New Artists, New Happenings Coming up for Fall!

window paper pinwheel display interior store

Outside Window                                                        Inside, Class area

**Important note: We will be closed Friday the 15th**  Back on Saturday the 16th!

Have you seen our new window display…for summer?  Only a tiny bit late, but it’s a welcome sight nonetheless.  Soon enough we’ll be trimming the tree and hanging the mistletoe.  But for now, we’re enjoying the bright pinwheels made from artisanal papers.

The last few weeks have been a whirl – between having a very succuessful ‘thank you’ sale for our neighbors (and everyone else who wandered in!) and meeting a bunch of new artists.  We’ve also accepted a number of them into our shop, and will be sharing their work in coming posts.  Here is one: Lacquer boxes by Susan de la Cerda:

Boxes by Susan de la Cerda

We also welcomed Frida of Frida’s Fancy’s colorful wrap rings, Peggy Schmitz’s elegant statement bracelets, Linda Rolen’s yard art and upcycled table top pieces; Traci Hutton’s adorable soft dolls and zipper pins, plus aprons, oven mitts and towels by the team of Susan and Nancy of Out of our Mind.  Also Samantha Abedin’s beautiful throw pillows, dog beds and Big Boy Bones, and Dammit Dolls; Rosemarie Zartman’s wildly colorful necklaces, Carmen Aberasturi’s clay and glass bird dishes, and will soon be adding Maria of Syd Justice Jewelry  to our mix as well.  Did we forget to mention hand beaded bracelets by Kimberley Moore and Kimberley Brown?!

Whew!

Meanwhile, classes!!  This little votive beauty was gold leafed by a student in Saturday’s glass class.  We also did some terrific Mercury silvered votives.  Amazing how well that process worked, but I recommend doing it outside as the fumes are quite bedazzling to the brain cells.

student candle 2student candle gold

 

Let’s not overdo Local.

Hi there!  I just wanted to say that I really believe in the Local movement.   *But!*

hug-a-small-business

I also know the Local Movement is not brand spanky new anymore. It’s been growing and expanding; and that’s good.  But there’s also a tendency sometimes to get a bit toooooo much of a good thing.  To feel like one is being… manipulated somehow….by a trend in the world.  What I see is that yes, the word Local is being used.  A lot. And I actually had this conversation with several intelligent people last week. They too are getting a tad bit tired of the admonishment to shop local.  They get it, but maybe they are tired of feeling like it’s a trendy thing to do.  They just want to do it because they believe it’s the right thing to do for our economy, our kids, and ultimately our planet.

keep it local

But I’ve been a little discouraged by larger companies kind of glomming onto the word and use it for their marketing, even when said products are not exactly being made in the States.  (or even in the NAFTA countries!)  This is where I become cynical about the word, and ever more vigilant to protect both its meaning for me and for the customers.

Because the *last* thing I would want is for folks to just give up shopping locally, either out of ennui or cynicism, and go back to finding their gifts on the shelves of…. well, pick your store.  Pretty much anywhere.

ShopLocal-Logo

Luscious Colors; Unexpected forms! Rick Van Dyke

rick snake planter

Funky, crunchy, richly colored,… anthropomorphic, deeply organic, one of a kind… Do these qualities move you in a work of art?

If so they you too might be a convert to the works of Austin potter Rick Van Dyke.

We are so lucky to be the only shop in Dallas showcasing his work!  And as such, we offer a healthy sized collection – ranging from his pinch pot and coiled edges and extravagant rolled-in textures to the skeletons, bugs, and other critters that move quietly beneath the fabric of our lives.  Colors range from dark evergreens to light celadons, and rich matte aquamarine blue to cornflower.  His newest colors are beautiful garnet reds with blue peeking through at the edges.  Really have to see to appreciate.

Rick’s background interests in paleontology, reptiles, entymology, and the rearing of succulents and cacti really came together well in his ceramic work.  You can see how he’s used the textures and colors of the oceans; from ancient corals to the crests of waves and the colors of the clearest shores.  Please come in and take a look.

We’re open 11 am until 7:00, Tuesday through Saturday.  Check our classes page for info about our upcoming workshops!

 

Local Dallas Artists are Stacking up at Makers Connect

all-at-once-jeff-barrett “All at Once” Jeff Barrett

More local Dallas artists…. 

More of the fascinating faces that have come to grace our space at Makers Connect.

Please join us in welcoming the work of Jeff Barrett, Andrea Smith, Elaine Glasscock, Rachel Cabal, Kelley Vaughan, Susan Morgan, Lottie Minick, Audrey Legatowicz, Kimberley Moore, and Martha Mabry!!  More to come this week too…

Jeff Barrett – “Happy Time”

happy-time-jeff-barrett

 

Local / New Artists in house at Makers Connect

Local.  East Dallas.  Artisans.  Crafters.  That is the core of how we started, so why aren’t we celebrating the artists more?  Looking back at some posts on this site we realized we needed to do a better job!  So here goes.

It has been too long we’ve been concentrating on classes but in the interim, some very interesting artists have been knocking on our doors and quietly sneaking into our sphere – the result is that MakCon is slowing morphing from a sweet fuzzy duckling into a full blown, gorgeous Goose!

Check out a few of our new faces and help us to welcome the work of Jeff Barrett, Andrea Smith, Elaine Glasscock, Rachel Cabal, Kelley Vaughan, Susan Morgan, Lottie Minick, Audrey Legatowicz, Kimberley Moore, and Martha Mabry!!  A few now, a few in the next post.

Ceramic round crpped  Kelley Vaughan of Blue Flame Studio

Susan Morgan quiltsSusan Morgan’s Crib Quilts

Lottie Minik three hearts Lottie Minick’s Steel Hearts

Welcome them all by coming by and seeing them for yourself!

Open Tuesday through Saturday, 11: 00 – 7:00.

 

 

 

 

Social Media for Artists…what does it Mean?

Crafting is usually fun, relaxing, and stimulating for many people, including me.  So the classes we like to offer here are pretty fun but also mentally on the light side – not meant to make you have to scratch  your head too hard.  However we do have one class that I’ve been sitting in on that is quite challenging, called Social Media for Small Business.  I don’t think any of us were prepared for the bredth of knowledge Tina Winslow has brought to our humble table, but all of us class participants agree that we are pretty luck to have her.

Tina selfie

In discussing our individual online presences, we’re all realizing we’ve been like babes in the woods;  she has us thinking about so many things we’d either undervalued or just plain overlooked.   For some of us, the online ‘places’ we are spending the majority of our time is quite simply upside down.  Instead of ‘facebooking it up’ all the time, for instance, I should be spending more time on my blog.  The blog ‘feeds’ the rest of the system.  Having said that, it’s important to be present in as many online locales as is humanely possible; with a large chunk of attention being paid first to the blog and then to Google +.  (when you take the class, she’ll explain why… I will probably botch any explanation I attempt).

Tonight our goal is to take a closer look at our target market.  This is a much more slippery task than first anticipated; in fact I am constantly surprised by who is following my posts or who makes the great leap across the six lane highway to come and check out our store based often on little more than curiousity about our pretty, colorful signage!  So as I write this, I am avoiding doing my homework for tonight.  I’m a baaaaaad student.  Wait, not that bad… at least I’m contributing to the blog!

I hope if you’ve read this far you are thinking “wow, I’m an artist with a great product but really wish I knew more about how to reach my target audience.  I wish I could talk to someone who really knows what to do and lead me in a solid direction.”   Good news;  Tina has agreed to run this course again in the near future.  So if you send a quick message to Chris at makersconnect@gmail.com, I would be glad to add you to a list and let you know as soon as these dates are figured out.

Honestly, the way I see it….If she can help me… she can help anyone!   And by the way, this is me.  I have to wear blouses featuring Korean Good Luck Kittens just to get through the day….

Chris in Judy shirt in store

This is me after trying to understand the inner workings of the internet without help from Tina:

ozzy the man

<style>.ig-b- { display: inline-block; }
.ig-b- img { visibility: hidden; }
.ig-b-:hover { background-position: 0 -60px; } .ig-b-:active { background-position: 0 -120px; }
.ig-b-48 { width: 48px; height: 48px; background: url(//badges.instagram.com/static/images/ig-badge-sprite-48.png) no-repeat 0 0; }
@media only screen and (-webkit-min-device-pixel-ratio: 2), only screen and (min–moz-device-pixel-ratio: 2), only screen and (-o-min-device-pixel-ratio: 2 / 1), only screen and (min-device-pixel-ratio: 2), only screen and (min-resolution: 192dpi), only screen and (min-resolution: 2dppx) {
.ig-b-48 { background-image: url(//badges.instagram.com/static/images/ig-badge-sprite-48@2x.png); background-size: 60px 178px; } }</style>
<a href=”http://instagram.com/chris_makers_connect?ref=badge&#8221; class=”ig-b- ig-b-48″><img src=”//badges.instagram.com/static/images/ig-badge-48.png” alt=”Instagram” /></a>

Lake Highlands Advocate recognized our Class Series!

logo

i

 Thank you, Lake Highlands Advocate! 

Makers Connect is the place for Craft Classes!

lighed sign

New classes have been added!  Please check the Classes tab to find out all about the details. Oh yes, my friends, it’s all happening at the fine little funky boutique that’s easy for everyone in Dallas to find (so centrally located!) known as Makers Connect.

We are the makers of connections; we are the glue of our own universe.  The glitter of the stars ends up in our projects (and in our hair) and we are glad.  Brandishing our scepters (or glue guns) to the heavens, we add here, edit there, and ending in a giant flourish of VOILA! 

Okay, so where did that weird poetry come from?  Is it freaky Friday or the fumes from the yummy food coming in the walls from Quesa-d-ya’s?  Either way, it’s all good.

New Classes:

Lightbulb Brilliance! – Incandescent lightbulbs find new life as beautiful vases, hanging root starters, and fascinating tiny terrariums.

bulb flower vase bulb rooting multi

Nailed it! – String art at its most sophisticated and pretty.  Inspiration?  Initials, state of Texas, hearts, stars, moons and clovers!

nail letter nail texas

Frida Kahlo’s (Birthday) Flower Circlet – Flowered head wreaths are a beautiful new trend that’s actually quite old.  This technique can be re-purposed to create gorgeous wedding headdresses. Frida’s birthday is July 7, by the way.

frida flowers bright flower hairpiece etsymom flower hat 10.25.13

Here, Tilly Tilly! – Exploring a couple of incredibly cute ways to display tillandsias, also known as air plants.  They are truly mindblowing in their beauty, strangeness, diversity, and ‘lifestyles’ which allow us to insert them into any sculptural hanging or table display as long as are able to remove them for weekly waterings.

tilly copper pipe boardtilly modern round jartilly white branch

 

 

 

 

 

Summer classes!

east dallas necklace by sam

Does anyone need an excuse to learn a neat new skill or just have a fun afternoon with friends and family making cool stuff?  Well if you do, I have just the thing for you.

Here are a few images from our latest class, which involved pounding letters and shapes into metal.  Fun, easy – and everyone walked away with a few pieces of jewelry to keep and give as gifts.  For more info on classes please go to the Classes tab!

stamping heart necks

cynthia happy classsam's making neat stuff

katie working sugar necklace by sam

 

Yes, it’s here!

spring words

OMG today it’s really Spring!  Don’t you feel the energy to get moving on a new project?Let’s get it together folks and get this party started!  Just go over to the “Classes” tab and check out the offerings.  There is new stuff added each week!  First class starts this coming Saturday.

Spring Classes are filling up quickly!  Sign up now using Paypal* or come by the store to sign up in person.  *NOTE: you don’t have to have a Paypal account or even log into their service in order to pay for classes.  There is a pass-through option to use any credit card as a ‘guest.’

Right now you might feel like a grasshopper… or a tiny bud… but in time you will be a giant of crafting, a crafting GENIOUS with new projects to conquer, and materials to lord over!  Yes, it’s time to go to there!

seedling

 

One Kitten Journeys forth… into the bold new world of handmade Craft!

We love crafts.  We love local.  We love crafty local cats.  So we figured, who better to showcase our amazing new wares than our newest kitten, Ozzy!  He of the black fur and slightly malevolent attitude.

Let him be your guide through some of the wares.  If he looks a little bewildered, it’s probably because there are so many new artists… or because he’s a little bit hungry.

ozzy likes to read

Call me Black Bart!  Carved books by Letter Lounge

ozzy in the window

Through a window darkly… the only way a black cat can…window by Kim and Russ Aman

me eat plants now

Oh yes, I was right… he was getting hungry.  Plants in concrete pots by Concrete Notions.  Also pick-n-pot option; find an empty pot and a plant that you like.  We’ll pot it with the gravel of your choice.

ozzy likes girly things bags

What?  No, Ozzy, there is NO food in those gorgeous leather handbags by Luna and the Cowboy!

got my snake

Patty Haskins catnip snakes are Ozzy’s favorite.  Too bad the video didn’t take because he was having a BLAST!  Had to buy this one for him.

ozzy finds out something in a book

“Um, I just read that you guys are going to do something to my kitty bits?!”

Sorry, but the truth is sometimes painful.  I guess the “V” was the clue….

See you all soon!  Saturday April 5… here:

10242 E. Northwest Highway

Dallas, TX  75238

 

 

 

Opening Date: It’s Official

…drum roll please….

Saturday April 5!

We’re working hard to get spruced, fluffed, and sleeked before then.

We still have room for more local talent, so if you’re an artist, craftsperson, or

make cool things that make people go ‘hmmmm,’ then let’s talk!  Vendor sign up

is located right here.  Or if you know someone who is all that… do them a favor and

pass the word.

And if you just love shopping for unique, one of a kind, handmade items – please come

check us out.  We’re all that an a bag of chips.  Location?  We’re at 10242 E. Northwest

Highway, next to Quesa-d-ya’s, with the bright green and teal sign!

In the Garden of your Mind….

So the store is really looking swell and I’m sitting at the wonderful heavy wood desk (“Norden” in Ikea-speak) working on a metal mesh handbag and thinking about the nature of creativity.

Anyone older than Pop Rocks will remember that Mr. Rogers was pretty interested in that subject too.  He spent a lot of time talking to artists of all crafts; from fine art to music, and a fair number of crafters (remember the visit to the violin shop?)  I think the message he was always repeating is that

1.  We’re all creative 2.  Creativity is what makes humans special in the animal kingdom  3.  We should really give in to our creative urges, no matter how they pop up in our lives (unless you’re a psychopath…) 4. We should uphold and celebrate creativity in others 5.  and we should really make time in our lives to allow ourselves to be creative, even (especially) if that means making messes, making mistakes, or making it different ways until we find a way we like best!

Then I thought about my own creative urges – how they are almost never anything to do with what is considered ‘Fine Art’, even though both of my parents came from that world and one of them has enjoyed a darn good career based on making art.  I thought about what makes me smile and when I get that inner sensation that can best be described as feeling ‘tickled’ (just like my aunt used to say).  Looking to recent events, I can say that having the frosted plexi lightbox up and working in the shop is one of those moments of feeling like ‘wow, that was a really cool idea and it WORKED!’  Actually I have Steve, my wonderful husband, to thank for most of the labor (and Regal Plastics)… but we definitely created something cool out of nothing – seriously, nothing more than a slender idea of this thing that we talked about for hours during car trips to Houston and Austin.  It was having all the parts fit together; from the c-channel to the light strips; and then having the back panel work out so well; this type of stuff really tickles me!  I guess that’s design instead of art; they are both offshoots of the same creative urge.

That might explain why I love making assemblage jewelry; making something interesting out of ‘pieces/parts’ that bore no immediate relationship to one another until put together.  I have an equal amount of respect for other artists who surprise me with their amazing assemblage sculptures and jewelry.  Recently I found a shop in Houston where the owner, Judy Masliyah, not only encourages but often buys jewelry parts for her lucky employees, who eagerly arrive at work to find their drawers containing some amazing new piece for them to work into their pieces.  Each employee has a slightly different perspective, so after spending some time in the shop, I was able to tell who had made what.  It was quite a cool way to spend the afternoon.  And Judy’s own vintage-inspired clothing was also to die for.

I got off topic; back to creativity.  It’s like Bob Ross said, “It’ll bring a lot of good thoughts to your heart.”   Who can’t use more happiness?  “There are no limits here… start off by believing.  It’s your world.   You’re the creator.”

…go make some happy little clouds!

It’s almost there….

lighed sign

You know it’s real with they get the sign put up and lighted!  (that was a whole other thing, but it got worked out….)

We didn’t take any photos before the paint, but at least you can see the old carpet.  The new carpet is also gray but with many less year’s worth of grime and unidentifiable stuff.  Seriously wondered what went on in here….and am glad to be rid of that filth.

Compare old carpet:

ugly floor

And New!  I know, it’s also gray – but hey, it’s really pretty and has a great texture.

new carpet

In fact, it’s SO clean, we can do this!

peace

Certificate of Occupancy has been Granted!

I wasn’t going to make a big deal out of it, but I suppose we do kind of need to take a moment to celebrate.  After all, this has been quite the uphill learning curve for folks who’ve never opened a store before… or created an LLC… or negotiated the world of commercial electricity/brokers/water/carpet/paint/security/insurance…blardy blardy blarg!  The list is seemingly endless.

I’ve already filled up 20 sections of my 20 section expandable file..and it appears I might need a new one already, after two weeks.

Suffice to say, we’re pleased and scared as all get out!   We know it’s all going to come together and be fabulous, but there is still quite a lot to do before we are there.

If you are an artist with wonderful quality handcrafts, do please go and fill out our vendor form.  We’re getting a handle on the goods right now!

Can’t wait to meet and greet and get this thing going in the real word.

Steve and Chris

(in the meantime – as if I have any me-time, lol, I have accepted yet another sale on Etsy… so the making of concrete statuary and pots continues in between the business of opening a store!)

althea

 

 

 

Welcome to Makers Connect!

Print

Hello fellow makers,

We are so pleased and proud to invite you to a new venture.  It is based on the feeling that there was a gap that begged to be addressed.  We see so many great local artists making the most amazing things week after week and hauling them around to the local area outdoor shows.  We know because we’re usually right there alongside you.  We all feel the exhaustion of the effort, the incredibly unrelenting Texas heat (and chill!), and we all have yearned for a place we can put down some roots and let our items sing.

So we’re making it happen.

We are starting with a few tangible ‘luxuries’ such as selling your beautiful handmade wares in a climate controlled with shop with good lighting and helpful friendly sales staff (that knows you!) which remains open during most days of the week (not just one Saturday a month).  To that we add teaching and learning through human-to-human classes and workshops;  creating hype and activity with trunk shows, parties, openings, gatherings, ‘flash mob’ events, and cross-promotions with fellow area stores and schools;  and most of all, making new friends and connections with fellow artists, local neighbors, and the greater Dallas community using the old fashioned method of face to face greetings in a modern, clean place with cool décor, great music, and complimentary beverages!

We are so inspired by the people we have met at the local shows; from White Rock Local Market to Deep Ellum, the Design District Market, the Dallas Flea; and the holiday school shows as well, notably Hexter, Sanger, Jesuit, and others.  So many true friendships have been forged, so many connections made.  It’s in this cooperative spirit of giving and supporting that we have entered into this concept.  We truly hope we are able to be the great support to them that we’ve been looking for in East Dallas  – a place that truly exists for the purpose of local, handmade, and dare I say it – keeping it funky.

So it’s with gleeful heart that I invite you to become a part of this thing we’re doing.  It’s not a store, it’s not a studio, it’s an adventure.

Let’s Connect.

Print