Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Did the Movie Avatar change your feelings about your hair?

We finally got to see the movie Avatar. I really enjoyed it! it was fun to watch, had some guys stuff some girl stuff, happy stuff, sad stuff.....but i am always drawn to the hair stuff! the people having that braid that connected them to all other living things really intrigued me...not only was it beautiful to me, i liked the idea of that and have been thinking about hair  even MORE than normal, which is alot. i was hoping that someone else might have some input on thier feelings about this while i go and research a bit about hair..i will be back with that!
on another note, the bidding for the toothpick chain is beginning at $38 and we have no bids yet so please, spread the word and bid on a very cool, unique sculpture by Grah-Toe Studio

Saturday, April 24, 2010

New Auction for Charity!!!

OUr auction for this month is going to be our Chain in a toothpick, mounted in the beautiful glass housing on a sculpted wood base! We are going to start the bidding at $38 and the rules are this: leave a comment here that you are a bidder, then send us an email with your bid grahtoestudio@hotmail.com this time we will be doing it without announcing where the bidding has reached until the end! WE will do this for 2 weeks again, starting today and going until May 6th.The money will once again go to World Vision There are only 3 of these in existence so far and there may never be another by Grah-Toe Studio! The base is made of a beautiful dark walnut piece. This is a real coffee table conversation piece !!!
Let the games begin!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Our creative flow is feeling like a pyroclastic cloud!

All artists know about "writers block" and we have been sharing some tips for unblocking that from Handmade Spark in the last couple posts..and there are just a few more in the list to share today....but what do you do when the ideas are coming so fast that you can't keep up?!!? i have started to write everything down to keep for those times when we DO have the block! Perhaps it is the newness of spring, getting out of the house...we are having a great time making hair art and can barely keep up with ourselves and our custom order list is growing! combinig materials, carving new shapes, its amazing the limitless-ness of creativity..

Well, here is the final list of suggestions to help with unblocking the creative flow, i hope if you are in one that these tips have helped in at least a small way!
 31. Window shopping-always fun on etsy! but don't copy others work!!

32. Physical labor
33. Look at bills
34. Visit galleries/museums
35. Visit graveyards
36. Teach someone else your medium
37. Get lost on a road trip
38. Take a trip into town
39. Make a list of random objects and pick one to use in your next design
40. Fill some baggies with random things that you can use for a next project
41. Go outside your comfort zone

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

One auction ends, another in the wings...

The auction ended and the new owner of this beautiful silk  oak hair fork is Nightblooming!  Thank you so much, Nightblooming, and the disaster relief fund of World vision also thanks you!!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

TUesday is full of love...

Hello Grah-Toe Fans!
We are working as fast as we can to get the mermaids tails out to you! The main carver, Stacy, is busy little bee out in the shop! We do have a few things to tell you all though, about creating. Sometimes, the wood or the antler or the whaterver-we-have does not fit to the specifications that are requested! As we do our best to find them, we hunt, and search, we screen and examine each piece of wood, antler, stone...somtimes the materials tell us what THEY want to be, and thats just the way it has to be!! As for the shapes of the tails, Stacy carves each one by hand, and it has alot to do with the antler it is mounted on, the shape of the wood piece, the way the grain is flowing....,SO please be patient with us and try to enjoy the beauty of creativity at its free-est! WE want to make every one of you happy and love your piece of hair art from our studio!! that is very important to us...we also must be true to ourselves and our material . We are responsible for what each thing becomes and we take great pride in  each piece. Thought and planning , care and love go into each one!!!! We want you all to know that. We appreciate you more than we can ever express in words and hope that it comes to you in your package of joy when you order from our studio.
Much love to you all, and please, stop in and ask about your order if you are anxious and excited, we always have time to say hi, give an update, or just pass love along to you!

Friday, April 16, 2010

More wonderful tips from Handmade Spark

A quick update on the hair fork for charity..bidding is still going until Wednesday the 21st, so if you want a chance at this beauty please leave a note on this post or the post about the fork and email us your bid! Remember this money is going to help relief for recentr victims of earthquakes, and all the other horrible natural disasters going on , through World Vision.

OK, on to busy business. If you have not signed up for the newsletter on Handmade Spark and you are a craft business seller, you should. Daily tips that are easy to integrate and absorb, and lots of other resources for more in depth workings if you like as well. Today, this one struck me and i wanted to share .
It is about being inspired without thieving somone elses ideas..

Handmade Spark -DO's and Don'ts For Crafters
1. Learn the Craft, NOT the Style

I’m sure it’s happened to ALL of us! We come up with something that we can’t find anywhere else… lo’ and behold a week later someone has been “inspired” by our design!

Or we have found a GREAT way to word our listings, and someone uses the copy and paste feature and uses it word for word.

Now I know the saying “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery”. It is supposed to be flattering but in reality it’s downright frustrating… and rude. No-one likes it.

So that is rule number one.. don’t copy someones style. If you are inspired to make something similar to someone else, take care to make it your own. I know there are some mediums where everyone seems to have the same thing… crochet (my medium of choice!) is one of them. There are TONS of sellers out there with similar hats, scarves, washcloths, booties, cuffs, you get the idea. Jewelry is another medium like that. It is hard in a saturated market to stand out with your individuality.

So what can you do??
It’s your personal style and spin on things that makes you unique.

Make sure that all your items are a reflection of YOU.

You want people to see your items and KNOW where it came from!! Make sure that all your items are a reflection of YOU.

When someone copies you.. remember what comes around goes around.

Got  that???
So check out  Handmade Spark if you get a chance today, something might jump out at you!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Some new options...

WE have been finishing our hair forks in a way that gave them a soft sheen, a natural feel. Most of the time this is a great finish and after a poll, most of our customers prefer this finish to a heavy waterproof coating. But we wanted to have the option to make a finish that would be water-resistant. WE have been through many formulas and types of finish to find one that we felt worked well, did not give the wood too much of a plastic look , but was still effective and attractive. We finally have found the right combination! so, now we can offer you a water-resistant finish at an extra charge and on request. we are going to finish our forks as usual unless this is requested. It does alter the colors on the wood slightly, but for someone who prefers to wear thier fork in wet hair this will be a good option.  THe purple heart fork pictured here has that finish, one padouk fork in the shop has that finish, and most of the new mermaids tails on antler have this finish. THis will give more options to all of our customers to suit more tastes! This finish has a shine to it as well.
Water resistant means that you can wear it in wet hair, rain will not affect it, but you cannot swim in it or soak it in water!. It will also help keep the color , especially on the padouk wood from bleeding through onto clothing or other hair accessories.
We hope that this will allow more people to be happy with thier forks from Grah-Toe Studio!
We still have a few more days to bid on the hair fork for charity!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

A chain whittled in a toothpick..

We were sitting on the couch one day when some friends arrived. THey said they had been to a wedding where they were able to get some finely milled lumber for a project for us....HUH? well, they whip out this plasitc container with fancy toothpicks in it and say,"lets see you carve a chain in this lumber!" well, needless to say, Stacy did it! it took a couple trys, and once it was completed we took it up to show them. Well, what is the first thing they do, but pull on the ends....of COURSE it is fragile, what did you think?! carving it our made it stronger?!?! so, after that, they were always exhibited in glass housing! Mom got one as a gift, we sold one, and this one is in our collection. Stacy has carved alot of chains out of wood. But this one certainly shows off his attention to detail. We also made the platform and glued the chain into the glass housing. Anyone looking for a really unique conversationstarter coffee table gift for someone who has everything? bet they don't have one of these!

Friday, April 9, 2010

The Silk Oak Adventure...

Ok, everyone, the bid is now at $138.88USD....11 days to go!

We were able to meet with our glass eye artist today and get a few new eyes...on request he came up with a beautiful tanzanite purple color for us! We will be putting that in a fork very soon, for all of you purple fans out there!
ALSO!!! don't forget to go over to http://www.picnicbasketcrafts.blogspot.com/ and register for her giveaway!!
There will be a basket with products from her etsy shop, our shop and Nightbloomings shop!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Hair fork for charity!

Sometimes when we get wood, there is nothing that can prepare us for what we find inside. On one side it can be rotted,have bugs, or be horribly unattractive. On the other hand, sometimes, we find a diamond.
This piece of wood falls into that second catagory...we found a brilliant diamond inside this post-hurricane clean up wood.
This is from a tree called Silk Oak. We gathered it after a hurricane in Florida years ago. We had no idea of the amazing beautiful grain until we cut it open...*WHOW* Pictures just cannot show all the chatoyance in this fabulous pattern...it almost glows.  After we made this fork, we thought about keeping it. Ok, i REALLY thought about keeping it, although our business is SELLING hair forks, i have the rare, special gift of knowing the maker:0) and having my choice of the forks that are made.  But, then i started to think, how sad it is not to share this magnificent piece of wood...but how to price it?! it is completely irreplaceable and the most beautiful wood i have ever seen....then, it came to me. Have an auction for it and the proceeds go to charity! We support an organization called World Vision. Feel free to research them, we have found them to be honest and productive over the years. Right now they are helping all the vicitims of recent earthquakes and are in need of help. (there have been alot of those lately...)
SO...here's the scoop. we would like to start the bid at $100. We would like you to post here, if you would like to bid. Then please send an email to us with your bid amount. We will take bids for 2 weeks. Then the highest bidder will get the beautiful fork, and know that they also helped quite a few people that are in great need.
Sound good?!
oh, The Fork...it is a mezzo threnody, FP length of 4 3/4 inches or 12cm. and our email address is  grahtoestudio@hotmail.com
Thanks so much and happy forking:0)

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The hand behind the hairforks...

Stacy loves to make stuff. When a customer sent him a picture of a sword that was wanted for a hair stick..he took the picture literally! We watched a video of how "real" sword makers wrapped thier handles. We looked at the parts on the sword, and he began with the blade..then the hilt gaurd,..then the metal behind the hilt gaurd that he peened from thick wire....then cut, and shaped and filed and polished and fitted some more...this mini-sword is a real piece of art! he wanted to do something "over-the-top" for the customer and inlaid some special letters on the hilt, then also inlaid our makers mark on the pommel. I am always amazed at what the large strong hands of my husband can do...he makes some really tiny stuff...this sword, i think is right up there at the top of his creations! Except for that chain he carved into a toothpick..maybe thats a story for another time!

Friday, April 2, 2010

A give-away!!!

WHo doesn't love FREE stuff?!?! well, in collaboration with 2 fellow etsians we have come up with a giveaway for you to participate in! We will Love to see you in all of our shops, shopping and commenting to win the free gift from picnic basket crafts. What you need to do is take a peek at our store, at Nightbloomings shop, and then go to picnicbasketcrafts blog post and comment on your favorite things from each shop!

 I have several product from Picncibasketcrafts and they are all wonderful! My favorites are the Nightime Eye Serum, which comes in a roller-ball jar for easy application...and the Thrifty-Hippie makeup remover and facial moisturizer...for an acne prone adult this stuff has been a real dream. Have you seen the prices on some of the "anti-aging" lotions out there?!?! and the label of ingredients that i can't even pronounce..The products at Picnic Basket Crafts are eco-freindly, recognizeable ingredients that are tried and true.

Now to Nighbloomings shop..my favorite item, besides her amazing hair toys that you must catch when they are listed or they are snatched up immediately, is the Panacea's Hair Salve. I use this on my hands and hair and love the effects. The ends of my hair are soft and lovely, my hand skin is soft AND..the smell!!  It smells like heaven to me! I usually try to put some on my hair and hands at bedtime because it is so relaxing!
The lady behind Nighblooming is great to work with, talented in so many ways!!

One more thing before I end , the give away includes some of the wood finishing product that I have tried on our wood hair forks and it works beautifully, smells clean, and leaves a glowing finish! We recommend this for wood hair-toy maintenance ...it is natural, inexpensive and fabulous to use!

SO, thank you all for participating and we all look forward to sharing freebies,discount coupons and fun stuff with you!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

April first...

April first has always been a day i just don't like..most people play jokes that are down right mean and that is no fun. But today was a great April first!  A dear friend had to have brain surgery and a biopsy and they don't think its cancer and everything went very well!!! YEA!

we also got our very first hand mirror completed and listed today!  It is made of quilted maple wood which is brilliantly chatoyant and just pretty to look at! We have more styles on the way, different handles and woods and an oval mirror as well as the octagon. The mirror has been designed to sit down inside the face so that the wood frame is what touches if you set it down on the mirror side,therefore reducing scratches. It certainly makes them alot more work but we felt it was a characteristic that we would want in a hand mirror, so well worth the efforts!
We have some sets planned that would include a detangler, hair fork and mirror..but we are always open for custom requests as well!
hope to see you as a fan on our facebook page and follow us on twitter too!