Old Mother Leary Left the Lantern in the Shed

And when the cow kicked it over, Marimello shrieked and said, GOOD GOD it's a hot time in the old town tonight.

OK not to pound it into your heads crafty friends, but it is still crazy here and it is a wonder that the poor little elves can type as you dear editatrix dictates. Their poor little eyes are swollen so, but you know we can't be bothered with typing ourselves with this washcloth over our eyes.

Speaking of washcloths! The Witch Fire shop is open for business and the donations are rolling in. Obviously it's time to put the red eyed elves to work photographing this luxurious stuff. So if you haven't already, roll on over to the shop on Etsy. And keep rolling back for more new stuff. The word has gone out to the fashionista friends of Marimello and we expect great things to be coming our way!

Check out the shop on the right over there and see what's happening. If you want to donate and get some FREE PRESS, head on over to the blog or give us an e-jingle.



Inferno in SoCal

Hey Crafties,
Wracking you brain for ways to help out the parched/burnt communities in Southern California? Know some one who's been evacuated. The Marimello clan alone has about 15 members evacuated from 7 homes. It's enough to make our heads spin.

And spin they did, until we settled on this idea for a charity raffle/donation site. We thought we would set up a collective to raise money for charities in SoCal. Through this new blog, Marimello is looking for donations of items that are less than $5-$10 (your cost), anything bigger will be put into a raffle. The drawing for these items will work thusly: names will come from a pool of anyone who donates, buys, or just sends in a good contribution story will be entered.
Email or leave comments if you can help!

Check it out here: witch-fire.blogspot.com



Show Etsy Some Love

Ellen has been in the news a lot these last couple of days. Let's just say we wouldn't be sad if she'd go into retreat for a while. But whatever, we'll let her live a little bit longer if it means we can get a slot on her show. We mean ETSY on her show. Go fill out the form, and if you slip up and, say, put in your favorite blogger we won't tell.


New Craft Spectacular: Get Right Outta Town

Marimello has been contemplating the necessity of a new Los Angeles craft fair. Wouldn't it be fun if you could go to a little indie craft shopping every weekend? Wouldn't mixing and mingling with other crafties be a swell addition to an otherwise football-filled coupla days?

We want to know your thoughts. What have you been dying to see at a craft fair? Any special vendor types you think are missing from the usual mix? What kind of howtos would have you hanging on the edge of your seat? Would you have rocking tunes ala DJ or live band? What part of your stash would you bring and leave or trade on a big table of free goodies?

Inquiring minds want to know...Leave a suggestion in the comments or email the elves at marimellodesign [at] gmail [dotty] com. And derrr, anyone who gives us feedback will be immediately enslaved to help out with the project. Or at least be subject to more brain picking.

We can't wait to hear from you!



Where my stitches at? Interview with Jess and Casey of Ravelry

Ohmigoshomigosh, Marimello is finally on Ravelry. OH you aren't in yet? There, there.

And either BoingBoing is stalking us (again) or we got our invite the same week. (Check out the recent Boing Boing TV post.) Clearly is trying to outdo Marimello but little do they know we have something up our luscious bamboo silk sleeves: a vintage interview with Jess and Casey, the brains and passion behind Ravelry. Read on:

M: For those who don't get to play with Ravelry yet, just how much fun are we going to have?

J&C: I think that most people will have a lot of fun :) Ravelry is multi-faceted and we've found that everyone's favorite part of Ravelry is different. If you love organizing, you'll probably really enjoy your Ravelry notebook, where you can keep track of your projects, stash and tools. Do you like wandering around the web and checking out people's projects and patterns on their personal blogs and sites? Ravelry is perfect for fiber voyeurs. Really love forums and online communities? There are plenty of options out there but we think that our community is something special because there is that extra substance behind (and all around) the chatting. Fun is the whole point!

M: What has surprised you so far about the ways people are using their Ravelry abilities?

J&C: I guess the biggest surprise is how quickly people are finding one another. We just love hearing from independent designers who have been found by local yarn store owners because they want to stock their patterns, new independent dyers and spinners who are getting wholesale orders for their yarns for the first time, people starting up new Stitch'n Bitch groups in their area...all happening already, before we have even opened the site for real!

M: What role do you think community plays in the crafting world? Knitting in particular.

J&C: I often giggle to myself when Casey and I talk about Ravelry to people who are not knitters or crocheters. Often they just don't understand that there is a huge online community of crafters already and that we don't actually have to build all of those connections from the ground up. We are just providing a fun and concise way to find others who share your interests or live near you.

Obviously, communities centered around crafting is not anything new- sewing circles and groups at local stores have been happening for a long time. I think what is different now is that it is possible to connect with people from all over the world and even find local people that you might not have met otherwise.

I know that I learned to knit by myself, from a book, and I didn't know anyone who knit or crocheted until I started my blog. After a while, I was knitting pretty much every day and it was just so fun to do something creative after I got home from work, sitting in front of a computer all day. I really wanted to meet people who shared my love for knitting and, even in a city like Boston, it was a bit challenging to meet new people. I think online communities make that initial meeting a lot less stressful and more comfortable. After you have been chatting with someone on your blog or on Ravelry, you feel like you know them a bit and you can skip all the 'getting to know you' chitchat and actually hang out. I have met people through the blogging community that I consider my real friends.

One of the reasons that we created Ravelry in the first place was that the online crafting community was such a wealth of information and ingenuity but there was not a way to really search and find what you were looking for--besides googling for hours on end. Over the past year, we just noticed that there were so many new indie designers and yarn dyers and spinners--with etsy stores and their own websites--but there are only a handful of ways to get the word out about your stuff (profiles with bigger bloggers, knitty, crochetme, etc). We are hoping that Ravelry helps people to find their audience as well has helps crafters find new and interesting ways to express themselves.

M: It's fair to say social networking sites have had a significant impact on both the music and crafting communities. How do you think it has worked out differently for both communities? How do you think they influence the way crafters market themselves, conduct business, show off? I mean are we more showey-offy?

J&C: Here is our music parallel :) Online communities allow everyone to share their art with the world. The Internet (and especially blogs and community sites) has given talented crafters and musicians a way to find fans and customers themselves. You don't need a big marketing budget and you don't have to wait to be discovered by an industry. You can be discovered by the people instead.

We're very excited about all of the independent designers, dyers, and spinners that are using Ravelry. We really want to help these amazing people (and they really are amazing!) showcase their work, find their audience, and promote their businesses. Community is an extremely important part of small and independent business (businesses of any size, but the bigger guys often miss the point). People aren't only shopping small because they like things that are handmade or locally produced; we consumers are beginning to want a more real connection with the creators that we support.

This really means a lot to us. We want to help people do what they love for a living.



Coincidence? We Think Not: Creative Commons and Copyright

First Ann Wood posted about her politely unnamed bird theives. Then Etsy's Storque carried a column on Creative Commons and Copyrights. Linda over at CraftApple posted two more interesting and link filled posts on the topic here and here.

Marimello talked about this topic awhile ago, but there seems to be a lot of copycatting going around these days. Many of the threads on Copyrighting are fueled by justifiable anger at the design thieves, but few seem to point to actual legal definitions and sites where a crafter can start the process of reclaiming a design.

A good place to start is the government's site on copyright. Sure it seems obvious, but it also seems boring. So suck it up and remember boring equals important.

If you've seen some of your designs floating on the web's high seas, best reel them in with a quick peruse of the government's site on fair use and copyright. Fair use means there are certain circumstances when it is OK to repost copyrighted works. So, before you head up the hill with torches burning, best to see EXACTLY what your rights are. And before you burn someone up in a tyrannical thread, know what their rights are.

Not to sign the post off on such a serious note...here's the fun part. Exactly which laws is Marimello breaking with that jpeg up top? Extra bonus points if you can tell us what laws our hamburglar halloween costume is not be breaking!


The BEST Crochet Tutorial: Thank You YouTube

Marimello needs an intern. Does any one know this kid's number?


Teen Vogue does DIY

Not being teens anytime this century, we are unfamiliar with the goings on of Teen Vogue. Back in day, we had Sassy, YM and Seventeen to get our fashion/advice fix. But it's good to see that these days Teen Vogue is keeping in touch with the DIY scene and the teen fascination with couture.

We find this interesting because in our crafty world, recreating couture falls under the umbrella of subversion. Of course this is a fairly recent association to make given that crafters, more specifically seamstresses and tailors, have been recreating the latest fashions for centuries. This whole buying off the rack thing is a wee babe in the grand old house of fashion when you think about it.

But the Teen Vogue articles, from Marchesa to Zac Posen, all involve and highlight the original designers. This is more about giving teens access to high fashion and allowing them to tweak and customize the designs.

Now don't get us wrong. We're all for getting the kids crafting, but we're really hoping two things:

1) That no one is getting parental help on this project. Again, it's not that we don't enjoy mommy's sweaters (xoxo! Mom), but having you mom do your 4th grade math homework didn't go over well with Mrs. Westra then and it doesn't go over with Marimello now.

2) That the theme of making your own stuff doesn't go right over the teens' heads. While it is AWESOME to have your own Tory Burch-esque v-neck avec signature dickie, it's not so awesome to own one that was made by some one who made less than the change you pump into a soda machine in passing period.

We're hoping that the brilliant teens of today figure out how that DIY is a responsible choice and alternative to pawing through cheap knockoffs at the Rack. Not that we made any responsible decisions until we were age 25 or so, but we can always hope.

Check out Teen Vogue's DIY here. And for more on Marimello's irresponsible descision making skills, just try googling us. Back in our day the WAS no MySpace. Back in my day we left no digital footprints and whatever we were doing out so late is lost in the sands of time. Fer Sure.


I Heart Rummage: Rocktober Extravaganza

Our friends over at I Heart Indie are having a swell event on October 7 (that's Sunday) at the Crocodile Cafe in Seattle. Boy do we wish we were in Seattle soaking up the fall, but it's still 80 degrees outside here. Some of you maybe are jealous of that, but we here at Marimello are freaking sick of our anemic end of summer/fall season...sigh.

Anyway here's the dirt from Cassandra:

It's Rocktober!

Halloween is a favorite in the IHR peeps' household! We love all the spookylicious goodies you find at this time of year. This month at IHR we have a few very cool and spookylicious artists for you to check out for your Halloween goodies!

Look for TC Leathercraft, new to the IHR scene! She has some of the most glorious handmade leather masks and accessories! You will swoon for these!

Our own Miss Oblivious of Payne Creations has promised some extra-out-of-the-ordinary dolls for us us to choose from for this ghoulish holiday season!

We are also lucky to have Carla Sonheim Creative back with us. Carla comes to us all the way from Colorado! She was hugely popular last year when she came to town, so any of you who have been longing to see her fabulous art again, don't miss your chance to see her!

Our special guest for October is everyone's favorite local boutique where you can find your favorite IHR artists during the rest of the month! Bouncing Wall! on Queen Anne! Owner Kim is creating a little artist of her own - due any time now! Congrats!

Our DJ for October will be DJs unka-neecie! 2 dj's, one idea... bring more to music

We still have issue #2 of the IHR Zine available! This issue showcases our wonderful toymakers!

There are just a few vintage IHR t-shirts left, and we have buttons and stickers so you can show off your good taste in shopping!

Remember to support your local Rollerderby Team, The Jet City Rollergirls!

And if you have a chance, send a donation to Ginger's Pet Rescue to help her keep on doing the amazing work she does.

So if you are LUCKY enough to be in Seattle this weekend, go check out IHR at the Crocodile and tell them Marimello sent you!