Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Interview with Rachael Patton of Jarac Rogovima!

Name: Rachael Patton

Shop Name: Jarac Rogovima

Shop Link:

Location: Humboldt County, California

Tell us a bit about yourself:
My partner and I moved to the west coast about two years ago from Asheville, NC. I loved the DIY scene there and have grown accustomed to the various styles of my new home. Three other designers and I recently produced a fashion show to showcase our work.

Apart from creating things, what do you do?
In the fall, I'm going back to school to study ethnobotany. I love gardening, when I have the time. I'm obsessed with music as well. A friend of mine, and I, have plans to do a radio show later this year too.

What materials do you use? I find all kinds of wonderful fabrics from garage sales, old clothing, even bedsheets. Most of my clothing and accessories are made from these second-hand materials and made soley by me. The thought of people being exploited in other countries to make things cheap and convenient for us saddens me.

Tell us about your design process:
It takes a lot of time to come up with and draft patterns. For my hodge-podge calico-looking pieces, I gather some scraps that go together. Once I have the pattern, I plug in pieces of my favorite scraps so they fit the pattern piece. Though very time consuming, the result is awesome. I've been told by past studio-mates and costumers that I seem to make really beautiful things from what they had considered to be hopelessly tragic fabrics or clothes. I'm attracted to really bizarre things.

What inspires you?
As far as style, the folk costumes of Scadinavia and eastern Europe appeal to me. Having worked for other people my whole life, the drive to be a sole business woman is great. Also, knowing that my clothes are a closed circle operation (meaning no overseas construction, very few resources used) means a lot to me.

How did you get into your craft?
Honestly, I have no idea. I've loved arts and crafts since I was a kid. Making clothing was probably one thing on a list of many to accomplish. When I realized that it's subtle finishing techniques were a dying art, I lept into it. I love a crafty challenge. Due to learning more about clothing construction and pattern drafting, making clothes becomes more challenges and interesting.

Do you have any advice for fellow artist/designer/crafters?
Ha! People love giving advice, so take it into consideration but do what you truly feel is right for your art. And DON'T SELL OUT!!!!!!! That's my personal mantra. I can't say how many people have tried to convince me that I need to be bigger and have my clothes made overseas and market by obscene methods of commercialization. Unless you feel that that is worth doing, don't sell out.

What are your current projects and what is on the horizon?
An avant garde show featuring some Louis IVX style costumes made from trash.

Anything else you would like to add?
Because, I'm on the warpath: Be aware of where your materials come from and where they go when they're disposed of.

Thanks for sharing sharing the concepts and inspirations behind your awesome work Rachael!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Inspiration Sunday- Recycled Rubber!

I keep running into great stuff made from recycled rubber lately.

These coasters are pretty cute:

...and I love all the awesome bags and jewelry made by malinb
She makes them out of truck tires!

Believe it or not, this jewelry by Christiane Diehl is made out of recycled rubber bands!

The Worn Again line by Terra Plana is full of awesome reuse, especially rubber. The soles of these shoes are made from recycled bike tubes.

Check out these tips on how to recycle extra foam rubber pieces:

Friday, April 18, 2008

Friday Book Review- The Crafts Business Answer Book by Barbara Barbec

This book was the second one I got to in the huge stack of books I picked up at the Brooklyn Business Library a little bit ago. The cover was second cutest. haha ; )

By the way, this is THE book to get if you run a craft business! It's set up like an encyclopedia with all the terms you're wondering about in alphabetical order. Say you have a question about doing consignment, look in the c's, there's sections entitled "Consignment Agreement" and "Consignment Laws" ect. The format is so easy and I found out exact definitions of some technical accounting terms I had only "sorta kinda" known, or just had never even heard of. I'm definitely going to have to buy this one. Also, this one is the second edition which is 60% updated from the older version according to

I would recommend buying this one over Craft Inc., the book I reviewed last week, because this one has info you'll need at all stages of your business and it's just a more utilitarian book overall. It'll serve you well over several years. Craft Inc. is great if you're just beginning to think about going into business and need more general and inspirational advice, while The Crafts Business Answer book is getting down to the nitty gritty.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Ridiculous new legislation could hurt artists & designers

This is what's going on: there's new legislation in congress that would take away your basic rights to copyright your work. Find out more about it here:

There's a lot of big companies with lots of money to push around on this including Getty and Corbis (they're big image databases). It's important for us little guys to stay on top of this. We can't write to our senators yet, not until it becomes an actual drafted bill, so stay informed by emailing the Illustrator's Partnership: Just say you want to be updated if anything new develops on this issue.

This is the guy behind the crazy legislation: Peter Jaszi.

“Through his testimony before the Congress, Peter Jaszi has helped my colleagues better appreciate the importance of fair use to consumers, libraries and universities, technology companies, and society as a whole,” said Rep. Rick Boucher (D-VA). “He has been a real inspiration to those of us fighting to restore balance to our copyright laws. With the intellectual support he has provided us, we ultimately will prevail.”

Notice the guy didn't mention anything about being fair to the people who actually create the artwork? One of their arguments is that they'd be protecting high school kids from being sued for using somebody else's images in their reports. That's actually already protected under the current copyright laws. What a useless bill, right?

Thank you to Pamela of "Uniques" for letting us know about this!
Feel free to comment.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Saturday Inspirations- Cool Packaging

Enviroarc makes these cool biodegradeable flower pots, wouldn't it be awesome if the plants you buy for your house came in these instead of plastic?

Made out of recycled paper and cardboard pulp, this Ecopak packaging is sustainable but also allows for a wide variety of shapes to be formed.

This packaging for jewelry by H. Sterns-Pas-Deux isn't eco-friendly but I think it's inspiring design-wise. It's made from imbuia wood with velvet on the inside.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Book Review- Craft Inc. by Meg Mateo Ilasco

Earlier this week i picked up another huge stack of business books at the Brooklyn Business Library.

Of course I read the cutest one first! : )

I wish I had read this book, oh about 5 months ago : ) It would have helped so much! That's when I really began working on starting my own craft business. It would have been perfect timing then. Still, even if you've already got the basics figured out, this book will be worth your while. It's a very quick, easy read, everything's very well organized and in the order of when each bit of advice would be useful as you build your business. I also enjoyed Ilasco's chatty writing style. If you are just beginning to think about starting your own craft business this book will be your new best friend. If you've been in business for a few months you may be ready to check out the "hiring a publicist" section or "how to be a good employer and boss". Personally I was most interested in the section on press kits.

P.S. Last time i picked up a huge stack at the Biz Library the best one I read was "Minding Her Own Business" by Jan Zobel. It's great for learning to keep records for a small business. The fact that it was marketed to women as "the self-employed woman's essential guide to taxes and financial records" seems a little silly to me since it would obviously be just as useful to a self-employed guy. But whatever, it's pretty handy. The formats for records are pretty good, and some of them I use all the time.

NYC Congestion Pricing Plan Dropped

I was so hopeful that this plan would be passed! So many politicians were getting behind it and I read some poll somewhere, or maybe it was on the news, that said an overwhelming majority of NYC residents were supportive of the plan. Here's a link to an article about why it was dropped, without even a real vote!!!

"the mayor’s plan was strongly opposed by a broad array of politicians from Queens, Brooklyn and New York’s suburbs, who viewed the proposed congestion fee as a regressive measure that overwhelmingly benefited affluent Manhattanites." NY Times

Excuse me members of the State Assembly, are you kidding? This plan would have put more money into the transit system, which is really the transportation method of choice for most non-affluent NYers.

Here's a quote from Bloomberg:
“It takes a special type of cowardice for elected officials to refuse to stand up and vote their conscience on an issue that has been debated, and amended significantly to resolve many outstanding issues, for more than a year,” Mr. Bloomberg said. “Every New Yorker has a right to know if the person they send to Albany was for or against better transit and cleaner air.”

Please feel free to comment.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Sunday Inspirations- Recycling Tips

There's a few websites I keep finding myself referring to in order to figure out how to recycle stuff.

One really practical one is
They tell you how to recycle anything and everything!

One I just stumbled on today is This website is really fun, it's full of diy projects as well as a few recycling tips. Some of the tips I didn't get because they're British, any Brits wanna translate? They suggest using a bread bag to wrap your "sarnies" in? maybe it means sandwiches?? ; )

Some good recycling projects on the site include making seedling pots out of newspaper,

The afore mentioned 66 uses for a bread bag

They also have info about how to recycle stuff in the UK

I found this link on the Self-sufficientish site: This guy takes recycling plastic containers to a new level by using them as planters on a large scale.

Another great recycling website is Freecycle that's how I get a lot of the plastic bags I use to make my jewelry ect. You can post items you want to get rid of there and if someone wants it they'll pick it up. : )

Also ReadyMade Magazine is offering a free issue viewable online this month, so take advantage! There's a great recycling project for turning old plastic soda bottles into pendant lamps.

....and while checking out that ReadyMade issue I happened upon this site: Those Brits have got recycling down to an art!

Saturday, April 5, 2008

New Bangles on sale at

I have some stylish new upcycled plastic bangles that just went on sale exclusively on : ) This site is full of beautiful eco-friendly items and I'm excited to have my pieces shown there.