Artist of the Month: Emily Landsman, EHL Creations

The following post is by Emily Landsman, Owner of EHL Creations, the Herban Lifestyle June 2014 Artist of the Month.

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I have been a photographer for more than twenty years and enjoy finding new ways to look at ordinary objects. I love taking kooky pictures with my many different Polaroid cameras and using the images to make greeting cards, belt buckles, tiles, magnets and more. Polaroid transfer prints are made by under developing Polaroid pull-apart films and transferring the images to non-photographic surfaces. The resulting images have an antique or ethereal quality. Polaroid image lifts are made by developing Polaroid pull-apart films as normal, soaking the image to remove it from the paper backing, and transferring the emulsion to non-photographic surfaces. Each print is different and has its own characteristics.

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You may have heard that Polaroid is no longer producing instant film. I collected dozens of packs of several different types of film for my artistic usage before they became unavailable. Once all existing film is used, this transfer process will no longer be possible, making these images all the more unique.

tiles

You can find more about Emily’s pieces on her Etsy Store and Website 

Join Us at the 2011 BUST Holiday Craftacular & Food Fair in SoHo!

If you’re in NYC this weekend (December 10th and 11th), I hope you’ll stop by the Herban Lifestyle table at the BUST Magazine Holiday Craftacular and Food Fair Holiday 2011. We’ll be at 82 Mercer St. in SoHo from 11am to 8pm on Saturday and 11am to 7pm on Sunday.

There will be over 200 vendors selling handmade crafts and food. Plus, there will be demos, DJs and more. Admission is just $3, and the first 300 shoppers each day will receive a FREE goodie bag filled with amazing gifts.

BUST Magazine founders and co-publishers, Debbie Stoller and Laurie Henzel, will be signing copies of their new book The BUST DIY Guide to Life. They will also be offering classes on fun DIY projects like how to make your own tiny terrariums, snow globes, and more.

On Saturday, Jay McCarroll, winner of Project Runway season one will be selling affordable bags and scarves from his current line.

Visit the BUST website for a full list of BUST Magazine Craftacular and Food Fair vendors.

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Join us at Crafty Bastards on 10/1!

For the past few weeks, I’ve been busy gearing up for this year’s Crafty Bastards Arts & Crafts Show in the Adams Morgan neighborhood of DC. In its 8th year, it’s one of the biggest craft shows in the country drawing an estimated 30,000 attendees. I am super honored to have been chosen to be a vendor. And it’s not only a great place to be a vendor, it’s also a dream-come-true for the shopper looking for unique, high-quality handcrafted gifts.

fuzzy soap display at Crafty Bastards 2010

It’s a huge show, with tons of great stuff to see and do – besides all the amazing crafts, there will also be DIY demos, food vendors, as well as the new Young & Crafty (featuring the wares of crafty kids 18 and under) and Crafty Food vendors (featuring home brew, preserves and pickles!). So, in order to maximize your time there, you can take a look at the vendor page to get a preview of the who will be selling what, then download the official Crafty Bastards vendor map so you can make sure you find all your favorites.

If you are in DC that day, please stop by Booth #88 and say, “Hi!” (If you are in the market for fuzzy soap, try to get there early, since we sold out of all 100 before the end of the day last year!) I hope to see you there!

Our New Brick and Mortar Friend: Nonny’s

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I am very happy to announce that my line of products is now available at the newly opened Nonny’s in Fountain Hills, AZ. Nonny’s is a retail store filled with handcrafted items, refurbished vintage home goods and a floral section. It is the creation of Jerrod Alcaida, who was a wedding and event planner in LA for several years. He decided to come back to his home state and set up a retail space where he and his partner, Chad Harr, could combine several of their interests, all focusing on beauty, creativity and celebrating life’s mileposts, big and small.

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Besides their retail selection, Nonny’s continues to provide wedding and event planning services. In addition, they offer custom floral arrangements by mother-daughter team Diane Gonzalez and Katherine Gonzalez, who are past and current Arizona State Floral Designers of the year. There are some great photos of their floral creations on Nonny’s Facebook fan page.

image copyright Nonny's

Nonny’s is also offering a variety of classes that include holiday decorating, centerpiece arrangements, and gift wrapping. The full schedule is available on their website. All of this (as Dori Wittrig said in her recent blog post on Nonny’s) is part of their mission to provide “an alternative and unique vision for your home, garden and everyday celebrations of life, inspiring harmony between interior & exterior spaces and enhancing those special everyday moments.”

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If you are in the area, please stop by Nonny’s at 16858 Avenue of the Fountains, Suite 102, Fountain Hills, AZ 85268 and tell them I said, “Hi!”

A Conversation with Maura from GreenWorks

Recently I had an opportunity to interview Maura Canavan, owner of GreenWorks and designer of hand-printed organic cotton and hemp shirts. Maura specializes in eco-friendly clothing with cool ancient-symbol designs. She also heads up the Etsy Organic Team, a group of Etsy sellers “dedicated to helping the earth, the environment, and our bodies through organic products.”

I love the colors and textures of her clothing. Plus I have a special affinity for her Celtic designs (my great-grandfather was from County Cork). Last Christmas, I bought one of her lovely hemp linen tops as a gift for a family member. It was well-received.

Here’s what Maura had to say about GreenWorks and her journey of sustainability.

How did you get started in your chosen craft?

I have an interest in living a natural lifestyle for many years. One of the problems I encountered this side of the pond was a lack of organic clothing or where it was available the high prices!  The prices really put organic clothing out of the reach of most consumers and I felt it was doing a great dis-service to the whole organic campaign to have the clothing in what would be considered a niche market.

At the same time a friend had discovered screen printing and we had collectively come up with some great designs for our t-shirts. So we decided to source organic clothes to screen print on and sell them on at affordable prices to try and get organic mainstream.

We found Etsy in 2008 and opened up GreenWorks because one of our first designs was a play on the phrase that green does work with industrial cogs.  At that time we didn’t think to see if anyone else was using the same name – and on reflection we would have chosen a different name for our shop.

Anyway the rest as they say is history.  We’re still plugging away trying to make this a viable business.  It is slow going and the recession hasn’t helped! 🙂  But we’re committed to making this happen so fingers crossed!

What makes your product eco friendly?

Lots of things.

We make the screens ourselves using wood that would have been dumped and also old picture frames etc.

The inks we use are considered the most eco friendly around and give great results.

The clothing we screen print on is all either organic and/or hemp which is a great sustainable and eco friendly fabric.  While we use organic hemp where possible even though some tops have not been certified as organic we love how hemp actually rejuvenates the earth and is mainly harvested without the use of any pesticides/herbicides etc.

Most of our clothing is also either fair trade or ethically traded.  That was an important box for us to tick when sourcing the tops and one that wasn’t always considered.

And because we do all that ourselves it is fair trade – we’re not employing someone to do the work for us at a cut price.

One downside is that while we source as locally as possible living in Northern Ireland does mean that our inks/tops etc have to be bought in aka environmental costs of shipping/freight etc. Plus selling online entails shipping as well. We are hoping for the day when organic cotton and hemp are available on this wee spot of the earth!

What inspired you to lead a green lifestyle?

I really can’t say.  From a child I had a dislike of medication but had migraines.  So I learned early on the relationship between food and health.  Also growing up in a village we were surrounded by farms etc.  My great aunt had cows and an assortment of chickens, ducks, turkeys, geese etc so we always had a supply of free range eggs as well as homemade butter and buttermilk.  I loved her pantry with all the churning equipment and patting butter and how it was always lovely and cool even when it was hot outside.  It was like magic!

Growing older I started using essential oils and flower remedies and developed a self treatment/regime for migraine using those and a form of self hypnosis that made them manageable.  Then I discovered Feverfew and after taking that for a couple of months my migraines practically disappeared and I would say I have been migraine free for at least 20 years now.

Most of my clothing when I was young was made by my mom and granny and I used to get hand-me-downs from cousins.  So re-using and not wasting were part of everyday life.

Home cooking and baking were everyday occurrences and there is still nothing I like more than fresh baked bread straight off the griddle! Yeah my waist doesn’t thank me for that one 🙂

So I guess you can say that a green lifestyle has been pretty much part and parcel of everyday life for me growing up.  The difference is that while I was young I took it for granted – nowadays it is a conscious decision.

Which piece in your shop is your current favorite?

Oh that is a tough question! From a printing perspective I love the Elegance design because it so versatile and I can play around with it.  From an Irish perspective I love our Celtic designs and all the ancient symbolism dating back to our pagan days.  From an activist point of view I love our organic message and some newer hemp designs.  My favorites though are the tribal prints – the cosmic circles inspired by the Mayan calendar and the mushroom God with his magic mushrooms. The idea of that was actually some copper handles with the mushrooms on an old Irish oak sideboard.  Unfortunately Ireland has few ancient oak forests left as most of them were plundered … but that’s another story!

What are you currently working on?

We have a new hemp print that I need to list but also a couple of plans for 2 ranges of designs … but they’re kinda secret for now 🙂

On the non-organic front, but recycling, I’ve been concentrating on sewing and making for my other shop lilgreenshop.  I’m a wild hoarder and figured it was time to rebirth some fabric scraps etc plus for local craft fairs it is easier to take one suitcase of smaller eco items on a bus or train to a fair than try to take clothing (no car and no plans to get one if I can manage without)

So many thanks, so little time!

Within the past month, and primarily within the last week, I have received a plethora of great reviews and mentions in gift guides. So, I would like to return the favor and thank all the blogs and websites that have featured my products — I appreciate your kind words! Here are the people I would like to thank, and whose gift guides I would also like to recommend to you, dear reader…

Dallas Star-Telegram “When you buy holiday gifts that benefit a charity, the good feeling is priceless” A holiday guide to products that support a cause, a charity, a relief effort, a positive change in the world.

Going Green DC “2nd Annual Going Green DC Gift Guide” A guide to some of the coolest eco-friendly gifts that are made right here in the DC area.

We Love DC “We Love Really Cool Gifts” Great gifts made by DC area artists and craftspersons.

Chic & Green Christmas Wishes 2009 Daily handcrafted holiday gift recommendations from the Chic & Green blog.

Bella Sugar “10 Feel-Good Gifts For Dad on Any Budget” A guide to “the perfect holiday gifts for the Y chromosome who loves you most.”

EcoLeeko “4th Day of Christmas” Twelve days of eco-friendly, artisan gift suggestions handpicked by EcoLeeko.

Nuorganics’ “On the 1st Day of Christmas” Greenworks offers 12 days of recommendations for handcrafted, unique, quality products from independent artisans.

Whitz World of Beauty “More Christmas Gift Ideas with Herban Lifestyle” A listing of some of my best-selling products, many of which were featured in…

Create your own Spa Week with Herban Lifestyle featured in the Examiner in September.

Thank you, thank you, thank you. And Happy Holidays!!!

Happy Etsy Day!

3821-etsyday24Over the past few years, there has been a rising interest in crafting and DIY. And more recently, as the economy has taken a a downturn, many more people are turning to the ideals of simple, handmade. There is a satisfaction you get from making things yourself that you can never attain by just buying stuff. And you have the comfort of knowing exactly what when into it (e.g., natural ingredients, no sweatshop labor, no lead). I like the idea of getting back to basics.

Etsy is a platform for artisans who are part of this cultural shift, and has enabled individual crafters to reach an broad audience from the comfort of their own home. And not only is it a platform for selling one’s crafts, it is also a huge community of like-minded individuals who come together over the ideals of DIY. 

I joined Etsy last May, and started selling items in August. Since then, I have met tons of really talented, friendly crafters, working across a wide array of mediums. We have a love of crafting in common, even though we are located all over the world. Although, I’ve also connected with lots of local crafters, and have been contacted by local businesses asking to carry my products, which they have found on Etsy. 

If you are not on Etsy yet, I recommend that you take a look around. It’s a visual smorgasbord! And if you try it out for a while, you will see why such an enthusiastic community has grown up around it.

Happy Etsy Day!

MALL is a 4-Letter Word: Buy Handmade on Black Friday/Cyber Monday

sale_bannerThe Capital Region Etsy Street Team (CREST) is holding a Black Friday/Cyber Monday CREST promotion. The following stores have contributed items for a Gift Box, which will be given away through a random drawing. Several stores are also offering discounts.

To enter, post a comment on the CREST blog along with your name and email address. The winner will be announced on the afternoon of Friday, December 5th.

Athena’s Olive Tree
Gift Box Contribution:Layered Candy Cane Soap Bar
Discount Offer: I’ve placed 42 items on sale and will be giving away a free item to a random person who purchased from my shop in the month of November… and i’ll be giving 5% off any order placed ON black friday! Ends Midnight EST.

babus
Gift Box Contribution: I am offering up one of my wet-felted wool scrap yarn balls.  Multicolored ball about 2 1/2 inches in diameter.
Discount Offer: I am offering free shipping on all items.

Bella Tote
Gift Box Contribution: an attractive reusable tote!

Bette’s Bags
Gift Box Contribution: Small fabric wallet or credit card holder.
Discount Offer: Free Shipping

DearSophie
Gift Box Contribution: I am offering up a pair of new jade and sterling silver earrings. Valued at $8.
Discount Offer: free gift wrapping on all items, free shipping on orders over $30. Early bird special: Make it a gift set! Limited number of free earrings with the purchase of a necklace.

Designs by Erin
Gift Box Contribution: 2 knitted bangle bracelets: 1 light green & white cotton yarn, and 1 baby blue acrylic and blue Lion’s Brand Homespun yarn

Elizabethan Creations
Gift Box Contribution: Set of 4 yo-yo coasters in blue
Discount Offer: 20% of everything in shop

French Roast
Gift Box Contribution: a pendant (value $15)
Discount Offer: free shipping to the US (discounts overseas) 

Generations Tie Dye

Gift Box Contribution: A 12″x60″ hand-dyed blue and gray silk scarf

herban lifestyle™
Gift Box Contribution: organic holiday cookie sugar scrub
Discount Offer: 20% off all items in my store

Jellybug Artworks
Gift Box Contribution: a fused glass pendant. 
Discount Offer: $5 off on every $25 spent at my shop with free shipping on orders of $50 or more. 

jetsy
Gift Box Contribution: a small redecorated spice tin (“Warm Fuzzies”) that the recipient can fill with glitter, bath salts, powder, or tea, spices, etc.

Katie’s Kritters
Gift Box Contribution: a duo of Christmas pins, Santa and Mrs. Claus

Mishutka Design Studio
Gift Box Contribution: Victorian Pink Rose Tags (Set of 6) Delicate roses and lovely pink ribbons are perfect together in these Victorian style gift tags. Delightful vintage tags to decorate your gifts! Or use them for scrapbooking and as bookmarks.

mloartwear
Gift Box Contribution: Original upcycled bookmark and an original watercolor Christmas theme card
Discount Offer: Free shipping 

oblinaknit
Gift Box Contribution: On The Go Pouch – A cute little japanese fabric pouch to stash you stuff!
Discount Offer: 15% all items in my shop

Silver Dot Jewelry Designs
Gift Box Contribution: Crystal Rose Necklace A faceted rock crystal quartz briolette is accented with a lovely rose gold vermeil charm and suspended from sterling silver chain. Necklace length will be made to customer specifications. Necklace retails for $33.50
Discount Offer: BOGO Sale – Buy One item and get lower priced or equal value item at 50% off.

Undefined Village
Gift Box Contribution: 5×7 photographic print, matted and signed
Discount Offer: Buy one get one 1/2 off all prints 8×10 or larger.

Wild Honeysuckle Creations
Gift Box Contribution: A pendant or ornament.

Happy Shopping!

Handmade Bath Products Workshop 11/1 in Bethesda

handmade bath and body products

On Saturday, November 1st, from 11:00 – 1:00, I’ll be holding a workshop at Be You Wellness Center and Spa in Bethesda, MD. In this 2-hour hands-on workshop you will learn the basics of making natural bath and body products. We will talk about how to use various ingredients, including essential oils, and how they benefit your body. We will get our hands dirty (or clean, as it were), by making a selection of guest soaps, a jar of bath scrub and a jar of facial masque for you to take home. We will also work on packaging, making these items great gifts for friends, family or yourself!

For more info, or to register, call (301) 493-4911, email info [at] beyouspa.com or visit http://www.beyouspa.com/events.html.

The cost is $40 including materials.

Welcome!

Three weeks ago, I launched my first Etsy store (http://herbanlifestyle.etsy.com), featuring my handcrafted herbal bath and body products. And, since I have a love of blogging (shameless promotion: please visit my wellness blog, Becoming Your StellarSelf), I thought it would be fun to create a blog dedicated to the topic of natural bath and body products, herbs and herbalism.

This blog will be a place where I will tell you about the various properties of the herbs I use, the importance of natural and organic ingredients, my new products, cool products other people make, etc. I hope you enjoy it!

If you want, you can follow me on Twitter (http://twitter.com/herbanlifestyle)