Friday, July 30, 2010

Our New Home: Starving Art and E. A. T.

This week we bring you an inside look into our new home Starving Art & E. A. T. (East Austin Trailer park Eatery). The whole concept for this new space is completely unique, welcoming and totally Austin, with its awesome location is literally right next door to the famous Juan in a Million on East Cesar Chavez.
We first heard about the new venture during the promotion of their Grand Opening on June 5th, seeing a write up on Thrillist as well as Do512 among other places. What really piqued our interest was the trailer park merging with an artist community. E. A. T. boasts a outdoor movie screening area along with its trailers: Old School Bar B Q, El Sol e la Luna with tacos and other tasty fare, Phoebe's Mud serving up coffee & smoothies, and Iggi's Texatarian a vegetarian take on Texas faves like Frito Pie. Iggi's celebrates their Grand Opening this weekend July 31st with a huge party featuring food, beer, a movie and a giant slip & slide. We'll be open and partaking in the fun, you should too!All of E. A. T. is in the big parking lot next to and behind the big Pink building hosting Starving Art. Inside there are 25 artist studios, a large gallery space and an artist market selling fine art as well as other gift items and jewelry. The gallery hosts monthly openings happening the first Friday of every month. These openings are fun nights including movie screenings and artist demos, showcasing all the open studios and artists. Next is Friday August 6th!
The idea of combining the artists with the food trailers is this "The trailers will work together with the galleries and the arts market to provide a bigger draw for people to come to this area, therefore giving artists more exposure. Likewise the art openings will create a draw that will also give the trailers exposure." We think this is a great idea and we're really excited to be a part of the community.

Lastly its been brought to life by a team of two guys described on the Starving Art website like this "Starving Art Studios and E.A.T. is a venture brought to you by Josh Frank, the guy who brought you TREAT, the trailer you all grew to love. Art management support and direction provided by J.Haley, manager of Pump Project Satelilte, facilities developmental Lead Foreman for the creation of The United States Art Authority, and all around nice guy. " We'd definitely agree.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Book Review: Flowers Chic & Cheap

Flowers Chic & Cheap by Carlos Mota is a fabulous new how-to book on decorating with flowers. As a gardener & lover of cut flowers & giving homegrown bouquets, I was really intrigued by the title. The cover, featuring a cute vintage, polka dot teapot with 2 peonies in it, hints at the many pretty, yet fun & carefree, decorating ideas that await you inside this book.

The author, Carlos Mota, editor at large for Elle Decor, is a man who displays impeccable taste, yet a very down-to-earth approach to decorating. For instance, in the introduction, he reminds readers not to overlook the humble soup can or beer bottle when choosing a vase for flowers. My thrifty side really appreciated his acknowledgment that expensive vases are not necessary, as we all have pretty & useful vessels already hanging around our homes!

Each arrangement idea is presented in a very clear & easy-to-follow fashion, kind of like a recipe. The basics on care & feeding for your cut flowers are covered, as well as discussion of decorating with other botanicals like branches and fruit (and even silk flowers), different flower combinations that work well together and tips for arranging them in various types of containers & situations, including lots of lovely table settings. The styling ideas covered in the book are fantastic, ranging from super simple, such as a grouping of herb branches in green beer bottles left after a party, to more dramatic (yet still quite easy to pull off) arrangements such as a gorgeous sunflower collection inspired by Van Gogh and a formal arrangement that looks like something out of a painting by the French master, Fragonard. That's the thing that I most love about this book: the reminder to look for beauty & inspiration all around us. Mota encourages us to find ideas for arrangements & color schemes in art that we love, favorite locales, and even the cherished items we've collected in our homes.

Several of Mota's arrangements are a new (to me, at least) take on bouquets, using water tubes & moss instead of the traditional vase full of water. One such unusual, yet surprisingly beautiful, container he uses is a hollowed-out egg. Don't know if I'll ever get around to trying that, but it is a really cool idea! I love Mota's "no rules, anything goes" attitude. Another unconventional container he favors: baby shoes. How cute would that be for a baby shower?! Those arrangements would truly be gifts that kept on giving.

Flowers Chic & Cheap has wonderful decorating ideas for every room of the house, every season & every occasion. It's a beautifully-photographed book that will make you want to liven up your home with flowers a lot more often. I know I plan to!

full disclosure: Crown Publishing sent me a review copy of this book. But that didn't influence my opinion; I honestly love it & highly recommend it! - Beth H

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Pixel Pop!

This Friday we're participating in an awesome event merging fashion, crafting, and music!

We've planned a super fun craft that anyone can do. Our free craft will be Super Hero cuffs that you can make from old tee shirt sleeves! To embellish those cuffs you'll be able to design, cut out, and iron on bright felt flocking (the soft stuff you find on a lot of tee designs).

Jen made this awesome lightening bolt cuff and it was featured along with Beth A's hoodie on Keye TV! Here is the video.
You'll also be able to craft a sweet hoodie like these, simply design and cut out any shapes you want and we press it on. Start brainstorming now so you can make some cool stuff with us tomorrow!
Beth H made her paintbrush go all the way over the shoulder, very original!

Jen's bobcat on her shoulder is my favorite though, she's so talented!

So come on out, we'll be crafting, selling stuff out of our pop-up shop, and generally having a fun-tabulous time! Doors are at 9:30pm Friday July 16th at the Mohawk, see you there!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Craftastic Movies!

We here at The WonderCraft loooove watching movies, especially the artsy ones! So, inspired by Photojojo's Ultimate Photo Movie Roundup, I thought I'd make my own list of fave movies that feature awesome handmade sets & props. This is just a short list, and I know I've probably left out lots of craftacular flicks, so please leave a note in the comments about others we should all check out.

1. Adventures of Prince Achmed, directed by Lotte Reiniger (1926)
I recently had a very enjoyable evening with friends watching Prince Achmed at the Alamo Drafthouse with a live musical score. This movie is simply stunning! It's the oldest surviving animated film, yet it looks as if it could have been created today. The film is a beautiful feast for the eyes in silhouette style; all of the characters were made of cardboard cut-outs. You can see snippets of Prince Achmed on YouTube, but if a theater in your area screens this film, don't miss it!

2. Coraline, written & directed by Henry Selick (2009)
Coraline, another animated film, is a must-see for makers, filled with crafty goodness in every scene. The entire set, plus all of the characters & props are all totally handmade! The number of tiny details in this film is astounding, too. Itty-bitty sweaters were knit for the characters by Althea Crome - you've got to see this to believe it! Craft did a great write-up about the craftiness of Coraline when the movie came out, which includes a video of Crome knitting those crazy-small sweaters.

 3. The Science of Sleep, written & directed by Michel Gondry (2006, French)
This is a movie that I really, really loved, for so many reasons (one of which is that I have a bigtime crush on the star, Gael García Bernal). But aside from the hunk factor, it's just such a cool little love story & a visually arresting film. Bernal's character, Stéphane, is a total dreamer, super-creative & so in touch with his imaginative side that he often confuses it with reality. There are a lot of surreal touches in the film, such as a scene where Stéphane drives a cardboard car. There are also many interesting & unique handmade objects created by Stéphane & his love interest, Stéphanie. These include a little white boat that contains a forest inside, an animatronic horse & a "one-second time machine." Check this wonderful little movie out - I think you'll like the story & all of the unusual handmade props.

4. Fantastic Mr. Fox, directed by Wes Anderson (2009)
Fantastic Mr. Fox is based on the novel of the same name by Roald Dahl, which tells the story of a band of clever animals who raid the nearby large-scale farms. This film is an adorable and funny film that employs stop-motion animation of fabulous handmade puppets. Similarly to Coraline, the filmmakers behind Fantastic Mr. Fox created an amazingly detailed miniature world that is a real treat for the eyes. Take a look behind-the-scenes to see how this fun movie was made in the "Cutting-Edge Fox" video on

So what are your favorite craftacular movies? Know of some others that showcase handmade artistry? Please share in the comments!