Saturday, August 11, 2012

FINAL BLOG POST: Second Saturday Giveaway: Win a Pillow from Yasmin Ladha of Circle Cat Studio!

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

After three fabulous years, Flint Handmade has decided to retire our blog.

We had a fantastic run and now we want to focus on some new endeavors, including our brand new websiteFacebook and (coming soon) bi-monthly e-mail newsletter!

For our final post, we will be doing our final Second Saturday Giveaway, featuring none other than our amazing graphic designer, Yasmin Ladha of Circle Cat Studio!

We felt it was only right to retire the blog with a bang and feature the fabulous artist who has given Flint Handmade its signature "Knuckles" logo and style.  Enjoy!

This is Yasmin (aka Yaz) in her very spacious, well-lit craftroom situated between her kitchen and living  room.   Notice the awesome curved arch into the living room...

...and the fabulous vintage door beads into the kitchen featuring mushrooms, a common motif in Yaz's apartment.

I asked Yaz to tell me about her workspace:

"My workspace is always a cluttered mess. I really do try to organize it sometimes, but the trays and bins just add more items to the art explosion. 

I am kind of a pack rat when it comes to craft supplies and I have to keep everything in case I could use it someday for some project I haven't even thought of yet, like when I used an old book to make a hanging sculpture.  I'm pretty sure this is a common quality in artsy folks.

Also, the walls must be covered in things to look at because it makes me feel more comfortable."

Yasmin really does have a large variety of items on her walls.  In additional to the above prints, she also has...

...a little book nook with an iron scroll on the wall and...

...her collection of tiny things!

Her book nook also features books of course...

...and her sewing machine when it's not in use.

On the opposite side of the arch to the living room, Yaz has a work table with a self-healing mat because her favorite tool is "my Xacto® knife, always with a fresh blade. I would probably actually die without it!"

She does a lot of her design work by sketching or cutting out paper first at her desk with her trusty sidekick, Lucy.  Notice the blue "H" above her amazing collection of art markers?  Letters are just another something that Yaz likes to collect for inspiration.

Although Yasmin now has a dog, I know there is a very special place in her heart for cats, so I asked her how she came up with her company name, Circle Cat Studio:

"Well, I love cats. If you've ever had a cat, you know how adorable it is when they curl up into a little fluffy sleeping circle! If any cat near me is caught in this heart-warming act, I will joyfully utter, "[insert cat's name] is being circle cat" in an accusatory manner.  Also, the first thing I started making for craft fairs were eco-friendly catnip toys."

Yasmin's boyfriend, Kyle, knows just how much she loves "circle cats" so he got her one asleep on a stack of books all carved out of wood!  (And, if you scroll back up to the photo of her tiny things collection, you will see another of Yaz's "circle cats" in the very center in blue!)

Of course, Yaz's favorite cat is her friendly feline named Stu.

As if on cue, Stu had to jump into a photo!  Here, he poses with Yasmin's vintage record player and collection of albums.

Noticing the records, I asked Yasmin what she likes to listen to/think about/watch while she crafts:

"It depends on my mood or what I am doing. If I'm making earrings or drawing I usually listen to girl bands or folky tunes. If I'm just stuffing a pillow or making cat toys, I am most likely watching How I Met Your Mother or some food documentary on Netflix."

As a graphic designer, Yasmin also does A LOT of work on her computer, which is just across from her work desk.  Notice all of the wonderful items on her walls for inspiration, including the letter "L" for her collection and "L" for Lucy!

Hanging just to the right of the "L" is one of Yaz's favorite vintage treasures...

...a needlepoint collage of mushrooms that her mom made decades ago!

Assuming her mom might have played a role, I asked Yaz how she got into crafting:

"I technically started when I was only a few years old. I was the youngest of four and my crafty momma always did fun projects with us (Mom and I now bond over this trait), so I owe it all to her. Even being the youngest, it was noticed early on that I was the creative one of my siblings ;) I was always being told that I was too little to do something, so that just made me want to do it more to prove them wrong.

I started doing it more recently (as a small personal business) to earn a profit while I was interning and freelancing as a graphic designer after graduating college. I didn't (and still don't) really know what kind of grown up job I want so I am just testing all the waters to see what I am capable of. I can't really help but make stuff."

Yasmin also does gorgeous pen and watercolor drawings.

The one that probably appeals most to crafters is her lovely "Craftiness is Happiness" drawing.  It just makes you smile!

To wrap up our interview, I asked Yasmin what projects she would like to work on in the future:

"Hmmm, I want to gain access to some screen printing materials and let the idea of easy multiples take me to a far off land of wonder and brightly colored ink. Since I am also a designer, I would love to produce some posters or t-shirts or somesuch." 

Well, Yasmin has produced some amazing event posters and t-shirts for Flint Handmade and for that, we are forever grateful!

We are also grateful for the item she donated for our final Second Saturday Giveaway!

"For the giveaway, I am donating a 14" square pillow I made from vintage floral material adorned with a wool felt cat bust silhouette. It's the first I have made (one of a kind!) after having had the idea in my head for months. Once I make more to sell at future shows and in the shop, I think they will be priced at $18."

For YOUR chance to win the Cat Bust Silhouette Pillow (valued at $18) by Yasmin Ladha of Circle Cat Studio, just complete steps A and B:

A) "Like" our new Facebook page or add yourself to our e-mail list through the form on the bottom of our website.

B) Leave us a comment in response to this blog post by 5pm on Saturday, August 25, 2012 answering the following two questions:

1) What other "cat crafts" could Yasmin make?

2) What is your email address?  Feel free to leave it in "name [at] gmail [dot] com" format.

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

The winner will be selected at random and emailed within one week after the deadline.

We hope to hear from YOU and we hope you enjoyed our blog, the entire Second Saturday Giveaway Series and this interview with Yasmin Ladha in particular! 

FYI, Yasmin can also be reached at:

And, don't forget to keep in contact with us through Facebook and our website, which was designed by Yasmin!  :)


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Book & DVD Sale in Craft City at BAF

Flint Handmade (FH) and Genesee County Little Free Libraries (GCLFL) are hosting a Book & DVD Sale in Craft City at Buckham Alley Fest THIS Saturday from 6pm-midnight to benefit the Arts, Crafts and Creativity Little Free Library (LFL) in Downtown Flint and other LFLs in Genesee County!

FH/GCLFL Book & DVD Sale Prices
DVDs - $1
Hardcovers - 50 cents
Paperbacks - 25 cents

If you have books or DVDs you want to donate to the sale, just bring them to the FH/GCLFL table next to the Rutherford Parking Structure anytime during the FREE Buckham Alley Fest and stick around to enjoy the food, music and crafts!

P.S. If you can't make it to Craft City, but still want to support Little Free Libraries in Genesee County, please visit our Indiegogo Campaign.  There are some great perks for contributions of $10 to $500!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Now Accepting Kroger Rewards and VG's Receipts!

Flint Handmade is now accepting Kroger community rewards points and VG's reciepts to help us raise funds in support of our mission to nurture a local handmade economy and environment in Flint!

To assign your Kroger community rewards points to Flint Handmade, please visit and follow the prompts.  Flint Handmade's organization number is 91183.

To donate VG's receipts, please visit the Mott Park Little Free Library or Delaware Ave Little Free Library.  Proceeds from VG's receipts will be split 50/50 between Flint Handmade and Genesee County Little Free Libraries.

We are also in the process of installing an Arts, Crafts and Creativity Little Free Library at The Lunch Studio in Downtown Flint and we hope you will support that effort, too.


Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Arts, Crafts and Creativity Little Free Library at The Lunch Studio!

Flint Handmade, in partnership with Genesee County Little Free Libraries, is bringing an Arts, Crafts and Creativity Little Free Library to The Lunch Studio in Downtown Flint!

We were personally contacted by Todd Bol, Co-Founder of the national Little Free Library organization, who pledged to donate a Paint-Your-Own library to us!

Now, we need to raise funds to personalize the library, print informational materials, order logo merchandise and bring more LFLs to the Flint area.

Please consider donating to this very worthy cause through our Downtown Flint Little Free Library Indiegogo Campaign!

P.S. There are some great perks for contributions of $10 to $500!  Check out the campaign page for more information!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Second Saturday Giveaway: June Winner!

We want to thank everyone who commented on our June Second Saturday Giveaway featuring Dieshawn Holmes of Angelic Soaps and Gifts!

The awesome commenters for June were Nicole Lewis, Missy, Glamour4You and Elizabeth.

And now, the moment you have all been waiting for!

The randomly selected winner of the Lotion & Soap Gift Basket is...

...Glamour4You!!! Congratulations! 

Glamour4You, send us an email at and we will make arrangements for you to receive your item! You have 30 days to claim your prize. :)

As usual, we will be taking July off from the Second Saturday Giveaway, but we want to encourage everyone to participate in the next Second Saturday Giveaway to be posted August 11, 2012!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Yarn Bomb: Knitting/Crocheting Happy Hour at El Potrero!

Help Flint Handmade prepare our "Yarn Bomb" Public Craft Project for Craft City at Buckham Alley Fest!

We are hosting a Knitting/Crocheting Happy Hour on Thursday, June 21, 2012 from 5:30pm-7:30pm at El Potrero in Downtown Flint!

We welcome knitters and crocheters of all skill levels. Just bring your needles/hooks and some stash yarn. We will also have extra yarn available.

Please feel free to bring any abandoned knit/crochet projects that you want to contribute to the Yarn Bomb, too!

RSVP on our event page on Facebook!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

July crafLAB: Basic Beading!

Join us for a FREE Basic Beading Workshop at craftLAB on Sunday, July 1, 2012 from noon-3pm at The Lunch Studio

Learn basic beading techniques from craftLAB Coordinator Jenni Snyder!

Create your choice of bracelet, ring, earring set or charm pin.

All tools and materials will be provided, but feel free to bring your own supplies if you have something special you would like to use!

Flint Handmade hosts FREE craftLABs on the first Sunday of every month at The Lunch Studio in Downtown Flint!  Come explore and express your creativity!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Second Saturday Giveaway: Win a Lotion & Soap Gift Basket from Dieshawn Holmes of Angelic Soaps and Gifts

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

For our June Second Saturday giveaway, we are featuring Dieshawn Holmes of Angelic Soaps and Gifts!

This is Dieshawn in her craftroom/office.  Can you tell she loves the color purple in all its various shades?  :)

Dieshawn also has a "lab" in her basement where she creates and designs her products, but we focused on her lovingly decorated upstairs craftroom/office.  She said:

"As of right now I have just enough space for the amount of soaps that I'm crafting. Eventually I plan on opening up a gift shop. And I will locate my soap workshop within my gift shop."

If anyone is going to open a gift shop, it will be Dieshawn!  

She is very aware of the importance of having a well-organized creative business, so she is taking at class at the Michigan Small Business & Technology Development Center at Kettering University and working through The Right Brain Business Plan by Jennifer Lee.

Dieshawn also has great signage in her craftroom/office.  I asked her how she came up with her company name:

"I always knew that I wanted to operate my own business someday. I wanted my business to some how up lift and give a sort of 'happy' vibe. "Angelic" to me evokes this type of feeling, so Angelic Soaps and Gifts was perfect to name my business."

Dieshawn's craftroom/office really does radiate a professional and happy atmosphere.  Her desk is just gorgeous!

Dieshawn also has a large aloe vera plant that she uses in some of her formulations.  She keeps family photos around to keep her grounded and focused on the important aspects of life.

One of Dieshawn's favorite photos is of her grandmother that she keeps right underneath a framed Flint Journal article about her being "Soap Savvy" from 2005. 

Dieshawn's grandmother came up from the South and worked very hard in an auto factory to provide a better life for her family.  She is Dieshawn's major inspiration to be an independent business woman.

I wondered if her grandmother was particularly creative, so I asked Dieshawn how she got into crafting:

"Actually, I'm an only child, so crafting helped to keep me busy as a kid. Crafting and making neat things has been with me ever since I was little.

As an adult, I started attending enrichment classes that were offered by The Flint Community Schools. In one of the classes, we crafted a herbal Mother's Day gift basket with herbal bath soaps and bath gifts.

This class is what sparked my interest in soap making and eventually opening up my business in 2002."

Yes, that gift basket that Dieshawn is holding in the above photo, in fact, the very one she made in her first class!  She has kept it for 10 years as a reminder of where she started and how far she has already come.

Dieshawn is constantly working to learn more and develop her creativity and business acumen, so she takes as many classes as she possibly can.  She has framed certificates all over one wall in her craftroom.  This one is for an "Introduction to Jewelry Making" course.

She already does so much, but I asked Dieshawn what projects she wanted to work on in the future:

"I would like to start making Shower Gel crafted with herbs and skin loving ingredients.

I also would love to learn how to quilt and I already have a new machine for when I am ready to start sewing.  I love the pink designs."

Dieshawn crafts in all mediums, not just soap making.  Walking from her craftroom/office to her kitchen, she has a rolled paper wall hanging in her hallway that she made in another class she took!

In the kitchen, Dieshawn started working on her next batch of lotions and potions.  I asked her watch she likes to listen to/think about/watch while working:

"Usually while I'm making my products I like to be in silence, so that I'm able to focus on what I'm making. Soap is made with lye, which can burn the skin, so I have to really pay attention to what I'm doing.

Sometimes, I'll brainstorm the next cool product or soap that I can create."

I truly enjoyed interviewing and photographing Dieshawn and even took pictures on my way out the door!  This is an herb planter on her front porch and she has just started growing more herbs in her backyard.

I said my good-byes...and then noticed that even the flowers by her mailbox were purple, so I had to stop for one more picture before I left.  :)

For the Second Saturday Giveaway, Dieshawn has graciously donated a gift basket with a Lavender & Lemon Shea Butter Lotion and a Patchouli Bath Soap.

For YOUR chance to win the Lotion & Soap Gift Basket (valued at $20) by Dieshawn Holmes of Angelic Soaps and Gifts, 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, Apirl 21, 2012 answering the following 2 questions:

1) How do you follow Flint Handmade?

2) What other herb combinations could Dieshawn use in her products?

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. You must check back with the blog to see if you won!

We hope to hear from YOU and we hope you enjoyed our June Second Saturday Giveaway!


NOTE: As usual, we will be taking July off from the Second Saturday Giveaway, but we will be back in August with another great giveaway featuring a local crafter!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Field Trip Flashback: Leon & Lulu in Royal Oak

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

So, back in Summer of 2010, I went to an Artist Market at Leon & Lulu in Royal Oak...and I am just getting the chance to post the pictures!

Leon & Lulu offers "an eclectic mix of upscale furniture, unforgettable gifts, and accessories in an environment unlike any other. Located in the historic Ambassador Roller Rink, we offer 15,000 square feet of fabulous shopping. Locally owned and family run, there is a hot cup of coffee and a cookie waiting for you."

Enjoy all of the gorgeous photos!