Brittany Watson Jepson brings fun paper crafts to your home through Craft the Rainbow: 40 Colorful Paper Products. Each of these 40 crafts, split amongst nine color-specific sections, have step-by-step directions and images. Starting with pink and ending with rainbow, each section opens with a quote and some fun facts about the new color. These color-filled pages won’t just tell you how to make each craft, but will also tell you what materials you need, a description of the design and where her inspiration came from. While Jepson does give the time frame for these crafts, they’re mainly based around shows or music. So, if you like The Great British Bake Off, in a just a couple episodes you can complete the White Paper Sculpture on page 101. Or, if you like Michael Jackson, within just one album you can complete the Crepe Paper Streamer on page 125. Do you prefer Gilmore Girls? Then, during your favorite episode, why not make the Rainbow Necklace found on page 129? Or make the Rainbow Paper Plants on page 144 while you watch the VHS of Anne of Green Gables. Whatever craft you choose, and whatever method of background noise you choose, you can find the templates for these designs in the back of the book. Just trace what you want, pick a color, and get started.
So my business came about from the need to just be creative again. I studied art in college and a couple years ago I stumbled across Maryanne Moodie; an Australian, well-known female weaver. And within the weaving world, she’s super popular. She made me want to learn to weave. Her weavings were super colorful, and full of texture and I thought ‘I really have to try that’: so, I did. And people really wanted to by them, which was a surprise. I didn’t plan on that becoming an actual business. But when they started reaching out to me, I opened an Etsy shop and it took off from there.
How did you come up with the name?
It’s about my kids. I have twins; boy and girl. My daughter was a really bad sleeper, so she was the night owl. My son was the opposite. They used to share a room, so it was totally insane. One would be awake, and one would be sleeping. So, when it came time to come up with a fictitious name, I had a hard time deciding and I finally landed on something funny that reminded me of them. Plus, my husband is super into birds, he can do like 400 different bird calls so it’s kind of a thing within our family. Not too much to do with weaving, just more of a family connection.
What kind of weavings can customers expect to find in your shop?
My color selections change seasonally, as do the designs. I don’t really plan out my designs, they’re mostly geometric, free-form weaving. They come in a variety of sizes from extra-large to small, and I also take custom orders. I try to have between 10 and 15 things in my shop at a time. Closer to the holidays I offer more smaller pieces like tassels and pom-poms. But, on a regular basis, just a broad selection of random geometric and bright pieces.
How long have you been weaving?
Not long, I would say 3 ½ years. I picked it up pretty quickly. I made my first loom. I took a premade frame that had canvas on it that was meant for painting. I stripped the canvas off and used the frame and hammered in some nails. After that, I started ordering professional looms. Made my first loom and just went to town: didn’t take too long to get into it.
Do you have a favorite piece that you’ve done?
I made a piece as a submission for a New England based magazine called Taproot Magazine. It was really big and had lots of heavy fringe. I photographed it on the Blue Ridge parkway and I still have it. It was fun to make, and it’s become one of my favorite pieces.
Find Jen on Facebook at Hawk + Owl Weaving; Instagram at hawk_and_owl_weaving; and hawkandowlweaving.com. Her website contains a small portfolio of her work. If you wish to make a purchase, you can either click her Etsy shop from her website or go to the shop directly at etsy.com/shop/hawkandowlweaving. She also posts about upcoming events, such as workshops and pop-up events, on her website. She does classes through Wool Workshop in Roanoke and will be having one this April.
Looking for a fun way to get through these cold nights? Never fear! Our new intern, Lilith, shared a few of her favorite winter night activities with us. Check them out below!
Make some tea or hot cocoa and then bring out the board games! A board game night is a good way to hang out with a large or small group of friends and include everyone in something. My friends and I love this activity! Over the summer, we collected some of our favorite board and card games; now at least once a week we like to get together and get a little competitive. I know it might seem lame at first, but it can lead to fantastic memories and is an easy way to spend a night with friends that doesn’t have to include trekking out into the cold weather. Some of our favorites to play are Clue,UltimateWerewolf, and Cards Against Humanity. SIDE NOTE: Get a little adventurous and see if there’s a Dungeons and Dragons group in your area!
This one is classic! Binge watch Game of Thrones or put on Moana, either way just make sure you grab your closet friends. Start the movie, order a pizza, pop some popcorn, and curl up on the nearest couch for a lazy night. Too basic? Try out a new baking recipe to have a treat while you watch your favorite movies! You’ll need something sweet to balance out the pizza and popcorn anyway!
With the cold weather drying out my skin, I think this is a very beneficial and fun way to spend a winter night! Try your local drug store for some premade face masks. Or if you want to get more creative, make your own for a little DIY action. Want more? Try doing nail art! Any drug store will have plenty of nail polish and nail tools. Get adventurous! Combine all this with a sappy romance movie or put on some good music and you have yourself a winter night well spent. Perfect for hanging out with friends or a relaxing night in by yourself!!
P.S. We hear that wintry weather may be returning next week, Bella girls! So stock up now, and be prepared for a fun, safe time indoors with family and friends.
The holidays are right around the corner, and Pam Burgess of Rustic & Refined is ready to help you find the perfect gift for everyone on your list! Located in a beautiful 1940’s Cape Cod home, Rustic & Refined’s ten themed rooms include antiques, hand-`painted furniture, florals, seasonal decor, and much more. Pam has nine years of experience in choosing items for her customers in Salem, Virginia. In a business that is increasing in popularity, that knowledge is invaluable.
“I am a picker at heart,” she explains. “I travel the East Coast and find those one-of-a-kind, unique items. Most of the furniture comes from estate sales. There is a thrill to the hunt—finding that special something that someone comes in, loves and buys is an amazing feeling.”
Pam becomes part of the story for every item that she sells. She refinishes certain pieces of furniture, creates floral arrangements and wreaths, and most importantly, she connects customers with new treasures for their homes.
I found a gorgeous buffet in West Virginia,” she recalls. “A couple bought it and used it as a sink in their bathroom. It’s always fun to think about what people are going to do with an item or where they are going to put it.”
Of course, with multiple DIY shoes on HGTV and Pinterest right at the fingertips of everyone with a smartphone, the market for repurposed items is booming. Pam recently visited a Flea Market Extravaganza boasting 3,000 vendors. Knowing what will sell and what customers are seeking is a valuable asset. In addition to knowing her market in Salem, she also looks for specific treasures.
“I carry a little pink book that I try to put people’s names in and what they’re looking for,” she says. “When I find something that fits, I send them a snapshot. If it is what they want, I buy it and bring it home.”
Pam’s friend and colleague, Beth Shearer, has been with her at Rustic & Refined since day one. Together, they work to keep the store open five days each week and find the best home and gift items for their customers.
Join us for Rustic & Refined’s Holiday Open House Friday, November 3 through Sunday, November 5. Visitors will enjoy light refreshments as they tour the ten decorated rooms and shop for gifts and decorations.
“The main room will have a heavily white-flocked tree. There will be a 9-foot tree in the big sunroom. The entire house will reflect a Christmas theme,” says Pam. This is a great opportunity to purchase your holiday decor and perfect unforgettable gifts for everyone you love!
Mason jars have been a kitchen staple in America since 1858. With hundreds of uses, the Mason jar is still the holy grail of containers even 158 years later.
Joann Moser considers the glass container to serve more than just a jar for preservability. Using her style and creativity, she has envisioned several unique creations from the Mason jar.
In Mason Jar Nation, Moser, the “DIY Maven” explores the history of Mason jars and then twists their usefulness to fun crafts. The book shows more than 50 Mason jar projects that are perfect for eager DIY-ers!
It begins with the impact of the jar on America and its major uses throughout the years. In recent years, the Mason jar has been repurposed as a material for hundreds of crafts. Moser also gives advice on collecting jars and technical information for crafts.
The second half of Mason Jar Nation features over 50 new ideas for the jars. These crafts are demonstrated with easy to follow photography and step-by-step directions by Moser. Her original crafts include Mason jars for the garden, kitchen, storage, and even lighting.
Purchase your copy of Mason Jar Nation here or visit our Facebook page for your chance to win one!
Gina Bonomo, owner of Wool Workshop, is a large part of a movement that is redefining the knitting community. Sewing, knitting, and crocheting are regaining popularity, and the influx of younger customers in the market is challenging the concept that these hobbies are exclusive to older generations. Her attention to detail, passion for creativity, and use of social media to promote and sell her products have made Wool Workshop the place to go for unique and trend-setting yarn and patterns. However, what keeps the customers coming back is not only the quality of the product they are getting, but the welcoming learning environment that the store offers.
What made you want to start a boutique yarn store? I owned a shoe store called Sole Mate for over ten years. It was humming along really nicely, and it was very established. Then my best friend was diagnosed with lung cancer in Richmond. I felt like it was a good time to spend more time with him. I tried to look at the big picture of what was important. I wanted to open something there, so I decided to sell my shop to my manager. I also signed a non-compete agreement that said I could not sell any clothing, shoes, or accessories in the New River Valley or Roanoke area.
I was preparing to move up there and start a whole new business venture, and he died. I did not want to put down roots there if he wasn’t there anymore, so I had to rethink what I was going to do.
I had always been knitting things for people and enjoyed that creative side. This was at the same time that the scarf-craze was happening. Knitting was becoming mainstream. So I decided to open a knitting shop, and it was exactly what I needed. It was healing my soul from the loss of my friend and the business I didn’t have anymore.
Let’s talk about the name “Wool Workshop.” Why did you choose it? Workshop implies a creative space. I don’t like to view this yarn shop as a brick and mortar retail location, but instead as sort of a think-tank, fashion-driven, garment-driven space. It fits with my fashion background and what I have been doing my whole life. I know when I first opened, people didn’t see the connection, but I still feel like I’m in the fashion industry. We are creating garments with sticks and string. I don’t feel like that is a stretch at all. In fact, it is more creative and fashion-driven than what I was in before.
Why do you think knitting is increasing in popularity now? Sewing, knitting, and crocheting, and many other handiwork things got lost when women went to work. Leisure time went away, and in terms of the garment industry it became cheaper to buy a finished garment than it was to make one yourself like our mothers and grandmothers did.
We are so tech-driven now, and I think that is making us begin to move towards things that make us feel human again and less like machines. Knitting allows people to get back some of the things they have lost. It is about regaining some leisure time and things that have meaning.
How do you choose the yarn you offer to your customers? Anything local is very appealing. We get something in from a local farmer, and people know the cotton was grown, picked, dyed, and processed in Virginia. Customers love that, because it makes us feel like we are looking out for each other.
I also stay on top of the trends just like clothing stores. There are things people want to knit with and things they don’t want to use. We pay attention to the Pantone colors of the year, and we also offer a lot of products from popular Indie dyers.
When you aren’t knitting or helping others work on their projects, how do you spend your time? I like to read and spend time with my kids and my husband. I run file miles every day, and I have for the last thirty years. That’s really important to me. I like to keep moving—it makes me a more interesting person to get out of my little circle and see other shops. I am an entrepreneur first and foremost. Of all the other things I do, like designing, my main thing is I have an entrepreneurial spirit and I’m a retailer. I’m having the time of my life really. I could do other things that would make more money, but I just want to be fulfilled, live an authentic life, and be happy.
For more information on Wool Workshop, visit www.skeincocaine.com. Follow @skeincocaine on Instagram for special yarn auctions every Thursday and Friday! Finally, don’t miss Stephen West—the biggest name in knitwear design and knitting. He is coming to Roanoke and Wool Workshop on June 11-12.
With the start of a New Year, most of us will go through our homes or work to evaluate how to make this year even better than the last.
Everyone would like more organization in their lives; we are so busy with our daily activities that sometimes we tend to neglect the obvious. Fortunately, the solution to organizing the chaos is easier than you think.
The first step is to purge! This is such a difficult word to some people. We hold on the materialistic items and get too comfortable in our surroundings. Ask yourself a few questions about each of your belongings: Can I live without it? Does it make a statement about my personality or lifestyle? When is the last time I used it? These questions will work when deciding on furniture, clothing, books, and even collectible items!
Next, let’s tackle organization tips for mail, magazines, and types of paper. Functionality and creativity are important. For example, if you have room for a small table at the entry way– have decorated baskets to collect the type of paper that makes its way to the home or office. Baskets are a wonderful asset for any storage solution.
One of the biggest obstacles we encounter is what to do with an item that is not working for us. Some items will need to go to one of the many organizations in our area that collect clothing and other goods for those in need (like women’s shelters). Make sure you also check out consignment shops like The Golden Shoestring and EuroExclusives. The extra cash for items you aren’t using can really be helpful for the start of the year.
Finally, decide on presentation. There are endless possibilities for organizing your remaining items like baskets, shelving, hooks, and trunks. Make it simple or elaborate—a true reflection of your style. Check out our Pinterest page for DIY ideas!
This opportunity can lead us to establish better habits and find what we need to make our lives more productive. All you need is time, commitment, and ability to follow through and create your own organized space. Have fun, be creative, and remember: organization can be a positive adventure!
It’s hard to believe, but Christmas is TEN DAYS AWAY!!!!
Some of the best gifts are handmade and heartfelt. If you are looking for an easy and unique DIY idea, you should pick up our December issue! We have two fun DIY projects that won’t take long to complete (trust us, we know time is precious right now). Or, you can head on over to our Pinterest page! There you will find tutorials for everything from leather totes and magazine racks to paper flowers and frames.
And if making something yourself is too time consuming, please remember to support your local artists!