End of the year; End of an era

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Well, it’s hard to believe but we’ve reached the final curtain.  So many of you have already stopped in and showered us with kind, appreciative kudos of all kinds that we’re still a bit glowy and big headed.  It’s been such an overwhelming and emotional time…we are truly going to miss seeing so many of you as customers, vendors, and friends.

Just in case you couldn’t make it last week you will have exactly two more days to enter 10242 E. Northwest Highway while it is still called Makers Connect.  One more hug around the neck and then we  hit the road, soon to be transformed as…. The Art Annex!
We sure hope you go and check them out when they open.  Caleb and Lynda make cool stuff, and have a lot of different artists waiting in the wings to show their creations.

Cheers to you, one and all!  Mwaaa!      xox, Chris   (trulyunruhly@yahoo.com)

Holiday Shopping just got more Colorful and Fun!

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We’re already pretty colorful and fun around Makers Connect, but just to amp up the volume, we’re bringing in two SUPER colorful folks this weekend to help you gather gifts for the discriminating artsy people in your life.

All day from 11: 00  till 5:00 we host Brad Abrams, a south-east Dallas local phenom known for his sprawling studio compound, where he blows and casts glass.  Color and forms are forever trapped in his giant witch balls!   Janice Somerville, resident of Old Lake Highlands, brings her one of a kind metal ‘Bots, clay heads, and Jetsons-inspired jewelry!  We’ll offer finger snacks and bubbly to enjoy as you browse!

Two Great Events Coming! Saturdays Nov. 18 & 25th

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Well we’ve done it again; landed back at the Holidays!  It might be time to get our minds off the news of the day and try to really get into the season.  And, as we’re come to discover, perfect gifts don’t find themselves.  But we can definitely help YOU find them!

Some of the ways we’re doing this is to stock our store up with amazing goods by scads of local artists and crafters…. and then going the extra miles to host parties and trunk shows where they bring even MORE of their amazing creations for you to purchase!

The first show will be on Saturday, November 18 with Janice Somerville and Andrea Smith.  Then the following week, we have yet *another* amazing show with three artists; Kim Morris, Kelley Vaughan and Jason from Recovered Cycling!

A little bit about what you can expect:

Janice makes adorable robot critters using cast-off metal parts, aluminum space-inspired jewelry, drilled rock necklaces, and brightly painted masks and crazy heads out of colorful ceramics.

Andrea makes amazing tiny beaded trees set onto geodes, as well as beaded jewelry using her great color sense.  She will probably be demonstrating her technique during the show!

Kim will be de-stashing many year’s worth of jewelry findings, beads, and gemstones, plus her own incredible jewelry.

Kelley is bringing her amazing Mid Century Modern styled pottery; from tiny vases with crystal-enhanced lids to her signature round white airplant holders.

Jason is a cyclist with passion for quality leather goods and customization of your ride.

Please come out, enjoy some drinks and bites with us, and delight your family and friends this year with handmade goodies from your friends and neighbors right here in super cool East Dallas!

Shop Small; Shop LOCAL Lake Highlands!

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Saturday, November 25 has become regarded as the Alternative to Black Friday, a day when folks are encouraged to shop small and local… keep their dollars closer to home while supporting small cottage industries and mom and pops.  We have a number of such businesses here in LH, and are so tickled to be involved in this super fun party!

This year the Lake Highlands Chamber of Commerce, of which we’re a member, has taken an interest in promoting our local businesses by elevating this day with celebrations in our Lake Center parking lot and environs.

All the small shops will be taking part by hosting musicians, artisans, amazing vintage cars, food, and drinks all day!  We at MC will play host to a number of our own in-house vendors in addition to some new friends; plus we’ll have live music and even demonstrations of art in the making!  You won’t want to miss this family-friendly event.

 

 

 

Cat-a-pa-Looza! Saturday, October 7!

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Celebration of Cats at Makers Connect.  All day long cat-centered party, featuring local Purrr-sonalities like Instagram Cat Mom, Patti Haskins Critters, Kris Hundt Photography, CatLadyDallas, Kelley Cheek, and work by Robin Ayers, Carlos Zuniga, Beverly Ann Moore (BAM!), Jane Corley, and others!

 photo by Kris Hundt

Okay, the cat is out of the bag…. the truth is, we LOVE cats.  We’ve had them in the store, at our homes, and in our hearts for many years.  Yes, we love dogs and other animals too.  But cats are so quietly unassuming as to not get their fair share of adulation and adoration.  We decided it’s time to rectify that.

So we’re having a one day all out festivus del gatos; a celebration des chats – a cat house extraordinaire!

  Patti Haskins Critter Central creations

To help us celebrate, we are having these visitors and activities throughout the day:

  •  Patti Haskins: Absolutely, hands-down, the BEST catnip toys available on this planet!!  Guaranteed.  Plus, adorable cotton cat and kitten pillows and crocheted critters
  • Cats on Film** – Photography of your sweet babies by professional photographer Kris Hundt.  Please see examples and sign up for a session (scroll down…)
  • Dallas Cat Lady, Leigh; bringing information and education about how to get involved with saving lives of local cats (feral and non)
  • Instagram Cat Mom – Jessica Spawn creates videos about cats glorious cats, such as her entries at both Cat Film Festivals with the Dallas Video Festival recently.  She will be sharing her new book, The Christmas Kitten, and will bring sneak peaks and the chance to help her group-fund this wonderful creation!
  • Kelley Cheek  (Takeiteasystudio) will be doing demos on painting and printing using dominos, fabric, cardstock…. and will bring the magic of cats to her art!
  • Coasters, cards, magnets, images on paper and fabric and glass…. all made by local artisans!  (BAM, Jane Corley, Robin Ayers, Carlos Zuniga, and more!)
  • Cat ears made by Chris and Lela will be on sale to raise funds that will benefit Cat Lady’s operation all over Dallas
  • Special cat-themed snacks and drinks!

“Cats on Film” with Kris Hundt:

Time slots are available here for having your cat photographed.  You can opt to pose with your cat too!  Please bring your cat in a carrier and bring along anything that will help it feel more comfortable.  Kris has had lots of experience both with humans and pets, and has a knack of putting everyone at ease.

The fee includes a photo session, with one pose, of approximately 15 minutes and the final selection of one high resolution digital downloadable photo and the availability to purchase additional downloads, prints and much more. ($10.00 of each photo session will be donated to DallasCatLady.org operations to assist feral and homeless cats.)

Session:   12:00 – 12:15    Session:  12:15 – 12:30 

Session:  12:30 – 12:45      Session:  12:45 – 1:00    

Session:  1:00 – 1:15          Session:  1:15- 1:30

Session:  1:30 – 1:45          Session:  1:45 – 2:00        Session:  2:00 – 2:15

Session:  2:15 – 2:30          Session:  2:30 – 2:45        Session:  2:45 – 3:00

Session:  3:15 – 3:30          Session:  3:30 – 3:45        Session:  3:45 – 4:00

Session:  4:15- 4:30           Session:  4:30 – 4:45        Session:  4:45 – 5:00

Passing the torch….Changes afoot at Makers Connect!

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We sent out this press release just last night.  We hope our customers, vendors, and well-wishers will stop by often before and after the transition.  It’s a very exciting time for us!

An Artful Transition – For Immediate Release

 Makers Connect, a quirky family-run gift shop/gallery at Northwest Highway and Easton, has plans to hand over the reigns to another local East Dallas family in the new year, Lynda Sparks and Caleb Jack.

The shop, which has been open for nearly four years, brings in an eclectic blend of local artisan-made goods from over 80 North TX artisans, plus selected goods from other sources that relate to the whimsical and lighthearted vibe the store projects. 

The new owners have plans to keep the ‘funky’ and ramp up the fine-art side, which only makes sense.  Caleb has spent many years assisting the operation of Artisans Collective, one of Dallas’ most notable local-art galleries.  Recently shuttered due to the gentrification of the Bishop Arts district, it’s his hope that many of those wonderful artists will find new space at “Makers Connect – the Art Annex,” while maintaining many of the current artisans in the mix. 

Makers Connect, the First Edition, will run through Christmas with a number of unique events and classes!  Come shop local and artistically in Dallas.

Location and information at www.makersconnect.org, https://www.facebook.com/MakersConnectDallas/ and on Instagram:  chris_makers_connect.

 

Nice feedback! Thanks, Yelpers!

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We appreciate that many of you have taken time to return the love by sitting down and writing a short review or shout out on Yelp, or Facebook, or Square, or Instagram, or….wherever.  Really it’s wonderful!  Apparently I can share these reviews so I will try to do so here so everyone can be warmed as much as we are!  FUZZIES ALL AROUND!

This one is most recent, by a customer,  Lisa L.

This one is by a vendor/makers who also teaches classes at our store, https://www.yelp.com/embed/widgets.js</span>”>Kris Hundt.

 

 

 

Event: Headshot Photography here July 29!

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Professional Headshot for under $50.00!?  You must be kidding.  Everyone knows they that good ones are *much* more expensive.  Not really.

Everyone should have a recent professional headshot on their website or social media page. A Pop-Up session is a great way to own a quality headshot at the fraction of the price. For only $45, you can have your own mini-session with professional photographer, Kris Hundt.

She will be here at Makers Connect for half the day on Saturday, July 29, from 12:00 – 4:00 pm.  All you need to do is walk in with your favorite solid color top on and your dazzling smile.  She’ll make everything fun and easy.

The fee includes a photo session, with one look, of approximately 15 minutes and the final selection of one high resolution digital downloadable photo and the availablity to purchase additional downloads, prints and much more. The fee is payable cash, check or credit card; or prepay here and then forget about it till end of July.

Kris H_HEADSHOT DAY

Today! Trunk show with Lynda Sparks Jewelry

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Gorgeous, completely unique and one of a kind creations.  You have not seen anything like these; they are so wonderful and wild.  Lynda lets her inner child go free when she weilds a torch and does her magic.

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The World According to Lynda:

Making jewellery makes my heart smile.

I choose a stone and it tells me how it wishes to be dressed.

I absolutely love buying stones & metal.

I absolutely hate organizing materials.

My favorite color is whatever attracts me at the time.

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We’ll be serving cold cava (not to the kids!) so you can relax a bit about mother’s day and get inspired gifting ideas.

 

Makers Days – Weekends in Spring

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We are having a such a fun time hosting our vendors in an ongoing week-end moveable trunk show feast!  Take a moment to learn about these upcoming makers; their life stories add to the allure of their work!  ____________________________________________________________

Eryn Rosenbaum, Jewelry:

Eryn started making earrings about 14 years ago, because that’s when she first pierced her ears. She immediately realized that she had quite a lot of earring buying to catch up with, and simultaneously discovered a bead shop right down the street. The challenge was accepted. Over the following years, she has never turned down the impulse to research and appropriate a new jewelry-making technique, which worked out all right since her husband never, ever minds the new workbenches and equipment that periodically appear in their bedroom. Or as he sometimes calls it, the earring room. While earrings are definitely the focus, Eryn does also make other jewelry such as pendants and rings, and truly enjoys working on custom orders for one-of-a-kind treasures.
The thing Eryn loves most about creating is how each piece turns out differently from the last, yet across all the different techniques and styles she uses, she can always recognize something of herself in each piece. The thing Eryn hates the most about creating is always knowing what time of day it is. If the world had no clocks (and her two children were a little older), Eryn would probably lapse into a pattern of 26-hour days, because 24 just isn’t enough. Eryn’s favorite color is turquoise, which is not a very precise answer since turquoise comes in so many shades and hues. She doesn’t have an unfavorite color.
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Jane Corley, Maker Extraordinaire
I am an almost-empty nester attorney, and have been doing work with collage, photography, and jewelry most of my life. My favorite thing to do these days is to incorporate vintage/antique imagery with whimsical dialogue, which takes form in art/greeting cards. My online identity is http://www.irreverently-yours.com, which is a work in progress but pretty much sums up the sentiment I try to convey. I like using the wide variety of media available today: laser-copy image transfers, acrylic paint, lace, foil, paper, and a Pfaff 2140 sewing machine. Source material for the dialogue balloons is (mostly) from old, dead persons, with a smattering of that from modern comics when they just cannot be denied. I hope these portrayals of the human comedy will tickle your funny bone while letting you express your affection for the recipient.

 

Modern Art Show – Still in Progress!

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Reception was warm for Selena Dixon and her work last night.  We had a blast meeting new neighbors, old customers, and a number of MC vendors as well!  Discussions of art were everywhere you looked, in between sips of Cava and wine and bites of cheese and Jordan almonds.  Thanks to everyone who came, and to those who purchased Real Art for their homes and offices.

Romanca Mandala – Sold!

Valentines Day is Coming!

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Are you running around like a maniac, trying to find the perfect gift?  Well, please take a breath.  Take two.  Sit down a spell in this comfy chair. Here, have a glass of wine.

Now, let us help you with your shopping!  We have two exciting events coming up this weekend – expertly timed to help you find the tokens of handmade affection for your sweetheart, good friends, and even yourself.

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Saturday, Feb 11:   Kim Morris Trunk Show –  Fabulous craftsmanship from start to finish.  Kim is the *real* deal and if you haven’t seen her work, please do yourself a favor and drop in.  We’ll have complimentary snacks and bubblies while you browse!

Kim will be in-house with her jewelry and Japanese silk scarves all day, from 11- 5pm.

kim-morris-three-part-horiz-trunkshow

Sunday, Feb 12:   Valentine Party with Special Guest, the *Mistress of Good Fortunes Foretold and Love Advice,* Miss BAM! 

Because we know our customers enjoy having another day to shop for Valentine goodies, we’ll be open from 12:00 till 4:00 on Sunday to help you find the right gift and to celebrate the season of love with yummy bites, bubbling beverages, handmade greeting card making (free!  Just bring your creativity!  Small children are discouraged from this activity due to sharp scissors.)

And the BEST treat?  All day our talented seer of good news (no doom here, folks) will be onsite, doing 15 minute readings for a mere $10 donation; a portion of which she has earmarked for one of her favorite local animal charities.  We are scheduling readings HERE – so please go to this link and snag your spot!  You don’t want to miss out on this.  She only has 11 spaces.  See you this weekend!

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New Events, Workshops, and Fun!

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Wow!  We are completely overwhelmed here with so much news to share.

Here are all the new classes, trunk shows, and fun activities coming up at our place!  We really hope you can take part in some of them.

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Thursday, Feb. 2 –  Larry Pile, aka the Kessler Craftsman – is offering his first Fused Glass class here at Makers Connect.  Create a set of 4 Coasters/Tiles.
Cost is $40 per person.  6:30-8:30pm.   Sign up here!      CLASS IS FULL!

Friday, Feb 3 – The Lord of the Ring, a Bracelet Making Adventure with Jessica Barst – moving from Friday, Jan. 20 to Friday, Feb. 3.  Price is lowering from $28 to $25.  Space is still available so sign up now!        ALMOST FULL!

Saturday, Feb 11 – Kim Morris will be here for a pre-Valentine’s Day Trunk Show, all day. 11 – 5pm.  Treat yourself and a good friend to a fabulously colorful piece of her gorgeous, uniquely graphic handcrafted silver jewelry with shots of bright color!

Sunday, Feb 12 – Valentine’s Fun!  Special guest:  “Venus Fortunes & Counsel on LOVE…Saint Valentine’s Amoure Answers…Charmed Guidance & Fortunes  Foretold” with our amazing goddess of good news, Beverly Ann Moore!  Plus special drinks, drawings, give-aways, balloons, cupcakes, candy….and shopping all the new Valentines’ handmade gifts.

Thursday, March 2 – Kessler Craftsman/Larry Pile will lead Fused Glass Bowl making.  Create two 5.5″ bowls.  Cost is $60 per person.  6:30 – 8:30pm Thursday

Friday, March 10 – Selena Dixon painting preview.  Bright spring tones and sprightly, modern geometries make these paintings so perfect for the season and for our mood here at Makers.  Come welcome Selena and her work with a wine and cheese reception from 6- 9 pm.

May 4 – Kessler Craftsman/Larry Pile.  Mother’s Day Special!  Come and bring your child, or your mom, and create jewelry together.   Only $40 per person, $80 for two

*Please go to our Classes & Workshops page for more details on classes and links to sign up.  We look forward to seeing you soon around the craft table! 

kim colors  img_5636-1

 

 

 

 

Giving Thanks, Small Business Saturday and Trunk Shows!

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So much coming up – but first I’d like to wish everyone a very happy thanksgiving.

Enjoy all the wonderful things about this holiday – the food, friends, family, and most of all…. our continued freedom.

This was my father’s favorite holiday because there were no other things to focus on (other than football, which he enjoyed a vague passing interest in) and he really did love the opportunity to exercise his amazing cooking skills for the enjoyment of all those who assembled (including random ‘straglers’ – friends or acquaintances who may not have had a place to go on Thanskgiving.)

Now, Steve and I also enjoy cooking at our house; feeding friends and family and keeping our new and old recipe traditions alive – including my great aunt Al’s cheese ball that employs some weird salted chipped beef that will soon be impossible to buy but tastes AMAZING – so obviously,we’ll be closed on Thanksgiving.  We hope you’ll come see us on Friday, Saturday, and even Sunday.  (If you want my aunt’s cheeseball recipe, I’ll be glad to share it.)  Have a great holiday, ya’ll.

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Saturday, November 26 – SMALL BUSINESS SATURDAY

Come in, have a fizzy beverage, and dig your hand deep into our Fish Bowl of treats and Discounts!  Lots of great deals and give-aways, so please make it a point to stop in.

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December Trunk Shows:

Sat. December 3 – Cindy Bagwell Trunk Show.  Sophisticated *and* funny dwell together in Cindy’s earring and necklaces designs, realized in mixed metals, wire, fiber, and gemstones.

cindy-long-earrings cindy ear 2cakedeath ears

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Sat. December 10 – Audrey Legatowicz Trunk Show – Bright, soft, and oh so lovely dyed silk scarves; beaded “Baby Boomer” necklaces; felted pillows and garments, and the most amazing woven scarves, shawls, and handbags.  You will want to treat yourself; one for you, one for your friend/sister/mom/sibling…..one more for you!

audrey-scarf  audrey-handbags

audrey-scarves   Jordan teacher

 

 

 

 

We Love the Creepy, Unusual…. and of course Halloween & Day of the Dead!

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Do you too?

We have gathered many cool things to decorate your windows and doors – even your couches, kitchen and yourself!  Here are a few examples:  Why not come see them for yourself and get your freak on?

img_5782_srgbcakedeath earsrobin-watch-casesIMGP1774Bart headAngela Mosera earringsAng Mo neck bwSoldered pendant bird pambruces-terrarium-front-viewskullfrida flowers brightozzy the manozzy likes to readSH old necklaces

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Vendor in the Spotlight… Robin Ayres in Japan!

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This is one of the cool stories that make our jobs at Makers Connect so special and fulfilling so we thought we’d share:

It begins on the day that one Robin Ayres came sweeping through our door in her energetic way, having decided to attend our Thursday Makers Meetup.  She was wearing a giant necklace composed of hundreds upon hundreds of pieces of black plastic which  upon closer inspection, were a combination of dominoes and retro celluloid charms  layered on top of one another.  She took it off to show me how much it weighed;  That thing was HEAVY.

robin-blue-bursts-neck robin-watch-cases

After we learned about our mutual commonalities through her day job as the sole product namer for the Richards Group, we delved more into her photo books.  It was then that minds were blown all over the place.  Her body of work as seen on Pinterest is nothing short of Amazing, Prolific, Colorful, and NUTS!   https://www.pinterest.com/foundcolors/my-jewelry-creations/

Robin explained that she has synesthesia, and can taste the colors she’s using as she works with them.  There are therefore certain colors that you’ll never see in her work.

Fast forward a few months, and a few meetups later, and we were able to talk her into letting us carry Robins’s amazing watch-case necklaces and upcycled globes at Makers.

As far the necklaces she showed us at that first meetup; no, they were still not for sale.  To anyone.  She explained they just took so much time (both collecting and making) that she swore she’d never sell them, but might consider lending them for a museum or gallery show.

robn-big-blue-cluster-neck   robin-white-and-pearlrobin-aqua-blue-fringe robin-dark-blue-short

But what she said was heard by the universe, because about 8 months later… a museum shop came calling… and it wasn’t just any shop.  It was Kohei Tanaka from Trading Store Comme des Garcons in Tokyo.  Whoa.

He had located her online via her Pinterest pages.  Both shocked and honored, she wrote to us saying that she had finally found what felt like the right match in a retailer that would truly be able to showcase these incredible art jewelry pieces.

Best of luck, Robin!  We hope they fly off the shelves – we know you’re already busy making more.

Below:  Photo from Comme des Garcons in Tokyo.  Robin’s work is showcased in plexiglass boxes, inside large glass vitrines flanked by black balls.  So mod.

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Makers Connect… what does it mean?

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For some reason, the rain is making me question my existence…. and why my patient husband, feisty mother, and loyal / hilarious helpmate have joined hands in supporting…. this retail endeavor we call Makers Connect.  The other day, I overheard someone say, “Your store has a stupid name.”  Well, perhaps.  It’s not the funniest or catchiest… most of those had already been taken. Originally I loved the name Local Talent.  Three years ago, the dba was already in use and I couldn’t have it… I checked a few weeks ago and it was available again.  But now we’re here and we’re not going to buy another lighted sign (do you know how much those cost??  Shocking.)

lighed sign

For the sake of clarity and to clear away any cobwebs in case there are others who also think our name is ‘dumb’, I offer this explanation:

Makers Connect – to their tribe.

Makers Connect – to their market

Makers Connect – to their talent

Makers Connect – to meeting other artists

Makers Connect – to learning new talents

Makers Connect – to one another, to neighborhood… to new possibilities.

If you still think it’ dumb, then write to me and we can have a dialogue.  Also, your mother dresses you funny.*

 

 

 

 

*Just kidding.  I know you dressed yourself.

**Really kidding… your mother is absolutely lovely.

 

 

 

 

Two New Reasons to leave your AC and come into Ours!

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Summer can seem like a game of frogger – dodging out to the car, into a shop, back to the car, into another shop, then back to the house…exhausted and hot.  But what if the shop had fun things to look at, nice folks, music, food, cool drinks, and wonderful art and accessories to browse?  What if there might also be something fun to do with the kids that you can bring home and keep or give as gifts?

Hear us now; we have TWO such events coming up – so mark your calendar now!  For the next two Saturdays, we’re having a couple of our wonderful maker/vendors in the shop with a trunk show and charming make-and-take:  Here are the details:

 Saturday, July 16 from 11:00 – 4:00
Trunk Show with Savannah Hoffman Designs!  
Retro-Modern Jewelry with a Boho Vibe
SH jewelry skulls  SH leather bracelets
Meet the Maker this Saturday, July 16 at Makers Connect.  She will bring a fabulous abundance of her eclectic and unusual “Victorian Rocker-Meets-Biker-Chic” jewelry!  Come again, you say?  Think of rhinestones and skeletons; tintypes and old leather….ancient Egypt meets the Silver Screen!
SH old necklaces
Felicia has a knack of mixing the old and the new, with an appreciation for history and meaning.  These pieces are super special.  Felicia will even create custom pieces for you.  Grab your friends and check it out- one day only.  Drinks and nibbles will be offered.
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Saturday, July 24
 “Charmed, I’m Sure!”     Make-and -Take Personalized Pendants with Ed Freiheit 
   Noon – 4 pm in store;  no pre-registration required!
We know you love the heart-shaped city charms here at the shop, as well as the many other Steampunky creations of Ed Freiheit.  Many of you have asked how to make them, or even ordered custom work from him.  Now we’re offering the opportunity to sit down with Ed and make some charms yourself.  Bring your own tiny-sized images to make custom pieces or use the images and maps he will have on hand.
 
Ed charms
Pricing:
1 item $12,  2 items $10 each,  3+ items $8 each.  Subtract $1.00 for each image that you provide.  Images should be on non-gloss paper with water safe inks.  Pay as you go.
Just  drop in any time during the afternoon!

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Vendor Spotlight on Lynda Sparks

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Vendor Spotlight:  Lynda Sparks, Jewelry

How does one end up doing what one is doing in life?  It’s almost never a straight-arrow path.  The story is often as interesting as the items of art one creates, but sometimes we lack the time to ask the questions or to spin the more in-depth stories about our artists.  I started asking Lynda because I was really curious how she came to her level of craft after retirement.  Also, the sheer variety of the jewelry she brings in is really on another level.  It appears that jewelry making for her seemed to come from a wellspring of desire to do something creative after a lifetime of other professional endeavors, from accounting to running a day-care facility.

“I retired twice; but just had too much energy to sit at home and twiddle my thumbs.  I needed to express myself with something.”  She adds to that, “Art is for your soul; math is for your mind.”

She had clearly spent enough of her life working with math.   So she started creating greeting cards, which she sold at the Artisan’s Collective, a gallery of local art located in the Bishop Arts area of Oak Cliff, in Dallas.

“But I soon realized that it takes the same amount of time to make a card as it does to make jewelry, and I could sell jewelry for more!”  So, she started watching jewelry videos, and learned how to create wrapped wire jewelry.   She believes that if you want to know how to do something, the best money is spent on materials and practice rather than expensive courses. “I guess I’m too opinionated for some teachers but in the end I learn more by just doing it myself.”  Her favorite metalsmithing DVD courses were by Lexi Erickson, available through Rio Grande.

“Whenever I hit a glitch, I tell myself to not get discouraged –  and eventually I would keep at it and got to a point where I felt pretty good about what I was doing.”  What did she do after mastering wire wrapping?  Why, she just moved on to pouring resin.  Then she took the resin pieces and wrapped those!

Now she’s making folded copper cuffs and rings, as well as large funky stone-set rings and necklaces.  The fact that was able to teach herself to solder bezels and set stones demarks a major line in the sand that sets her apart from many jewelry makers.  Every time she drops by, we’re always pleasantly amazed to see what wonderful new creations she’s whipped up.

We like her attitude a lot.  She sums it up, “My advice is to just keep at it.  If one thing isn’t working, try something else!”  There is clearly no keeping this gal down. Go, Lynda!

That New-Art Smell is here!

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Regardless of what is going on around me in the world or our lives, we try to keep the doors open to new artists with intriguing ideas and creations.  These past few months we’ve brought in these terrific new folks; we hope you can come see their work soon.

(Also we have new work by our OTHER 85 local artists!  Yesterday we received a neat bunch of adjustable rings and man-worthy pendant necklaces by Lynda Sparks.)

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Amy Marks – Funky Finials:  Upcycling those one-off vintage salt and pepper shakers and giving them a new lease on life as funky lamp finials!  Also soon to come, Treasure Handbags!

Zunlan Designs – Carlos Zunlan and partner create handbags, satchels and totes from scratch.  Some with leather accents and others with fashion-mag worthy handpaintings by Carlos.  Also colorful patterned coasters.

heart bag Zunlan    coasters

Shauna Young – Reticulated (heavily textured) silver jewelry paired with her own hand-lapidaried stones….. all coordinated into beautiful pendants and cuffs.

Vera Guillan – Embroidered jackets.  The blessed Virgin of Guadalupe comes to life when Vera and her sister come in contact with vintage jeans jackets.

more photos to come!

 

Shiny, Fun Stuff to Do and See!

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Mother’s Day is officially behind us – and we had so much fun feteing our vendors and the many customers who have become fans and collectors of their work and of our shop.  As someone in politics once said, ‘it takes a village!’ but I wish to add, ‘momentum = time + perserverence + mass of awesome sauce!’  Which is to say-  we’re hitting our stride.  And we’re always trying to stay one step ahead with new surprises in everything from classes and events as well as artisans – so do please add yourself to our mailing list if you haven’t yet, and follow us on Facebook and Instagram (chris_makers_connect)

Here’s a taste of something we’re getting excited about coming up – hope you can make it out!

A Lifetime of Jewelry Making Sale(1)

 

 

Spring has Erupted as Makers Bring in New Work and Mother’s Day Party!

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We’re so thrilled it’s SPRING!  Aren’t you? 

Getting more done every day thanks to extra hours of sunshine; plus all the perennials are gently reemerging, along with bees, butterflies, and birds!  We’ve noticed an increase in a several species around our far east Dallas neighborhood (that probably is a result of global warming) such as white doves, blue hairstreaks (with freaky orange bodies!), more Robins and seemingly more woodpeckers too.

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At the shop, we’re experiencing a vernal bloom as well in terms of brand new product that has just walked in this week!  From the soft, easter-egg colors of silk and antique linen scarves by Lisa Payne to the light purple and peach tones in Robin Weiss’ newest glass bowls, to the radiant kaleidescopic tones of Kim Morris’ newest sterling and copper earrings and the sassy little cotton jackets and hats by Reid Barnhart….plus the newly repackaged 100% soy candles by GLO and by Dylan and Co!  Whew, and that’s only One Week!

You simply must do yourself the favor of a visit and see what else we forgot to mention, and keep in mind that Mother’s Day is right around the corner and we’re celebrating with tables of handmade goods made locally just with moms in mind.  Come to our artists’ party Friday, April 29th in the evening, and meet some of your favorite local creatives!

 

 

Making America Great Again! (not a political commentary)

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Are you sick and tired of hearing blowhard politicians ranting about how he or she is going to “bring America back” and “make it great again”?  I sure am.  For one, my idea of what makes a country great is probably not the same as that guy/gal thinks it is… so we’re not even talking apples to apples.  Of course we all love America, but some of us think the best cure is from the roots up and not from the top down.  But when do speak of produce, I know exactly where to find it – at the Farmers Markets.  And I am super excited that it’s THAT TIME AGAIN!

If you’re a crafter who sells your work at shows, this is probably the second most exciting  time of year for you (following Christmas!)  Not only is the weather warming up, the flowers and trees are all in bloom and the days are suddenly (magically) longer by an hour… AND there’s the official beginning of a new round of farmers markets!

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Here in East Dallas, we have enjoyed the wonderfully curated White Rock Local Market and watched it grow from a twice a month affair to an eight time a month market, changes in venue and even a change in name!  (to Good Local Markets)

Now there’s also a new couple of shows on the block that we’ll be checking out – The Marketplace Casa View –  and hoping that theybring good things to an area of town that is in need of some uplift and on the brink of some serious revitalization efforts by neighbors and businesses (Ferguson Road Initiative and Greater Casa View Alliance).

The shows are sponsored by an independent organizer for the benefit of the churches and the hoods themselves, and will be occuring twice monthly from 9am – 2pm: first Saturdays at St. Pius X Catholic church at 3030 Gus Thomason Road, and same times every second Saturdays at Ridge Point Fellowship at 11440 Ferguson Road.

casa view center  neighborhood map

So when you wake up on Saturday or are out and about on Sunday – remember to stop by a friendly local market; pick up some fresh basil and tomatoes (and coffee, and eggs, and bread!) and stroll past the craft vendors.  We might have a perfect bangle bracelet or planted pot for you and a gift for your mom’s birthday.  You will have something one of a kind, and also support your local, American neighbor.  Isn’t that what keeps America strong?  Well, that and zombies.  Of course.

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Soapgirl in the Dallas Morning News!

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These guys are dear to our hearts here at Makers.  They have been great friends to us from the ‘time before the brick and mortar,’ right up till this very day… so it’s fantastic to see them receiving not just success in their endeavors but also the press recognition!  Read on!___________________________________________________________________

Photos by Clare Miers

David and Rebecca Day finish a batch of their Soapgirl artisan soap for one of their retail clients. Their soap making began as a hobby and has since grown into a flourishing gig for the couple.

Rebecca and David Day combine their art backgrounds to blend a fresh, new soap product line called Soapgirl.

The Richardson husband-and-wife team is really onto something, with retailers knocking on their door wanting more soap. Their busy Cedars studio is delivering.

The soap making really just began as a hobby in 2010. Rebecca’s graphic design talents motivated her to play around with the packaging and branding. In 2012, she tested them online.

Maker’s Connect in Dallas, which supports local artists, then started carrying the line. Whole Foods picked up Soapgirl in the Dallas area and later began carrying the line in its southwestern stores. Posh Dr. Delphinium soaped up, too.

The business was solidifying like a big chunk of raw, room-temp cocoa butter. Urban Outfitters caught a whiff of the vibrant, textural soaps and asked for a few hundred bars for its stores. Not long after, the chain wanted 11,000 more.

A lot of preparation

David focuses on the soap base mixtures and pouring. Rebecca is in charge of blending essential oils, garnishing and packaging.

“A lot of soap making is preparation,” David says. “We make our own lye.”

They were cranking out more than 700 bars for Urban Outfitters this week.

Their son Jasper, 11, chills on a sofa playing a computer game while keeping an eye on all of the soap action. His dad points a remote temperature gun at a bucket of soap base and then starts mixing. Rebecca mixes the essential oils.

soapgirl peppermintWith protective gear on and surrounded by mounds of cocoa butter solids melting nearby, David blends and pours large buckets of fragrant, cantaloupe-colored soap. Rebecca sprinkles salt on the exposed ends of the soaps.

The soap medleys range from grapefruit and salt scents to more contemporary patchouli and black-lava salt concoctions.

Good combination

When two artists collide, the result can be pretty dynamic. Rebecca earned an art degree from the University of Texas at Austin, and David has a ceramics degree from the University of Dallas.

In the late ’90s, Rebecca was introduced to David on a blind date through an art friend.

“David was a potter at Old City Park and I know, he was just so cute. I was a graphic designer at Greensheet. We just hit it off,” she says.

The like-minded artists merged and created some impressive things. Over the years, their building has shifted from a clay studio to the soap workshop it is today.

David had a garden-pots line at Redenta’s in Dallas for years. And La Madeleine tapped into the Days’ talents, too. From 1998, the memorable Quimper-faience-inspired tiles with primitive glazes and hand-painted images were made by the Days. They even made those oversize mugs with French sayings and translations.

“I was the painter and he was the potter, and it was a match made in heaven,” Rebecca says. “We just sort of became their artists-in-residence in 1998.”

Right in the middle

You can feel how artists are drawn to the edgy Cedars vibe. A stone’s throw away, the McKinney Avenue Contemporary is taking root and planning for major expansions. The Days enjoy being in the middle of it all.

“We love this place and hope to renovate and turn our place into a live-in and work studio,” Rebecca says.

A recurring theme with artists today is that they often have a war story about how they survived the economic hardships of 2008 and 2009. Creative industries were hit hard, and ingenuity and resilience got many artists through it.

“We had a kid and a mortgage and we couldn’t be goofing off in the clay studio,” Rebecca says.

In a bit of a detour from their respective art paths, David went into real estate and Rebecca studied architecture at the University of Texas at Arlington. She picked up a graphic design job.

“We’d worked together since 1997, then we had to put our kid in day care. He was just 3 and it was hard,” she says.

They even sublet parts of their studio to fellow artists, to hang on to their building.

When the soap concept arrived and flourished, there was the rush of collaboration again.

“It is wonderful for us to work on something together again,” Rebecca says.

Clare Miers is a Dallas freelance writer

Dallas Observer lists us! “Top Ten Places to Shop for Locally Made Gifts (that Don’t Suck)”

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The Dallas Observer has included us in the their Top Ten Places to Shop for Local in Dallas!  Wow!  We’re so honored.  Check it out below.  And come see us this soon.  East Dallas doth rocketh, tis true!

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10 Places to Shop for Locally Made Gifts That Don’t Suck

10 Places to Shop for Locally Made Gifts That Don’t Suck (2)

Atama

If you haven’t already started your holiday shopping, you’re going to want to get on that pronto. December 25 will be upon us before you know it, and unless you’ve decided to forgo the exchange of material possessions on the holiday as some kind of protest of capitalism, you’d better get your act together. Otherwise, you’re going to end up at Wal-Mart at midnight on December 24, scrambling to find something, anything, for your picky girlfriend.

Fortunately, you don’t even have to head to the mall or big-box stores to find awesome gifts that won’t result in massive credit card debt. Instead of skipping gift-giving altogether as a middle finger to materialism, support a few local businesses who could definitely use your cash. These 10 spots are a good place to start.

Atama
5331 E. Mockingbird Lane
Art is a pricey gift that makes someone feel special, like you actually surveyed their interests and picked a thoughtful gift instead of grabbing the first thing on the shelf at Target. At Atama, though, you can find one-of-a-kind pieces at seriously budget-friendly prices. Plus, who doesn’t love artsy toys that also happen to be adorable and look great on an office bookshelf? A stroll through the shop’s art gallery will also provide some much-needed zen during the holiday madness.

The Dallas Farmers Market
1010 S. Pearl Expressway

Thanks to all the renovations, the Dallas Farmers Market is home to more crafters and purveyors of non-edible things than actual farmers. Consider it more of a bazaar with locally made gifts and the occasional snack. Here, you’ll find all-natural bath and body products, terrariums filled with succulents and air plants, even custom-made superhero capes for a special kid in your life. Or, you know, yourself.

Epiphany Boutique
412 N. Bishop Ave.

This quaint shop in the Bishop Arts District is packed with locally made baubles and accessories, and you’re going to want to buy each and every one of them. Pieces from Dallas’ own Sonya Renee, Costilla Creek Jewelers and more are all insanely high quality and reasonably priced. Also look for locally designed T-shirts, candles and other goodies.

Bullzerk
1909 Greenville Ave.
If you live in Dallas, you inevitably know two people — one who LOVES the Big D, and another who entirely loathes living in North Texas. Find a snarky T-shirt for both at Lower Greenville’s Bullzerk. You can find tongue-in-cheek takes on neighborhood pride, Dallas sports fandom, and even a T-shirt that says “Dallas Fancy As Fuck,” which is not something any fancy-ass Dallasite needs in her closet.

10 Places to Shop for Locally Made Gifts That Don’t Suck

We Are 1976

We Are 1976
313 N. Bishop Ave.

In addition to a host of well-curated oddities, We Are 1976’s in-house letterpress shop is a great place to find the perfect holiday cards, stationery and unique art prints. If you’re looking for a particularly special gift, you can have the shop custom-make something for the lucky recipient. Also consider gifting your artsy friend an experience at one of We Are 1976’s hands-on workshops. Past workshops include how to make herbal “good vibes” bundles and aquarium-scaping.

Makers Connect
10242 E. Northwest Highway

This art market on Northwest Highway is a one-stop shop for locally made goods. You can find everything you’ll need for everyone on your list here, including homemade pens, steampunk jewelry, hand-printed tea towels and locally poured candles. Plus, you get the bonus of directly supporting local artisans, who sell their wares on consignment at Makers Connect.

Dallas Pin Up
2928 Main St., No. 102

If you or someone you know is into the 1940s, Bettie Page aesthetic, the only gifts you’ll need are at Dallas Pin Up. This entirely woman-owned co-op features 13 local vendors making and selling everything from slinky lingerie to jewelry made with repurposed antiques. If you’ve got a nerdy friend into burlesque, vendor Rara Avis specializes in hard-to-find books and cards related to vintage burlesque and memorabilia from the golden age of Hollywood.

Make + Made
2144 Irving Blvd.

In addition to art classes and workshops, Make + Made features an impressive collection of locally made goods. Handbags handmade by local crafters are a particular favorite with regulars, as are the inexpensive classes and workshops on everything DIY that are perfect for your friend who just can’t stay off Pinterest.

The Gypsy Wagon
2928 N. Henderson Ave.

You may have to poke around a bit, but The Gypsy Wagon generally has a good selection of locally made jewelry and accessories that is definitely worth perusing for your picky Mom. Even if you don’t end up purchasing something (like the perfect holiday dress … for yourself) that was made right here in Dallas, you’re still supporting a local business and that’s what counts.

Kendra Scott
3699 McKinney Ave., Suite C-305

Okay, so she’s totally gone global, but Kendra Scott is a Dallas girl. Her insanely popular earrings can be found on the earlobes of just about every young woman in Dallas, particularly those who live in Uptown or attend SMU. If you know a particularly fashion-conscious woman who could use a pair of sparkly dangle earrings, Kendra Scott’s West Village boutique is the perfect stop.

This Weekend is UBER FESTIVUS!

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Happy Festivus, ya’ll!

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This Saturday December 5, we’re welcoming Jane Corley and Marcy Stollon here at Makers Connect for an in-house trunk show.  Meanwhile across east Dallas, there are going to be more artists showing under our banner at the GOOD LOCAL MARKETS! Holy Craft Choices! Wherever you go, there is beauty!

Who is at Good Local this week?  Bob Hamilton (upcycled retro lamps): Peggy Schmidt (sophisticated and biker-inspired jewelry), Madison Dolph (pretty, chic youthful jewelry) and Denise Daniels Royal (Crocheted scarves, necklaces, and more)

Beads Galore this Saturday! Tomorrow, 11/14

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Don’t miss this all-day event at Makers Connect.  Beads, findings, and more will be on offer at half of wholesale by national jewelry designer Diane Yang.  She’s bringing it all over to our store and we’re offering it to you. She will be on hand taking checks, cash, and charges of $20.00 or over.  Please bring a crafty friend!

A small sampling of the beads:

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Diane’s beautiful jewelry:

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Fall is Fair Season! Good Local, One90 Meat Grand Opening, etc!

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steve and the shirts    three musketeers

So many fun things are packed into the short months of pure awesome we get in Dallas:  so from October through December, we’re all on overdrive, blowing and going to beat the band!

For instance, this past weekend was fabulous.  Our neighbors at One90 Meats next door, the trio we’ve come to know as the Three Musketeers of Meat; Kyle, Herman, and Adam – plus their amazing families, friends and employees, hosted a parking lot party to end all others.  In addition to 800 slider sandwiches they gave away gratis, plus free beer from Oak Highland Brewery, they brought in a face painter, photo booth, gaming station, a fab DJ who at one point brought over her sweet piglet, Hamlet, on a leash for us all to pet and enjoy… and then inexplicably, a clown showed up at some point during the proceedings.  (he later informed us, using expletives not in common use by old school clowns, that a chair he was using “was broke $@4&*@!”

Meanwhile, we set up a tent in the lot and blew out t-shirts by Local Notions, plus koozies and a number of 190 tank tops… leaving the door of the store open to the hoards of young and old who wandered in.  It was insane.  In a good way.

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And then the previous day, we sent the first two artists into the breach at our MC tent at Good Local Market!   Mike Malone (silver, copper and brass jewelry for men and women) and Kate Roberts of RetroArt (tile coasters) did a super job of representing both themselves and us.  Thank you, guys!

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Clearly I need to get better at taking photos – but in our defense, we hadn’t had to get up that early in the morning in a LONG time!

And now, we’re experimenting with a new form of communication – video!  We want you to get to know us, our employees, and mostly, our vendors.  So check back often to see who is next in our video series, Tales from the Velvet Chair!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tjGsaszdtkI

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Motto of the story?  Sometime “sometimes bologna just happens!”  Thanks mom.  I always said she was one wise duck.

Vendor Spotlight: Jane Corley

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I think it’s high time we shine the spotlight on those for whom the store would simply not exist; the vendors!  Every so often we’ll be featuring a new vendor, old vendor, or maybe even some wonderful customers and employees!  Check out Jane’s wonderful bio piece, below:  Then come see the neat stuff she makes!_________________________________________________________________

Jane Corley has been a gas station attendant, waitress, newspaper reporter, college professor, author, wife/mom, and attorney, little of which prepared her for a life in the arts, which is precisely why she enjoys such escapades.  Her visual arts training started in high school and college when she was engrossed in large-format photography, prior to completion of her bachelor’s degree in journalism.  She has continued to tack back to creative pursuits in an effort to keep sane while making a living in this big, expensive world.
Jane corley pic
Jane focuses on the sublime and whimsical in collage work using ephemera, found objects, dominoes, postage stamps, comic book images and dialogue balloons, along with the occasional Catholic saint image or medal.  Her work is often irreverent and even goofy, as she tries to create work to inspire others to color outside the lines.
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These collages were created using what I call “found and family ephemera.”  Throughout the course of living more than a half century, having parents who almost doubled that, and sharing with them a strong tendency toward pack-rat-ism, I have kept or inherited numerous documents that by themselves don’t have much import.  Examples include a souvenir pamphlet from my mom’s pre-marriage voyage to Europe aboard the Queen Mary, the letter from the station master in Chicago giving her the itinerary of her train trip to New York that 1949 season, stamps from my dad’s collection the appraiser says aren’t worth anything but which I find lovely, extra parts from computer rebuilds my husband was going to pitch, copies of letters from grandparents and great aunts from long ago before long-distance phone calls when folks wrote to chew the fat, and the occasional leaf or feather found along the way.  A friend asked how I can part with such things; my response is that by putting these items together in collage form I give them wings to remind others of times gone by, when keeping a box full of papers and things like these was just an everyday thing.

Makers Connect's photo.Makers Connect's photo.