Thursday, April 28, 2011

Generation T craftLAB THIS Sunday, May 1!

We've been so busy prepping for the 2011 Flint Handmade Spring Craft Market that we haven't given much attention to May craftLAB!

Well, it's going to be a great one...T-Shirt Reconstruction a la Generation T!

If you plan to attend, please bring the following supplies:

1) 4 T-Shirts (2 of any size, 1 medium, 1 form-fitting)
2) Scissors
3) Pins
4) Tailor's Chalk
5) 12 Inch Ruler

You can make one or all four shirts depending on how many you bring!  We will have some sewing tools (scissors, pins, etc.) available to share if you don't bring your own.

See you on Sunday, May 1 from noon-3pm at The Lunch Studio!

P.S. If you can't wait until Sunday to get your craft fix, check out the Spring Trunk Show at Blue House Ann Arbor on Saturday!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Call for Spring Craft Market Goodie Bag Items!

At our Spring and Holiday Craft Markets, Flint Handmade gives away FREE goodie bags to the first 25 shoppers!

Some of the great swag our shoppers have received in their goodie bags includes:
  • Flint Handmade Buttons
  • Upcycled Crayons in Ornament Shapes
  • Handcrafted Bottle Cap Magnets
  • Bottles of Soda from The Lunch Studio
  • Coupons and Freebies from Craft Vendors and Local Businesses
  • Magazines from BUST and ReadyMade
  • Chocolate Bars from Endangered Species Chocolate
If YOU have 25 small items you would like to donate for the 2011 Spring Craft Market Goodie Bags to promote your organization or business, please take them in a box or bag labelled FLINT HANDMADE GOODIE BAGS to The Lunch Studio during their regular business hours by Friday, May 6, 2011.

Be creative...our shoppers love clever little gifts and trinkets!  And, the more creative your goodie bag items, the more our shoppers will remember YOU!  :)

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Second Saturday Giveaway: April Winner!

We want to thank everyone who commented on our April Second Saturday Giveaway featuring Michelle Stolz of Aisle 3!

The awesome commenters for April were Michelle Glick, sarah, Hayley, Betsy, aallen66, Elise, MAH Hemp, Kitoula, Dana, Wayne, Mary P, Liz D, Jason and anchorsaway.  We're sure Michelle will appreciate all of your wonderful suggestions for goodies she can make with neckties!

Just for commenting, all of you will receive a FREE Flint Handmade button in your choice of red, blue or yellow! Ask at the Flint Handmade table at any of our events and we'll make sure you get your button.

And now, the moment you have all been waiting for! The randomly selected winner of the Upcycled Necktie Pouch is...

...Michelle Glick!!! Congratulations!

Michelle Glick, send us an email at and we will make arrangements for you to receive your Upcycled Necktie Pouch! You have 30 days to claim your prize. :)

We want to encourage everyone to participate in the next Second Saturday Giveaway to be posted on May 14, 2011!
P.S. You can catch Aisle 3 and dozens of other fantastic vendors at the 5th Annual Flint Handmade Spring Craft Market on May 7, 2011!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

2011 Spring Craft Market Press Release


Flint Handmade will host the fourth annual Spring Craft Market on Saturday, May 7, 2011 from 10:00am to 4:00pm at The Lunch Studio, Brown Sugar Cafe, Wize Guys Pizza and The Loft in Downtown Flint.

The Spring Craft Market will feature a variety of unique, modern handmade items such as screen-printed shirts, upcycled game board and record album notebooks, wood and reconstructed jewelry, hand-poured candles, natural soaps, plush toys and much more from 35+ vendors.

The first 25 shoppers of the day will receive free goodie bags filled with vendor coupons, merchandise, and other treats.

All locations will be open for business during the Spring Craft Market, serving soups, sandwiches, pizza, salads and specialty drinks.

Admission is free for all. Donations to Flint Handmade are welcome.

The Lunch Studio is located at 444 S. Saginaw Street in Downtown Flint, MI 48502. All other locations are adjacent to The Lunch Studio. VISA, MasterCard, and Discover Card accepted.

For more information, visit or email


Flint Handmade seeks to nurture a local handmade economy and environment in Flint by organizing and promoting craft markets, offering opportunities for social crafting and creative expression, and educating the public about the personal and commercial value of handcrafting.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Embroidered Book Covers? Be Still My Beating Heart!

Posted by Crystal Pepperdine, Founder and Executive Director of Flint Handmade

Have you heard about Penguin's new line of embroidered book covers called Penguin Threads?

Crafting and reading all rolled into one??? 

Be still my beating heart!

Hmm, maybe someone at Penguin read my post about Crafters and the Printed Word?  ;)

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Second Saturday Giveaway: Win an Upcycled Necktie Pouch from Michelle of Aisle 3!

Posted by Crystal Pepperdine, Founder and Executive Director of Flint Handmade

For our April Second Saturday Giveaway, we are featuring Aisle 3 by Michelle Stolz!

This is Michelle in her dedicated craftroom, showing off the huge stash of thifted and vintage linens she has collected from thift stores and estate sales.

She recently sewed the curtains for her fabric closet from thrifted bedsheets.  Aren't you so envious of her 10 plastic bins each stuffed to the brim with its own color of fabrics???

This system makes is so easy for Michelle to coordinate her fabric colors when preparing projects.

The rest of Michelle's craftroom is just as bright and colorful and neat as her fabric closet.

I asked Michelle to describe her workspace:

"I always feel comfortable and creative when I'm in my space. It's semi organized, semi decorated, warm, bright and cheery."

It's so important to create in a space that is comfortable and inspiring and Michelle and lots of little trinkets and decorations around her room to spark her imagination.

Michelle uses fancy glass jars for her buttons and candy snacks.  An adorable blue deer vessel holds her scissors.

Colorful vintage cards line either side of a mirror.

A collection of animal figurines, wooden spools and tiny glass vases provide even more color and inspiration.

With fabric, buttons and spools adoring her workshops, it's clear that Michelle's crafts focus mainly on sewing. 

I asked her how she got into crafting:

"I feel like I've just always been involved in some sort of creative project since I was a kid.  I guess my mom probably had a lot of influence on me.  If she wasn't knitting, crocheting or sewing for us, she was doing it for or selling it to others.  She gave me my first sewing machine in 2003, I started Aisle 3 in 2004, and I did my first craft fair in 2005." 

As a matter of fact, Michelle keeps a framed photo of her table set up from that first craft fair in her workspace to remind her of her of just how far she has come with her sewing skills and Aisle 3 products.

I asked Michelle how she came up with the name Aisle 3:

"Aisle 3 is the aisle where I used to find all the good fabric and materials at one of my favorite old thrift stores.  I don't remember putting much thought into coming up with a name at the time.  "Aisle 3" sort of just happened, and has always just felt right. "

Of course, Michelle had to show me some fabric she had purchased in aisle 3:

This fun and funky black and yellow animal fabric was one of her favorite finds in aisle 3.  :)

In addition to her favorite fabric, I also wanted to know about her favorite craft tool:

"My favorite tool, by far, is a mini chopping block table that I use when attaching snaps.  Sure, it's more cute than useful.  But it brings back great memories of the day I came across it at an estate sale, and the sweet friend that I was with."

Michelle also looks for record albums at estate sales.  She has a record player just outside her craftroom. 

I asked her what she listens to or thinks about or watches while she crafts:

"I almost named my record player as my favorite tool, because it's almost impossible for me to sew without listening to music.  I listen to a variety of  music, from Patsy Cline to Those Poor Bastards, with some local favorites in between.  

In regards to what I think about while I work, here's a post from my blog about that:"

Finally, I asked Michelle about the projects that she would like to work on in the future:

"One of my goals this year is to use my embroidery machine and begin my new embroidery collection, which includes accessories embellished with vintage designs."

Until Michelle gets started on her embroidery projects, we are super excited about all of her clever creations made from neckties...

...including an Aisle 3 upcycled necktie pouch for our April Second Saturday Giveaway!

Scraps from two coordinating neckties (that Michelle used to make a billfold wallet) were sewn together and finished off with a snap to make this adorable little pouch!

For YOUR chance to win the Upcycled Necktie Pouch (valued at $12), just complete steps A and B:

A) Follow Flint Handmade via the blog, Twitter, Google Reader or whatever newfangled "following application" tickles your fancy. Or, if you don't do the whole following thing, email us at and we will add you to our email list.

B) Leave us a comment in response to this blog post by 5pm on Saturday, April 16, 2011 answering the following 2 questions:

1) How do you follow us?

2) What other products would you like to see Michelle make out of neckties?

Please be sure to answer BOTH questions to qualify for the drawing.

The winner will be selected at random and posted on the blog within one week after the deadline. The winner will have 30 days to claim the prize.

We hope to hear from YOU and we hope you enjoyed our April Second Saturday Giveaway!
P.S. Are you wondering about the billfold wallet that was made from the same ties as the upcycled pouch in our giveaway?  Well, you are in luck!
Michelle is hosting her own giveaway on her Aisle 3 Blog for the coordinating billfold wallet!  Be sure to enter both giveaways!

Twitter: @upcycleyourlife

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Not Buying It Update 4: March Results

Posted by Crystal Pepperdine, Founder and Executive Director of Flint Handmade

I have been advised that these Not Buying It update posts were running a tad too long. (Thanks, Tunde!) 

So, I have decided to keep this one short and sweet! I will only cover three measures of success for March.

Money Saved: $1,000

Here's the breakdown of my $683 in discretionary income for the month:

$094 : GAS
$019 : GIFTS
$476 : TOTAL SPENT +
$683 - $676 = $7 REMAINING INCOME

Once again, I spent money on postage for PaperBackSwap, which is not a necessity.  For the month of April, I removed all of the books I posted online and will just donate them to the Flint Public Library.

The annual vet check up for Yasha actually cost $216, but I had to take $100 from Reserves as you will see below to cover the full amount.

I fully admit that I spent $19 on unnecessary gifts.  However, the gifts were for my beau's grandparents, who I met for the first time this month when they invited us to dinner.

Being a gracious guest is very important to me, so I brought his grandmother a small bouquet of tulips from the Flint Farmers' Market.  In the summer, when my garden is blooming, I will give the gift of flowers from my yard.  The gift for his grandfather is discussed below.

As in February, I had $7 remaining at the end of the month!
Projects Completed: 5

Once again, I am so excited about the 5 projects I finished this month!


When I met by beau's grandparents, we talked about the Flint Festival of Quilts.  His grandpa recalled an unfinished quilt that his own mother had started many, many decades ago.  Sure enough, they had 12 completed blocks each measuring 15" x 15" and lovingly handstitched with pink and green flowers.  I couldn't let this gorgeous quilt remain undone, so I asked if I could finish it and they gave their blessing.  I was practically a stranger to them, but they trusted me to take a family heirloom and that made me feel very special.

I was hoping to use some fabrics I already had, but the colors just didn't go together, so I went to JoAnn's to buy coordinating fabrics and spent $28.  My beau and I split the cost and have been working together to finish the quilt for his grandpa's 87th birthday.  I will post a picture of the quilt when it is all done and I hope to have it on display in the 2011 Flint Festival of Quilts.


I wanted to bake something special for my dad for his birthday.  I asked my grandma (his mom) for a recipe of sweets she made when he was a kid.  It took her a little while, but she remembered that my dad liked Date Nut Balls and left the recipe for me on my voicemail.  I made the goodies and my dad loved them.  I think I might make this a family tradition and bake the Date Nut Balls for his birthday every March.  :)


So far, my compost pile is just a small bouquet of withering daffodils that I gently deposited on the soil in my side yard.  Two days after putting down the flowers, we had that icy winter storm and I couldn't add any more matter to the pile.  But, I'm still counting this as a mental project completed...after several years of thinking about it, I have finally made a firm commitment to composting.  I have dedicated space in my yard to the compost pile and I have been saving kitchen scraps to add to the pile once the weather warms up a little more. 


I didn't spend any money on this giftwrap...or, for that matter, the gift inside.  I had the wrapping paper, ribbon and button stashed in my craftroom.  I used to love shopping for specialty wrapping and embellishments.  However, after wrapping this particular gift, I decided that I would never buy wrapping paper again.  I have enough wrapping paper to last a long, long time.  When I finally run out, I will just have to get more creative in how I wrap gifts.  Maybe I will sew reusable fabric giftbags?  I love giving gifts (as you may have noticed), but I'm not willing to spend money to wrap them anymore.


I really dislike picking up Yasha poop in my yard.  But, since I will be walking around yard a lot more to tend the garden this year, I can't let Yasha use the bathroom for weeks without picking up after her.  So, on that one 66 degree day we had in mid-March, I created a Dog Waste Composter out of a bucket I found in the trash, rocks from my yard and a slab of flagstone I had leftover from a project last summer.  I'm hoping that this eco-friendly composter will motivate me to clean up the yard more often.

Reserves Spent: $100

I had to take $100 from Reserves to help pay for Yasha's annual check up at the vet.  Totally worth it.  :)

Fortunately (or unfortunately?), I still have not "felt the scarcity" as I have taken to saying.  Maybe in April?

A small part of me wants to feel like I am really depriving myself this year.  Maybe I could then somehow justify all of the time/energy/money/space I squandered by "Buying It" for so many years?

But, I don't think the feelings of deprivation are going to come.  With my friends and family, the Flint Public Library and Flint Handmade, I find that I can meet almost all of my social/cultural/creative/belonging needs for free. 

We'll see if anything changes in April...

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Upcycled Wrist Pincushions: craftLAB recap!

Posted by Crystal Pepperdine, Founder and Executive Director of Flint Handmade

We had an awesome time at craftLAB on Sunday making upcycled wrist pincushions. 

Here's a good tutorial that shows you step-by-step how to make finger and wrist pincushions as well as pincushions you can mount on your sewing machine or ironing board.

And, now for the pictures!

Sarah, Nicole and Ali (l-r) cheese it up for the camera while selecting their pincushion fabric. :)
Nicole (r) was interviewed by Ryan Czachorski of The Flint Journal.  Check out the article!  

Ali smiles sweetly and shows off her two pincushions.

Cindy (l) and her daughter, Melissa, each made two pincushions.  Can you see they made one set to match?

Nicole, Michelle and Ali (l-r) look so cute with their double sets of pincushions.

Group Photo!

Mike was kind enough to take the group photo for us, so we got a shot of him with Marie and her pincushion.  Thanks, Mike!

Me (r) and my mom, Mary, model our pincushions.  I love that my mom is wearing a Flint Handmade Knuckles shirt and I am wearing a red "END MASS PRODUCTION, BUY HANDMADE" shirt from Deadworry.  I bought the shirt at Wholly Craft! in Columbus.

Suzanne (l) and Amber were the last two ladies to make their pincushions and were featured in the photos taken by Matt Bach from The Flint Journal!  Suzanne is wearing an FH Knuckles shirt that she screenprinted at our Yudu Demo in March!