Artist Feature: Dog Might Games, now with 50% more IRL adventure!

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We live a world where plastic rules, where products are not expected to last for more than 6 months, and where there is very little option, minus the use of a sharpie, to make something our own.  This is why we’re here, though!  We craft because we want to express ourselves and because we want quality, we want the items in our lives to truly mean something.

This is exactly where Dog Might Games stands.  You may remember a feature I wrote for them a while back (seen here) where I reviewed their work and artistry, and talked about their unique perspective.  Recently this lumberjack/canine company set up a Kickstarter for their most recent creation: The Dragon Sheath.

   

These pieces are meant to house your various tabletop RPG items, keeping them secure and neat, which is much like the box itself!

The obvious: These are really well made.  This is like the blackbox of a dice plane; the magnets holding it closed are incredibly strong but have been placed in a way that makes for easy angle opening.

I actually took my dragon sheath to a tabletop game store here in Manhattan and showed it to the employee to ask him what he thought.  I could tell he was ready to be underwhelmed, but as he held it, opened it, and looked it over, he let out a very surprised “This is actually really nice.. REALLY nice.  I’ve never seen anything like it.  This store had a so many items I could barely walk through it, and yet they did not have anything like this.


The wood is beautiful and sturdy and the spaces cut out within are perfectly sized for your dice, coins, figures, whatever you want because you get to choose!  You also get to choose the wood and the design on both sides.  It’s almost as if these guys actually want to give you what you want by giving you custom-made pieces…wait…

I think even Michael Bay himself would have a hard time wanting to blow this thing up.  He’d do it, but he’d shed a tear.

I love the variety that is offered with this new piece: from designs to wood choice, to customized interior chambers, it is all here.  Whether you’re a seasoned D&D’er, or just looking to break into IRL RPG, these dice sheaths are a beautiful and functional addition to your tabletop munitions.

WebsiteKickstarter

– Shalyn


Artist Feature – Abbots Hollow Studios

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The artist at Abbots Hollow Studios has quite the imagination, and wants you to join in on it!  He is creating highly crafted pieces to add charisma to even the most basic outfit, and reminding us that we need not limit ourselves to department store selections!

You can choose between a more demure looking pouch, or call upon the power of a dragon to watch over your possessions… be careful, though, as he may take it for his own.

Need to add some personality to your card holders and dice cups?  These’ll do the trick!

More ways to enchant your everyday.

These pieces are amazingly crafted and designed and the leather looks to be of amazing quality.  Abbots Hollow Studios is really us showing that you don’t need to be in a fantasy novel to experience the fantastical, all we have to do is see the possibilities… perhaps having an extra eye will help?

EtsyFacebook

-Shalyn


Artist Feature – Dog Might Games

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The other day, as I was watching Critical Role, I began lamenting the fact that, despite my previous assumptions, I actually don’t have enough geeky friends to join me for some D&D.  I’m considering joining some kind of meetup for it, I’d want to do it in style, and a recent mention to me by Craft Hacker Toni came to mind.  Dog Might Games is a small company of a few dudes (and some dogs) who create tabletop games, as well as high quality, detailed, and frickin awesome wooden tabletop hardware.

These dice chests are made with sturdy wood, lined with felt, and the lid can double as a roll screen, for those who are shy about their numbers.  They also make some pretty decked out card boxes.

These ‘adventure’ cases are like a higher level dice chest, with space to hold cards, lights, and all sorts of customizable pieces.

Yes, they also make dice towers, which are super detailed and are also customizable with your own logos and designs.

These guys seem to have a lot of fun making these pieces, as well as coming up with their own card games.  I love that they include an image of Skeletor in their suggestions for custom symbols to add to your purchase, and their company page gives you a good idea of the creative and humourous attitude of the humans and canines who run things.  Looks to me like they all rolled 20s on this work.

WebsiteFacebookTwitter

– Shalyn

 


Artist Feature: Milkhaus Design

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I’ve never been a huge purse person (purseon?), but I’ve always had a soft spot for casual-looking bags that seem to just be a part of my outfit, but such purses can be difficult to find.  That’s why, when I found Milkhaus Design on Etsy, I immediately wished it was my birthday (so I could turn 21 again… I mean so I could ask for some presents).

Milkhaus Design, created and run by Bethany Nelson,  tends to favor a simple, natural, and modern aesthetic.  Using natural and handprinted materials, her items feel customized just for you.

“All dyed pieces are considered happy accidents — she custom mixes all dyes based on feeling rather than formula and is (almost) always pleasantly surprised at the results.”

I just love the casual yet high-end feel that she has created here.  You can tell a lot of care goes into the crafting of these items.

She even makes use of those leftover pieces of material.

And it looks like she has been experimenting in leather screen printing, which is looking really unique.

I’m really looking forward to seeing more from Bethany, not just for the designs but for the photography as well.  They both lend to a good, clean, quality feeling… Can I just print these out and hang them on my wall?  Would that be weird?

 

See more Milkhaus Design: WebsiteEtsyFacebook

-Shalyn


The Art of Papier Mâché

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I think we all have a memory of doing some kind of crafting in school, whether it was making bracelets, X-mas decorations, and, my personal favourite, making my own piñata with the papier mâché method.  Ever since then I’ve been really fascinated with papier mâché as a way to sculpt and create.

For the most basic papier mâché, the way we learned when we were younger, you just need a few things:

A bowl – White glue – A balloon (or whatever base structure you’d like) – Newspaper (or thin paper) – A paintbrush – Latex gloves (if you’re like me and don’t like to mess up your nails :D)

Here is a detailed tutorial, but the idea is that you tear the paper into thin strips, set them aside, fill your balloon if that is your base, then create a mixture of glue and water in your bowl.  Blend the mixture with your paintbrush, get your paper strips and immerse them into the glue and water mixture and make sure you really coat that paper.  Remove excess mixture from the paper, and then lay the paper flush over your base.  Continue doing this until you get to the desired thickness, let dry, and then paint as desired!

Although there are many variations, it’s pretty straight-forward, right?  Well, as humans are wont to do, we have found a need to create more complex and intricate methods for this papier mâché. 

In need of a cool mask?  This is the perfect solution for you to create something fun, inexpensive, and unique:

And it isn’t just masks!

And sometimes it gets downright outrageously amazing:

Nancy Winn

Vally Nomidou

David Lee Panacke

David Lee Pancake, was featured on CraftHackers in November, which you can see here, as well as a five-part tutorial 1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5.

As you can see, even the simplest of arts can be ‘crafted’ into something more complex and creative.  Think about the things you do now, in your every day life: what can you change in a way to make the action more expressive and meaningful?  Just something to think about.

Until next week, Crafters!

-Shalyn

 

 


Craft Ontario

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Hi folks!

Looking through crafting sites I came across Craft Ontario, a website dedicated to promoting crafting and crafting events.  If you are a crafter in Ontario, I highly recommend that you check out their website!  It is full of valuable information and resources.  There are even volunteer opportunities, which I am sure would provide would-be pro crafters with insights and connections to others who share the same passions.

The current exhibition really look amazing as well, and feature works of embroidery, textiles, sculptures, and jewelry.  I really wish I was in the are to go visit this as it looks inspiring and I would love to get to know the people behind all of the work!

They even have a magazine that promotes artists and art!

Our vision is for a world where craft is acknowledged as a source of enrichment in life and valued for its artistic, cultural, and economic merit.” – source

I love that something like this exists for crafters, as, more often than not, crafters are not appreciated or seen as the true artisans that they are.  Organizations like this really promote the legitimacy of crafting of all kinds, and prove to everyone that the expression of your inner artist IS worth something.  Keep it up, fellow craftys!

– Shalyn

 


Artist Feature – Lisa Shaub Fine Millinery

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It’s been a while; I’m sorry if you missed me last Sunday but I’m back!  On to the feature:

One of the worst Summers in terms of heat is upon us, at least here in New York City, and feel like our Sun is entirely to blame.  I mean, where does it get off being so hot and stuff?  We need to ward off its advances in many different ways, but the most fashionable way right now is wearing hats to at least avoid being marked by those pesky spots (always use sunscreen, kids!)

That is where Lisa Shaub and her Fine Millinery come in to play!  She has been creating custom, handmade hats and fascinators for over 24 years, and her work has been in Vogue, Elle, and, most importantly, now CraftHackers! 

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Her Summer 2015 collection pieces are styled with enough flair to combat those pesky UV rays and bad hair days.

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These Kentucky Derby pieces have a whimsical feel, with their perfectly coiffed feathering and tight almost liquid-looking design.  They look like they were custom made for each head!

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This flowery bunch is also from the Kentucky Derby collection, showing that now only can Ms. Shaub create dramatic pieces, she can also create a look that lends itself moreso to subtlety and soft elegance.

“My mission is to create hats that are good looking, well designed and long lasting. I feel that putting on the right hat is like putting on that special pair of well worn jeans-comfy, versatile and endlessly chic.” – Lisa Shaub

Lisa Shaub makes her hats custom, and everything is taken into consideration, including head shape and size, skin tone, and the colour of whatever it is that you’re intending to wear with it.  Considering that some of her celebrity clientele includes Taylor Swift, Britney Spears, and Aaron Neville, I think we can assume that she has really embraced and succeeded at her craft!

These things take time, but if you are passionate about something it will be worth all of the years spent in honing your abilities.  Keep that in mind, fellow craftys!

If you’d like to know more about Lisa Shaub Fine Millinery, visit her website and follow her on twitter.

– Shalyn


Mood U – Craft Academy

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I’ve been meeting a lot of new people lately, and have been learning about this big city of Manhattan through each of their stories.  In fact, the other day I learned that one of my classmates is a big crafter and actively tries to learn new tricks and techniques.  She mentioned to me that Mood, a famous designer fabric store, has free classes in person and online.  I had to check it out, and I’m glad that I did!  Mood U is Mood’s own school of fashion that offers a huge variety of  classes, both free and paid.

I’m not entirely sure what the quality of what they do is, but I definitely like the idea that there is something there for us crafters to converge and create awesome things with the new skills we’ve used.  From the few reviews that I’ve read, though, the consensus seems to be that they’re great

They also offer online videos:

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Meetup also has a lot of crafters looking to get together and talk about various things, depending on the meet-up.

I think it’s easy to get sucked into habits with our techniques, forgetting that everything evolves and there is always more to learn.  Not only that but, in having the chance to meet people who have similar interests while doing the very thing that you’re interested in, you’re more likely to make personal connections.  If you’re not located around Mood you’re probably close to a crafting meet-up of *some* sort; go out learn something!
-Shalyn

Perfumania

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It’s officially Summer time and you know what that means: HOT!  It’s humid, gross, and generally smelly for the remainder of the season, especially if you’re in a city.  Personally, I’m not a huge fan of regular perfumes as they tend to be too strong and actually make me sneeze even in small doses, but I’m acutely aware that sometimes it is necessary if only to protect my own senses from outside abuse.  I’ve been looking up a few DIY perfumes lately and thought I’d share my findings with you all; let’s make the world a smellier (in a good way) place.

Don’t Mess With Mama has a really informative post about the chemicals used in commercial perfume brands, and then gets into detail about the ‘notes’ in a good perfume, and the types of aromas.  I really recommend reading through this one!

Hello Natural has a really cool recipe for shimmering solid body perfume using beeswax and shimmering powder!  I really like this because the scent never really gets overpowering.

Speaking of solid perfumes, Go Make Me has an awesome tutorial on how to make these amazing perfume lockets.  The tutorial is really nicely detailed and the result is beautiful!

 

Wellness Mama‘s post on how to make a spray perfume is really good, and she does actually recommend a darker-coloured bottle for your oils so that they last longer.  Again, super informative and well-written!

I actually can’t wait to make at least one of these recipes as soon as I figure out what fruit I want to smell like.. maybe grapefruit, since I’m so bitter.  I’m just kidding… I think.  Happy perfuming and smell y’all later! 🙂

-Shalyn


Nail Polish Craftings

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Anyone who knows me at all knows that I’m a huge lacquerista and subscribe to many blogs and sub-reddits dedicated to nail art.  That being the case, I have *somehow* managed to build up quite a collection of polishes that has started to spill out of a packed shoebox.  I have started to notice that many polishes have run their course with me and have gone unused for a long time, or that they simply didn’t suit me and are entirely full, yet I keep them, for just in case.

If you’re like me in that, you’ve probably built your own collection to dive into, but if you don’t really have many this could be a chance for you to get out and look at all the cool new polishes there are to use on these crafts!

Nail Polish Flowers

HandiMania created a DIY nail polish flower tutorial that is very detailed.  These flowers are absolutely amazing and I love that you can make things look just as you like by using your favourite polishes, and even colour co-ordinating with your nails if you really want to be fancy!

One note on these, however, is that it can be difficult to fill the area with just polish, so you may want to do it with glue first, let it dry, and then use the polish on top -> this guy <- explains it well.

Nail Polish’d Planters

These cute planters were created by the folks at Hello Natural, and the DIY is not only very easy to follow but the pictures they took are very lovely.

Colour-Coded Ceys Keys

 

If you’re like me and have a million keys, this is definitely for you.  A Bubbly Life posted a DIY on these although they are fairly straightforward.  The only thing I’d suggest myself is to use a top coat on these bad boys, as they will rub against each other and other things quite a bit!

Nail Polish’d Headphones

 

Cremedelacraft came up with this DIY for personalizing your headphones which I think is super cool.  Considering the fact that I am surrounded by bland Macs all day, I will definitely be utilizing this one!

I actually found and thought of so many more nail polish crafts so I may make this a 2-parter and do this again.  I love that I can actually use those neglected polishes again and hopefully these have inspired you as well!  Feel free to share any pictures of these crafts in the comments if you have done them yourself!