazing industrial art pieces that she makes from discarded tools and recycled metals.

Tammy Roy

Tickets are $10 for one day or $15 for the weekend. Bike riders get in free! Schedules, speakers and more can be found on the Green Festival website.

Maker Stories

Congrats to artist Tammy Smith!

May 18, 2010

Tammy Smith

Just wanted to give a big shout-out to artist Tammy Smith who recently won Best in Show at the New Orleans Jazz Festival art fair!

Tammy joined the UncommonGoods artist team in the fall of 2009 – with her signature treasure boxes inspired by old-fashioned circuses and abandoned carnivals.

Tammy won the “best in show” award for her entire body of work which consisted of mixed media wall art and wire sculptures that teeter between joyful and eerie.  In addition to showing her work, Tammy was also in a demo tent, and spent several hours a day showing people how she makes her wire sculptures. Very cool!

Tammy Smith

A little about the festival: The New Orleans Jazz Festival art fair is a national juried art fair that is
held every year in NOLA. This 10-day cultural festival not only consists of artists and craftspeople from all over the world, but also thousands of cooks and musicians serving up delicious Louisiana cuisine and world-renowned music. The show has three art areas: Congo Square, featuring mostly African American artists, Louisiana Marketplace, which features local artists, and the Contemporary Crafts area, which features artists from all over the country. Tammy participated in the Contemporary Crafts group with a focus on  3D mixed media.

Congrats Tammy!

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