Friday, December 2, 2011

Family Circle Magazine Featured our Snowflakes!

WE are so honored to share with you, our handmade wooden snowflake ornaments are featured in the Family Circle Magazine, December issue, page 28 !! on Page 190 is the buying guide with all the information to find the items in the magazine.

We hope that you get a chance to take a peek at the issue,  its also got lots of decorating ideas as well as recipes for the holidays! we made extra snowflakes this year !! here is the article too!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

NEW Action Updo Video!

I know it has been far too long, and Time flies!! Fall is over, winter is beginning and we have a new video to share with you!! my hair has reached a new length and i needed a new action picture updo, so i came up with this! Hope you have fun with it, and i promise to be posting more very soon!!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Custom Orders are Open..YEAAA!!!!

 It is so good to be ready to open our custom orders up for you again! We are very excited for the creative ideas to come flowing in and to start a new holiday season with some new designs!


We’re making a few changes to the custom guidelines in order to be fair to everyone (Stacy included). In the past our custom orders list had grown to a point where wait times for customers were very long,  and we had no time for artistic freedom, much less maintaining a decent inventory for sale. We  plan to spend part of  our available time on customs, and part on maintaining inventory each day.
We will complete each custom order before we start on a new one, and will let you know how long we expect your order to take.
There will be a maximum of 2 items per order.  If you would like to order more items,We will place your next order at the next open place in the list, and complete your first order , move through the list and then when we get to your next request we will contact you for the deposit. By making these  changes, we’re hopeful that we can move through the list more quickly and allow us to not feel quite as pressed about not having time for our own creations to continue as well as your beauties!
 WE are going to require a deposit before we begin any custom orders over $100. There is also going to be a custom order fee, that we will add into your price quote at the beginning of the order. It will be $10+ depending on how we have to gather materials, come up with new patterns or whatever work needs to be done. We do love to make extremely unusual and cool items for you!!
WE have contacted most of the people who were waiting to hear from us, and are waiting to hear back from a few people, but right now we can start on who ever gets their order in first!
Holiday Orders: If you are out of the USA and want to get a custom order for the holidays, we will need to hear from you at the latest by Nov1. SHipping is much longer around the holidays and we need time not only to make your custom pretty but also to get it to you in time, so keep this in mind!!

We appreciate you all so very much and look forward to the exciting hair toys you have been dreaming of! Love and blessings to you all
Stacy & Kimi
Grah-Toe Studio

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Anniversary SALE at Grah-Toe Studio Etsy Shop Only

SURPRISE! we are offering everyone a coupon code for out ETSY shop ONLY for August 29,10,31, in honor of our anniversary! the code is ANNIVERSARY14 and you will get 14% off your entire order for the next 3 days ONLY! You must use the code, no refunds will be done! HAVE FUN!! and know how much we love you all!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

New video on Curly Koa wood flash and glow!

We decided that the Curly Koa wood merited a video! Its flash and glow can absolutely NOT be captured in pictures, at all. and so here it is!
we hope it gives you a captivating sense of the woods depth and character. All Curly Koa woods look different, some have colors in them including black and white, and some stay closer to the golden hues of the regular koa, which also glows, by the way!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Been too long, Now the Cthulu is loose

WEll my friends, followers and fans, we sincerely apologize for the long delay between posts here..this summer has been a crazy one for us in so many ways...and i am sure many of you are having just as much going on!

We are trying to get our requested forks made. We are just 2 people, working out of our own little studio and doing the very best we can to maintain quality, and learn how to work quantity into that, but it doesn't seem that the two go together. We would rather send you quality and have you wait a bit longer. Thank you all for your patience and understanding through losing a pet, taking a few days off and having several dental procedures that have really been a bump in our road.

 On a different note we have had a lot of questions about our fork sizes! and if i was as good with photo shop as Nightblooming :D i would make a graph! but, i am not, and she is just as busy, so here is the explanation of the sizes in our studio.
WE started out with our original size forks, which for most people were too large. We based them on my head and hair, and i have a big head, really, physically,its big! so we started to shrink our patterns as we went. it works out to this...Original,mezzo,lilliputian,mini lilli, micro. Each one is approximately 25% smaller than the one before it. There is a margin of error that comes with handmade items of course, and so the tines are not ALWAYS any certain length. the tops are not ALWAYS the same thickness. We also have an A-Line profile, which is the same thickness from the top to the tips in one smooth arch. Our original profile is more organic, the topper has some roundness to it and it waves on the front and back.

We are trying to stock the shop with lots of interesting creations that we have been wanting to make all summer, and summer is almost fall now!

 We have made this gorgeous eye tine hair stick that i would love to keep for myself, but it needs a home that will get out of the house more than me so it can shock the world, and we are taking offers on it! see our facebook page, or send us a comment here to make your offer if you want this beauty!

 WE have also come up with 2 new antler fork designs, this newest one , the wishbone, is darling! they are very flexible, strong and look so cool! they are smaller and thinner and weigh less than the full antler tine forks with the wood toppers too!
WE will be back with more on our progress after this weekend and a little catching up, we get a new shipment of antlers this week :D and will have lots of new stuff coming...we are going to delay opening custom orders until the end of August, so we can just get the requested forks made as well as the shop stocked..but the customs will come back!
we love you all and keep you in our hearts and prayers, and thank you so much for loving our art, we hope you know how much you are all appreciated!!


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

A new Fork Design for the Fork Tuck Bun!

 Finally! I have been trying to do the fork tuck bun, but having thick hair, have not been  able to weave my hair in between any of the tines on my hair forks....but...i had a broken fork here that we removed the center tine from..and VOILA! it works!!! so, if any thick hairs are interested, we are going to start making the wave shape fork without its center tine for you so we can all do the fork tuck bun!

 I had to start with the fork upside down, holding it in my right hand, and using my left hand to weave my hair in a figure 8 around the tines...and at the end there was a little creative twisting and tucking ...

 It did take quite a bit of practice to get the tightness right, you have to leave enough room in the length to flip the fork and not pull yourself into a facelift! it makes a lovely full chignon/frech twist hybrid look and i think its beautiful!
 I have shown it from several angles here, and i might do a video too, in tandem with our already present fork tuck bun, to demonstrate it for thick hair.

I would really love your feedback on the fork, and if anyone with thick hair would be interested in having the tines this wide and straight to do the fork tuck bun!

WE have also started stocking up our Artfire studio, and we don't get a lot of traffic there yet, there are some gems sitting there, waiting to be snatched up! hope to see you there, and get your feedback on the new fork!

Monday, May 30, 2011

On woods, Red Heart today...

Today we are going to talk about Red Heart wood in our wood series. It is a new wood for our studio, and we just found out about it from Cook Woods, who gives this description of the wood:

"Fine, closed grain makes this Central American hardwood machine easily & finish well. The unique brilliant red color with black undertones is unusual and unmatched in other exotic hardwoods. The Mayans refer to this hardwood is Chakte Koke. This wood can  turn honey/brown when exposed to sunlight.  We have had good results with keeping the red color of this wood when it is finished with a UV sealer, and /or kept stored out of direct sunlight. 
Cosmocalyx spectabilis."

Some of the red heart wood also comes from Mexico, its species name is  Erythroxylon mexicanum, which is a shrub that is fairly small and gnarly, also called the mamoa or momoa

WE ,Grah-Toe Studio, have found this wood to be bright red/orange and marroon  to hot pink  in color, light weight compared to blood wood or tulip wood, and about the same in cost to bloodwood.  It works very nicely, and polishes beautifully!  THe graining does stand out much more than the blood wood  or cardinal wood graining does.
We have not been able to find any information on the harvesting practices or if the species is in any danger or not.

If anyone has any information concerning any other properties of this bush or wood, medical or magical, please feel free to comment and let us know where you found the information!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Summer time Creativity..

We are so glad its getting a bit warmer now, and we are hoping that you are enjoying your summer, or fall, wherever you are!
we are going to be making lots of new things through the summer, and we have decided to stop taking custom orders until August. WE apologize to those of you waiting on your custom orders, we are working on a particularly complicated pair of hairtanas, that are going to be has just put us behind. So we will be catching those custom orders already placed up as soon as we possibly can, and the shop will be having some really cool new things!

 WE have several new designs for inlays and decorations that we want to make, as well as a new product that has been too long coming!

We will also have some more hairtanas available to buy form the shop once we are caught up on custom orders!

SO, we thank you all for your patience, and understanding as we work as fast we can and still keep our quality up to the standards you are used to from our studio! we cannot rush these things :D
We send our love and thanks out to you all, and want you to know that we appreciate you each and every one more than we can say!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

A day in the life...

Have you ever heard that song "Taking care of business" from the 70's ...the words say :

You get up every morning
From your alarm clock's warning
Take the 8:15 into the city
There's a whistle up above
And people pushin', people shovin'
And the girls who try to look pretty
And if your train's on time
You can get to work by nine
And start your slaving job to get your pay
If you ever get annoyed
Look at me I'm self-employed
I love to work at nothing all day
And I'll be...
Taking care of business every day
Taking care of business every way
I've been taking care of business, it's all mine
Taking care of business and working overtime......

Are you tapping your toes yet ? LOL

Well, we are here to tell you, the life of an independant self employed artist is anything but "working at nothing all day" !  and here is how an average day goes for us....
No time clocks to starts when we get up...

Stacy is up early every day, by 4-5 a.m....I usually sleep until about when I get up he is already covered in wood chips and dust, but the coffee is made :D 

Upon  waking  up, the first few things through my mind are: "how did my finish turn out on the forks from yesterday" , Coffee...," i wonder if we have any messages and sales to answer and pack"....coffeee...."what forks will be  listed, depends on what sold over night..." you get the picture of my waking's what happens the rest of the day.....

*check messages on shops and emails. send thank you notes for any overnight sales. Answer questions and request. this can take anywhere from 1-3 hours
*get dressed and make breakfast
*photograph action shots of what will be listed today...photograph the items for the shop, which is 5-10 pictures per item to get good shots. This takes approximately 30-40 minutes.
*Each item has 5 photos that have to be edited and listings that have to be customized to the specific items..this takes 20-40 minutes per listing.
*promote new items that are just listed on social networks throughout the day including treasuries for the treasury team we are on, and i try to make a new  treasury each day...3-4 hours.
*package any items that need to go out today..each box takes about 10-15 mintes to pack, wrap, address with personal notes in each one.
*now its lunch time, try to add a load of laundry in there and play with the dogs for little bit...1 hour
*keep packing until done. If we have 3 boxes a day to pack, sometimes up to 6 this can take up to 2 hours of the day
*in between all of this, answer messages promptly, take custom orders and work out details of them in multiple communications( we love this part , it is so fun to make your dream hair art come to life and get to know you and your hair better!) 3-4 hrs a day...i am up to possibly 10 hours of work at this point
That was My part of the schedule, Stacy is on a completely different track!

Stacys Day...

*cut out forks that are on the schedule for the day, some for shop some for custom orders.
*Take packages to post office once they are all bagged and ready to go
*At least 8-10 steps are covered on each fork that is being made during the day, before it gets to come in for its finish work.
*now its time for dinner and hopefully get the load of laundry to its destination, which doesn't always happen :D

By the time we get to this point,  it's after 6pm , and we are both at our benches working on special designs, decorating forks, doing some custom work and doing a few projects that we have been wanting to make for the fun of it.

"Our average day is 2.5-3.3 sales.....Our average hairfork is $50

Now, that might SOUND like a lot! Holy crap that's like $150/day! Well.. you're heard the phrase, "Well-off and opulent artist," right? No?
How about "starving artist." There's a reason for that.

""Of all the things that go into our hair forks, we actually make very little profit.
Just for fun, let's work backwards from a "reasonable" $30 hair fork as opposed to a "ridiculous" priced at $80. Let's say the wood isn't very high quality or exotic, so it's $7 for a piece that is at least sound.

Etsy charges 20 cents to list an item and then 3.5% of the sale fee. So that'll be $1.25. PayPal will nab another $1.05 (just on the fork, but it'll hit shipping too for more). So we're down to $20.70.

A very, very low overhead fee (which would cover supplies used like sand paper, wear and tear on drill bits and sawblades, as those have to be purchased with the money from sales, electricity, safety equipment like goggles, hearing protection, etc. and whatever else) is 10%, so $3. Now we're at $17.70

Now, the fork itself took 2.5 hours to make because we'll say this is also a very, very basic shape, but the finish is still really nice. Taking pictures, editing the pictures, uploading the pictures, writing the description, filling out the listing and actually listing it, then packing it up, printing postage and taking it to the post office.... I will be VERY generous and say half an hour. This does scale a bit when there's more forks being made/listed/packed at once, but you can only reduce it so far. So 3 hours total for this very basic fork. Right now to divide this out, the fork maker would be making $5.90/hour. The Federal Minimum Wage is $7.25.

Minimum wage is often for unskilled/unspecialized labor that requires very little training, and woodworking is not unskilled labor by any part of the imagination. So, honestly, I think expecting an artist who lives off their craft to value their time less than that of minimum wage ridiculous.""

We Would like to send a special thank you to our friend Nightblooming for the graphic and the numbers to compare...As another hair art maker we are in similar situations often and thank you, Nightblooming, for your championing of the self employed artist!

We hope this helps you understand and know that we are doing what we love, and loving what we do while bringing you an heirloom quality hairfork , a wooden hair sculpture!
Much blessings and love to all!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Some Bun Fun!

That title made me think of Charlottes Web and I had to smile!  I hope you get some smiles in today too!!

WE have had several requests for videos on how to use our hairforks and antler sticks, and although we do have them on Facebook and You-tube, it was  suggested to put them here, so they can be found easily!

So here will be the collection of videos on how people have creatively and instructively been using our hairforks and antler sticks! there are some for thinner hair updos, some with shoulder length hair updos, and some with very long and thick hair also!!

we hope you enjoy having these all together, what a great suggestion..I wish i would have thought of it myself :D LOL

We Are so glad to have the chance to show you that our forks work in ALL types of hair, and the different updos are unlimited!!

We thank you all so much, for your wonderful communications with us, for your love of our creations, and for returning to our studio..You are a part of us now!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Taking care of business..everyday...come on and sing along!

You get up every morning
From your alarm clock's warning
Take the 8:15 into the city
There's a whistle up above
And people pushin', people shovin'
And the girls who try to look pretty
And if your train's on time
You can get to work by nine
And start your slaving job to get your pay
If you ever get annoyed
Look at me I'm self-employed
I love to work at nothing all day
And I'll be...
Taking care of business every day
Taking care of business every way
I've been taking care of business, it's all mine
Taking care of business and working overtime

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

New woods are peeking out!

WE hope you all are having a lovely start to spring here in the Northern Hemisphere, and enjoying the onset of fall in the southern!
WE have begun to cut on our new woods and are adding the new forks to the shop daily! here are a few pictures of a few of the woods...bubinga above and below...

Our new Nefertari shape is a total showcase for fabulous grained woods! we love the curved fit and are getting great feedback on it! thank you all so much for sharing your experience with this new design, and for the lovely appreciation photos!! we cherish every one of them...sometimes i think if i walked up behind you in a public place i would know it was you from the back of your heads :D

THis is a picture of our newest black and white ebony board, its graining is more stark than the last specimen we had and it is so striking!
 And the Macadamia Nut, what a story! We went on a search for it, and hit wall after wall, everyone telling us it is not sold commercially. Then, I happened to ask one of our wood suppliers, out of desperation, and he had just acquired a few rare pieces and was shocked that we asked for them by name! He said he had never been able to get any before and may never again, so we bought all the pieces he had, which were few...but we are going to use it as judiciously as we can, making inlays with  the amazing knots and areas that we cannot use in forks. The wood varies alot in color, the first board we cut, pictured below, is actually quite dark in color. THe other pieces tend more toward a peachy pink color, this one is more mauve to rust, but we may not be able to get more than one more fork from this piece.
 Here is another picture of the Macadamia nut wood from another angle and you can see the spectacular graining pattern, the chatoyance in these areas is striking, much like the silk oak wood was, but smaller patterns.
WE love wood, and sharing that love of wood with you! if you have any questions for us we are convo and email friendly and love to hear from you! we are still taking custom orders and want to thank all of you for your inspiring requests!

Our need to provide for ourselves pushes us to strive for the best we can do and offer you all the highest quality work we can do....starting a micro business is no easy feat, and we are blessed to be in our 3rd year and plan on continuing to grow! THere is a song that talks about working for yourself at doing nothing all day..every time i hear that i think " this guy never worked for himself! It is a long hard day of working for us, every day. We don't get to punch the clock, get paid vacations, we rarely even take a day off, becuase we like to eat and not be homeless!  we thank all of you that appreciate our work, and we continue to be as fair to you in cost and quality as we can be, and we love to show you how much we appreciate you by making your packages special and giving you a discount whenever we can.
We are getting together another wood lesson post, and a "Day in the life of a Self Sustaining Artist"  is in the making...
Love to you all, may your hair grow to your toes!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Our story.....will you dare share yours?!

As most artists out here in the handmade world are trying to get thier name spread around, so are we. One of the things we did recently was apply to be featured on a few blogs and one of them accepted us and did this fabulous interview!

We are pleased at the joy she shares in her blog through the month, with posts about self-compassion and other inspiring, uplifiting helpful things for each of us to incorporate into our lived daily.

Sometimes, it can be discouraging to work for yourself...but we must persevere! i would encourage you to apply on her blog for an interview and see what comes of it...everyone of us has a story , and your customers want to get to know you!

we hope that you enjoyed getting to know us a little more and are still liking us :D
we appreciate your comments here and on JoyCreations blog!
Love and Blessings for a great weekend to you all!

This is a picture of the geological formation of dust we had acquired near our shop tools! we took the picture before we cleaned the shop and added our dust collector system! What a needed upgrade to the shop THAT has been! But,.... it was pretty, huh?

Saturday, April 9, 2011

WE found some amazing wood ....and its on the way!!!

In our quest for unusual  and gorgeous woods we have come across one that we have been hunting for, and we have scored!
we have some macadamia nut wood on the way to us! WOOT! i am so excited to see if it all looks as beautiful as the small piece we had the priveledge to work with recently!
so, just a little teaser...its on the way !

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Unborn Hairforks...

Our wood hunting expedition went well, although not perfectly...there were a few things we needed that were not available where we buy our hardwoods, so now we are hunting for them online! i really prefer seeing the wood we buy, but sometimes you just can't do that!

Over the last 2 years of our creating, we have been pushed and challeneged by your creative requests, and we are so excited for all the new avenues we are able to offer that other hairfork makers do not...we LOVE doing inlays, designing and executing them. THey really make a piece of wood a spectacular piece of art! And for the requests for new woods that we were not using at the beginning also. WE have learned alot about new and different woods, and it has been so rewarding!

ALong with all of these new and exciting innovations, comes more time and expense into each piece as well. We are not sure that some of you realize how much time goes into making a fork with an inlay. STacy handcarves all of the designs we do...we do not have a laser computer that cuts out our wood, we don't have a computer router, we do it by hand! There are hours and hours involved in alot of our pieces. We have also joined forces with other artists and have been incorporating thier work into ours. Mike Hurst of Hursts Handblownglass makes alot of our glass evil eyes, that are SO fun to include in hairsticks! And recently we have been adding Venbeads enameled Skullies to our hairforks. Ven bead is also offering a unique product that is a collaboration of our studios, Dragon hearts! WE make the wooden hearts, and she created the unique and wonderful glass cabachons that go into the heart pendant. Please take a moment to check out her fabulous work! we love supporting and working with fellow artists whos work we believe in.

Utilizing all these time consuming techniques, as well as other artists creations makes our forks cost more than they did 2 years ago. THere is no getting around that. But we offer a product unlike anyone elses, with custom design services, with unique designs and of course heavy duty hairforks! WE also have added wood expenses over the beginning,  as our most frequently requested woods are the most expensive woods available. In the beginning we only used cedar, maple, walnut for the most part. Now we have exotic, hard to find woods and we hunt dilligently for unique graining, as we know they make a piece of hair art even more precious, when the grain pattern is unusual! These things all add to the time and cost involved to create your dream hair toy! 

WE want you all to know, that we appreciate you shopping at our studio, we appreciate your design requests and know that your time and money are precious, and we thank you for investing in pieces of art for your hair at our studio! we stand behind our work, and we will go to great lengths to be sure your hair toy dreams are realized and able to be passed on to your children or family members! 
SO again, we send out our thanks to you for making our dream of creating full time a reality! we love to see your appreciation photos and to hear that you love your hairforks! please, never stop sending us notes, convos and emails for we cherish knowing each of you and your hair needs!
Much love toyou
Stacy & Kimi
PS we have a new product coming out, that we think is going to thrill you....a way to display and store your forks in safely and in style while they are not being worn, that is beautiful, effective and unique!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Our Wood Series Continues with Blood Wood

Bloodwood is called by several names, including
 ■Cardinal Wood ■Conduru ■Muirapiranga■Satine Rouge■Satine Rubane ■Satinjout ■South American Bloodwood
This wood is grown in South America and is NOT endangered. It is a lovely deep red color, and occassionally has some lighter yellow coloring inthe graining, as is typical of the sap wood. THis wood is very dense, and polishes beautifully. It is nice to work with, and has a pleasant smell as you are working it. It is strong,  but has a tendency to splinter easily. This wood is very resistant to decay and insects.

It is a wood that tends to have very even graining, high chatoyance, and a deep blood red color to it making it highly desireable in intarsia, instrument making and decorative woodworking. 
We keep this wood in stock for hairforks as it is moderatley priced and easily available.
WE hope you enjoyed this short but informative post on wood today! i was only able to find a limited refernce to bloodwood as far as its properties that are magical or historically spiritual, if you have any information to add feel freet o post a comment here!
Also , if you would like to know more about the woods specific gravity and things like that, please let me know. Those numbers mean nothing to me, i know the wood is dense because of the way it feels in my hands!