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We were enjoying a pint and relaxing at our favorite local Reynoldsburg restaurant & bar called Prost recently.  We are regulars there since it is so close by and offers such an abundant myriad of craft beer selections.  Their menu is fantastic as well and offers primarily Panini’s, bruschetta, soups, and salads.  This particular night was a busy night for Prost with a Seventh Son Brewery tap takeover in full swing.  With it being as crowded and bustling as it was, there was naturally a line for the loo.  As I waited in line, I glanced down and saw that the free Columbus magazine, Stock & Barrel, was set out on a table.  I have to admit that I normally almost never seem to grab free magazines but for no particular reason, I felt compelled to get one this time.  So I returned to my table, magazine in hand, and began chatting with my husband some more.  I paged through the magazine a little bit but we soon decided it was so crowded that we would just have one pint and depart for home.  The drive home is not long, but during our short travel is when it happened.  Probably only 1/2 mile from home, driving down a busy street, I suddenly screamed and grabbed my poor husband’s shoulder who was driving.  “EEEEEEEEEEEEEE!” I screamed in the shrillest scream imaginable to which he responded, “WHAT IS EVEN HAPPENING? STOP SCREAMING! WHAT IS IT?” I gathered myself and exclaimed “WE ARE IN THE MAGAZINE!  OUR MUG IS IN THE MAGAZINE!” I was told to please refrain from screaming while in the car, but as soon as we got home I showed him the article and he recognized our mug and shared some of my enthusiasm.  I say our mug because I am 90% convinced that I made the body of the mug, one of us trimmed it, and my husband definitely attached the figure eight style handle.  Later, we fired it the first time (bisque fire) and then I glazed it with the colors I picked out.  So it is really made by both of us, which is fun.  Today I wrote a message to Stock & Barrel saying thank you so very much for including our mug.  Not only did they include our mug, but they also mentioned Crafty by Nature by name in the article itself.  Boline Apothecary is where the writer of the article bought the mug, which is also mentioned in the article.  If, by the way, you have never been to Boline Apothecary, it is a really amazing shop if you like natural, healthy goods including plant-based remedies, tinctures, aromatherapy, natural body products, teas, and so many more natural & wholesome items.  Thank you again, Stock & Barrel, for the amazing mention in the article.  This “Drink Local” article has really put a smile on my face and it feels good to feel we are acknowledged as being part of the local mug making community in Columbus.

To go to PROST! – 7354 E Main St, Reynoldsburg, OH

To go to Boline Apothecary – 15 W Dunedin Rd, Columbus, OH

Thank you for reading my small novel, and now here is the actual article:
article

Our mug sits at the bottom of the mug-stack.

If you have trouble reading it, the text of the article is here too:

DRINK LOCAL: mugs that reflect belief in our local economy.

I’ve been accused of many things, most I’d rather not share in a public forum. However, the title of Coffee Cup Queen is one that I don’t mind putting out there. Others might say Coffee Cup Hoarder is more appropriate… so I have a lot of coffee cups? So what? The way people collect whole wardrobes of concert t-shirts, or magnets from everywhere they land, is analogous to my little hoarding dalliance.

I have cups that support my various passions – Dear Sugar’s (Wild’s Cheryl Strayed) “Write Like a Motherfucker” is one of my favorites, so is my PaperSource “Do Something Creative Everyday” mug. Then there are the place memories – coffee delivery systems from places like Cape Cod, Mexico, Medieval Times (those knights are hot), New Orleans, New York, Vermont. I even once went through this weird phase where I had to use my Columbus Museum of Art mug every morning, some caffeine-loaded good luck talisman type fixation. Looking at the range of them stacked on the counter is like binge watching my life in one glance.

Lately, I’ve been picking up cups and mugs that reflect my belief in supporting the local economy. If I pick up locally roasted beans, it makes sense that I extend that I enjoy it via a locally crafted mug.

To start your own collection, which not only supports locally-owned retail, but the artisans themselves, start with stores that focus on independent producers – Clintonville’s Wholly Craft and Easton’s Celebrate Local come to my mind quickest. However, there are off-the-beaten path shops as well. The Cultural Arts Center, one of the hidden gems of downtown, not only hosts exhibits and classes, but also features a small gift shop featuring, among its many locally crafted items, drink ware crafted in its vey own ceramic studio. Bonus: Each item is one of a kind. Boline Apothecary, with all its personalized teas and herbal remedies, has a small selection of pottery by Columbus producers Crafty By Nature.

If you don’t want to change up your routine, Starbucks’ “Made in the USA” collection showcases the pride of ceramic workers in New Waterford, Ohio.

I feel no shame expanding my coffee collection, especially when I am putting my money back into the local economy. • 

             – Written by Kim Leddy & Photograph by Chris Casella – Stock & Barrel magazine

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I am working on a bunch more pottery projects right now but here are a few of my recent ones that came out of the kiln.

I am currently working on this Neti Pot as a gift to my man. He requested one since our old one fell off the bathroom sink and broke.

neti

Then there is the plate I fell in love with and almost, just almost, could not bring myself to selling. But alas, I will have to make more of these!

riverbirch2

Then I made a special plate for a good friend of mine. I can’t say who because it is a Christmas gift surprise! But here is the plate. I handbuilt it, used a plastic doily to impress the pattern, covered the whole plate with floating blue glaze and wiped it off as to leave it only in the cracks, and clear coated it with a clear glaze.

jill_plate2

And finally, I made a buckeye leaf platter for a good friend who is obsessed with football. For those of you who are not local Ohioans, the buckeye leaf and nut are both symbols for the Ohio State Buckeyes football team stationed here in Columbus, Ohio. You may hear people screaming “Go Bucks!” at random times when you are in Ohio. It happened to me one day when I first moved here from the East Coast that a random stranger guy screamed “GO BUCKS” to me and I just kind of stood there totally confused. Sometimes I still am confused, but alas, here is the Ohio State Buckeye platter, made using a real Buckeye Tree leaf.

IMG_8463

Wishing everyone a wonderful Winter Solstice and beyond… Each day after December 21st promises to have more and more daylight gradually each day up until the Summer Solstice. Let’s enjoy the increased daylight and the wonderful winter season. May it be bright and full of merriment for everyone. I look forward to creating a ton more pottery this winter in preparation for the craft shows next year. We are planning ahead although we don’t know all the craft show dates just yet, and looking forward to an awesome and auspicious 2013!!!

Here’s our plans for shows so far…

http://www.craftybynaturestudio.com/upcoming-shows

Happy Solstice everyone!


After much research, reading several books, and travelling all the way to Rapidan, Virginia to train with a soap maker, I finally made cold process soap all by myself!  Once I wrote and rewrote my own soap recipe and ran it through a soap calculator online (google soap calc to find one), I finally have my recipe written so yesterday I set aside 2 hours to make my very first soap!  I began by combining the liquid oils into a huge stainless steel pot.  I added all the solid oils such as coconut oil and cocoa butter, into a double boiler to melt them.  I headed out to the garage with my distilled water, suited up in my rubber gloves, apron, and goggles, and fetched the proper amount of Sodium Hydroxide (lye) to add to the water.  Never shall I add the lye to the water indoors, for the fumes are extensive and they burn your lungs should you breathe them.  So outdoors is the place to incorporate the lye into the water.  The cold, distilled water rapidly within mere seconds will turn up to about 200 degrees fahrenheit from the chemical reaction between the water and lye.  It is intense, and it warrants repeating – don’t do this inside your home unless you want lung damage.  I looked like a soap astronaut all suited up in my goggles, apron, and rubber gloves up past my elbows.  But I was READY for this! 

After the lye water cools down to about lukewarm, it is a good time to add it to the oils, and so I did.  I used my new favorite appliance, a stick blender, to quickly bring the soap “to trace.”  Trace, is a wonderful phenonenon when your soap becomes just thick enough to add the essential oils, superfat it with shea and vitamin E oil, and to then pour it into the mold.  I decided on a massive loaf shaped mold, about 15 inches long.  It yields 15 soap bars assuming you slice them 1 inch thick as is customary.  After pouring them into the mold, you must let them sit in the mold for about 18 hours minimum.  I couldn’t wait, to be honest.  I pryed and pulled my soap out of the mold at hour 17.  Admittedly, it was still a bit soft, and some of it broke off from sticking to the mold too well.  Next time, I think I will line my mold even though the maker of the mold says it is a liner-free mold.  I think the one place it really stuck was the bottom or floor of the mold.  The rest was wonderful and didn’t stick.

This morning I awoke as if it were the best Christmas morning ever.  It was the morning to slice my soap into bars after carefully pulling it out from the mold.  I was in seventh heaven slicing my very own soap with the soap miter box slicer I picked up online.  All in all, my very first soap making went extraordinarily wonderful and I think I can barely contain my eagerness and excitement to make my next batch!

This first batch is a lovely Lemon Poppyseed, using only all natural ingredients that are vegan-friendly and scented with only pure,  essential oils of Lemon and Litsea  Litsea is a lovely plant that has a very citrus forward scent with notes of evergreen in the background.  It is the freshest of all citrus scents in my opinion and a very welcome addition to Lemon.

These and more soaps will be available for sale after their curing time which is between 4 to 6 weeks.  

logs of soap in the molds
 

Slicin' Soap!

 

here are my first soap bars!

 
 

soap bars drying on the drying rack!

 
 

new moustache protector mug sitting in the snow

It was a snowy day that I pulled my latest moustache protector mug carefully out of the kiln.  Its glaze colors shimmered and shone in the daylight.  Gunmetal Green is the name of this glaze bearing lovely shades of green with an alluring metallic silvery sheen covering some areas like a wonderful surprise.  This particular moustache protector mug was created in mind for an Ohio man whose wife wanted to surprise his moustache face with said mug.  There was a slight glitch in this plan as I posted the mug online and sent them the link and no sooner than I posted it, a moustached man from Texas snatched it up!  No worries, however, for two more wonderful “big and tall” moustache protector mugs are currently on my potter’s wheel ready to be trimmed, adorned with moustache protection, and to have their handles added.  One of these will most certainly be for the Ohio couple who are patiently and kindly waiting upon their very own moustache mug.

As I look back on the moustache mug sitting in the snow that went to the moustache man in Texas, I can’t help but think there will be many more to come.  And perhaps it will even be another snowy day when I pull the next ones out of the kiln, so I can have another picture perfect shot of the moustache mugs set out in the glistening snow.


Image

Cocker Spaniels have long ears that hang down into their food and water while they eat or drink.  UNLESS you provide them with a much-needed “Cocker Spaniel Dog Bowl” as I have just created!

This Cocker Spaniel bowl keeps the longest of long ears out of their food and water.  By doing so, it prevents the dogs from getting infected ears from too much exposure to moisture and/or bacteria.

A pair of dry, clean Cocker Spaniel ears goes a long way! 

Here is my first cocker spaniel bowl, one of many to come.

To place a pottery request or order, you can always contact Karen at craftybynaturestudio@gmail.com

or by calling Karen at 614-557-6369.

Here’s to dog-ear-saving pottery!

Cheers,

Karen
www.craftybynaturestudio.com


Announcing Crafty by Nature’s newest product launch, Hint of Tint Lip Balm!


Come check it out on www.craftybynaturestudio.etsy.com in our etsy shop!


Remember to visit our facebook page to Like us, at www.facebook.com/craftybynature

 

 


Crafty by Nature started in 2010 after the prior year’s Christmas present went over wildly successfully!   Karen and Nick, owners of Crafty by Nature, set out to put together a fun garden-themed gift basket for Christmas presents.  They put the gift baskets together, had them all ready to go, and lined up in a row.  “Something is missing,” Karen said. 

After extensive research, trial and error, and some tweaks to the recipe, Karen made her own recipe for Gardener’s Hand Salve to add into the garden gift baskets.  The recipients of each gift basket seemed content enough with their garden gift basket, but after they each tried on the new hand salve, that is when things really started happening.  People began calling Karen and Nick to put in orders for more of their “wonderful hand salve.”  Some were saying they needed more for themselves, others said they need a bunch for their coworkers, and many said they must get more for their friends. 

Karen and Nick discovered that with working in the pottery studio so much with clay all over their hands, that this hand salve became very valuable to keep on hand.  After more and more people got their hands on our hand salve, a few people said to us that this hand salve is great but it needs a stronger, more comprehensive name rather than just Gardener’s hand salve.  They asked us to rename it because it really works so well and it is not just for gardener’s.  One person claimed that Gardener’s Hand Salve sounded “too wimpy for this awesome lotion!” 

After our customers suggestions came in, we renamed our original formula hand salve the Working Hands Skin Repair.  Working Hands Skin Repair is made using the same recipe and care as our original recipe.  Due to the enthusiasm and support of our customers, we have started a little brand name. 

This is how Crafty by Nature began.  This is our story.  Our products carry on our story and our new customers become woven into our story.  From our family to yours, we wish you happy, healthy skin!

Sincerely,
Karen and Nick
Crafty by Nature
www.craftybynaturestudio.com – our main website and shop
www.facebook.com/craftybynature – our facebook fan page


MEET KAREN BUONCRISTIANO OF CRAFTY BY NATURE!

Author Written by Princessofallthingscrafty on Saturday, May 14, 2011 at 8:57 PM Date
 

 

 Quick Note:  Karen will be at the EcoChic Craftacular at the Whetstone Community Center in Clintonville this weekend.  May 14th and 15th! May 15th from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.

 

 

 

1.) Tell us a little bit about yourself.
My husband and I started Crafty by Nature by narrowing down the many crafts we were making to 2 main areas, Pottery and Lotions/Natural Skincare.  We both produce pottery on the wheel in our studio.  Together, we are able to offer a variety of different styles of pottery and offer my skincare and lotions line.  I also teach pottery classes for both individuals and groups.  You can contact us to sign up for a class or a kiln share by visiting our website  http://www.craftybynaturestudio.com/.  A kilnshare is when you have pottery to fire but no kiln, so you have Crafty by Nature to fire your pottery!

 

2.) What do you do apart from creating things?
We both have full-time jobs that keep us very busy.  We also spend time hiking with our two cute dogs, kayaking, gardening, and basically spending time outdoors.

3.) What first inspired you to become an artist?
I think I was definitely encouraged to produce art and crafts from an early age by my creative parents.  I was always reminded about the value and enjoyment of art and we often visited art galleries and we produced our own art.

4.) Please describe to us what your creative process is.
For pottery, we try to think of making things that people will find useful and actually make good use of.  A lot of times, we see people wanting to find a purpose or use for each piece of pottery, so we try to plan for that. 

For lotions and skincare, I try to make my skincare items as natural as possible, and I get inspired by natural ingredients and try to find uses for them.  I often try to make my own recipe of lotion and then have to use trial and error to get the recipe just right.  Sometimes it takes several tries.  Once I get it, though, I know it right away!

5.) What handmade possession do you most cherish?
I cherish my wonderful handmade purple earrings and necklace made for me by my amazing friend, Cathy.                                       Thanks, Cathy!

6.) What advice would you give to artists that are new to Etsy Team Columbus? 
I would encourage artists new to Etsy Team Columbus to be patient with the process of getting slowly woven into the group and to give it at least a year.  I have made several really great friends with Etsy Team Columbus, and countless contacts, but it did take some time to get there.  Be patient and try to come to the in-person meetings.

What advice would you give to an aspiring artist?
For an aspiring artist, I would recommend you just keep trying no matter what.  Keep promoting yourself because you are your best, and perhaps only, promoter.  Keep trying no matter what and never give up.  Promote using blogs, websites, etsy, and facebook.  Print ads are not so effective verses their extreme cost; I learned that the hard way!

7.) What do you like most about being a member of the Team?
My absolute favorite thing about being a member of Etsy Team Columbus is whenever I have a problem or question and I can post it to the entire group easily.  Usually within minutes or hours, I have several very useful responses and/or solutions!

8.) What features do you like most about the Etsy website?
I really like the feature that allows us to copy a listing.  It is very useful when we need to list similar items but don’t want to re-type everything out again each time. 

9.) How do you promote your work?
We use facebook and have a facebook fan page / company page that is www.facebook.com/craftybynature.

We have a blog that we try to write to as much as we can at http://www.craftybynaturestudio.wordpress.com/.

We have our wonderful etsy page at http://www.craftybynaturestudio.etsy.com/.

And finally, we have our main website and store at http://www.craftybynaturestudio.com/.

10.) How are you surviving the economy in relation to your business?
We started our company, Crafty by Nature, in early 2010 and had lots of initial big purchases to deal with such as a kiln, potter’s wheel, supplies for lotions, glazes for pottery, and festival fees.  We just keep on pushing forward as best we can.  We have noticed that people see the real value of buying handmade wonderful pottery, or “real” pottery.  Also people have been more than willing to purchase handmade, natural lotions and skincare.  People seem to be aware of getting back to real, handmade, and from the earth types of goods.

11.) Where would you like to be in 5 years, 10 years?
We are really hoping to be doing more sales online through etsy as well as through our main website and to get into bigger craft shows within 5 years.  Within 10 years, I am extremely hopeful and motivated to do my very best to have one of us be able to go fulltime with pottery and skincare.  Yes, I am saying within 10 years, I hope to have one of us quit our current fulltime job and go into lotions and pottery fulltime!  It might just be a dream, but I hope we can make it happen!

PS:  Word from the blog writer:  I personally have tried Karen’s Lotion and lip balm and it’s wonderful!

1 comments:

Hev-Vin Designssaid…
Very interesting interview. Enjoyed it and now I want to try her products!
May 15, 2011 8:48 PM  

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The Columbus Craftacular is coming May 14 & 15th

3rd Annual

Columbus (Eco-Chic) Craftacular


Saturday May 14th 10am – 6pm

Sunday May 15th 12pm – 5pm

 

Outdoor & Indoor Eco-focused Arts & Crafts Show
Whetstone Community Center
Clintonville,Ohio

The recreation center/community center is near entrance to

WhetstoneParkof Roses, directly next to Whetstone Library.

 

The address is: 3923 N. High Street
Columbus,Ohio 43214 

 

Our 83 different vendors will challenge themselves to bring

a more “green” concept to some of their wares. This can be done with awareness during all stages of creation:


  • purpose/use
  • raw materials
  • manufacturing process
  • packaging
  • waste produced
  • natural or recycled content

 

Live acoustic music from local bands features some of the areas talent and gives a fun atmosphere to the event. 

Activities, demonstrations and games from Craftacular sponsors aimed at teaching fun ways to think green! 


Swag bags (full of goodies) will be given away to the first 50 people who make a purchase each day!

Bags will contain samples from exhibiting vendors and promotional items from the rest of Etsy Team Columbus.


Sign our guestbook with your comments and questions you may have. 
You might have pottery questions like “How can I get personalized wedding pottery for so and so?” Or you might have skincare questions like “What are the ingredients in your lotions and where do they come from?”

Come and join the fun by signing / posting your comments and questions here.  We LOVE feedback from our customers and potential customers!!!  It is a great way for us to learn!  Here’s your chance…

http://www.craftybynaturestudio.com/Guestbook.php