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.

WRNews Mothers Day2

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!