Merry Brovember!

What in tarnation is Brovember, you ask?
It’s the nickname we’ve given our month-long workshop at 816 N. Broadway in Downtown Oklahoma City. If you’re curious, come to an open house any Sunday in November, from 2-6 p.m..

Lovely farm tables from Kahoy Studios give us plenty of work space.
Lovely farm tables from Kahoy Studios give us plenty of work space.

You can sign up here to join us for social crafting. We’ve found the space to be very helpful to our productivity!

Sometimes we stay late, crafting into the night, with passerby noticing our spectacle.
Sometimes we stay late, crafting into the night, with passerby noticing our spectacle.

We are so thankful to Downtown Oklahoma City Inc. for arranging this, and for Factor 110‘s lovely pipe and drape which keeps us cool and allows us privacy when we need it. We also appreciate the generosity of the building’s owner and future tenants, who are flexible and great to work with! Finally, we’d like to thank Kahoy Studios for lending us the gorgeous farm tables and benches.

JD finished a custom order less than 30 minutes into Brovember - there's something in the air that makes us very productive!
JD finished a custom order less than 30 minutes into Brovember – there’s something in the air that makes us very productive!

Please join us, because we won’t have this space for long – let’s enjoy it while we can!

Sara is enjoying the abundance of space to lay out quilts for basting.
Sara is enjoying the abundance of space to lay out quilts for basting.

Follow DeluxeMarket on Instagram for updates on the latest news for Deluxe Winter Market.

Introducing the OKC Coloring Book

Thanks to the generous donation of art by more than 30 OKC artists, designers, architects, teachers and students, Deluxe has its first real fundraiser – an Oklahoma City Coloring Book! In it you’ll find illustrations of what these artists enjoy about OKC – from sports to cupcakes to tourist destinations. We’re excited to share it with you! Here are the contributors to this project:

Avery Wilson

Jack Fowler

Katie Pennington

David Woods

Kelsey Davis

Blake Behrens

Ashley Smith

Tessa Raven

Sam Lamb

Dan Eaton

Dusty Gilpin

Ross Maute

Eleazar Velazquez

Landon Bahr

Emily Williams

Kris Kanaly

Don Rosencranz

Brandon Rierson

Brian Winkeler

Dylan Bradway

Amanda Bradway

Brandon Land

Klint Schor

Positive Tomorrows students

Good Egg

Eric Lyons

Erin DeMoss

Adrian Mix

Geoff Parker

Tanner Frady

Alex Cowan

The Coloring Book is available at DNA Galleries, Shop Good and Green Bambino. You can also buy it at Deluxe on Dec. 8! Thanks to Downtown OKC Inc. for their generous donation which helped this project happen, and of course, thanks to all of the talented contributors.

How to Find (or Make!) Your Local Crafting Community

Guest post from Angela Mabray, co-author of Polymer Clay 101

Five years ago, I wondered if I was the only gal in Central Oklahoma using polymer clay. Today, I have the pleasure of knowing a whole group full of folks who love it as much as I do, and we meet monthly to learn and play together.

Have you wondered if you might enjoy meeting with others who share your artistic passion, whatever that may be? If you’re thinking about starting your own group, I’ll share a few tips in an upcoming post. But today I’ll start by telling some of the unexpected benefits I’ve found through starting my own group.

Penni Jo Couch and I started the Central Oklahoma Polymer Clay Guild in late 2006. We found each other through a polymer clay-themed Yahoo group, after an exchange where we realized we were 1) both in the Oklahoma City area, and 2) both interested in meeting with other clay-ers.

Our first meeting consisted of just the two of us, and the group stayed pretty small the first year or so. But with some effort, we gradually grew, and we’re now up to 10 regularly-attending members plus frequent guests.

I think the two of us had slightly different goals when we first decided to start the group. Penni Jo was interested in the social aspect — swaps and play days. I’m a little on the shy side, so I was nervous about meeting new people. But I was eager to expand local awareness of polymer clay. Plus I’d heard about the polymer clay libraries the larger guilds had, and I thought all that locally-available reading material sounded divine.

I’m sure as each of our other members joined up, they were interested in slightly different things, too. The wonderful thing is that the group became more than any of us could have imagined.

Since the beginning, our meetings have consisted of a single member sharing a project or technique they knew, teaching the other members as they went. I’d never taught a group in my life, but with our small membership, I needed to teach often to keep things going. I went to Toastmasters to get past my fear of speaking to a group. I studied new polymer clay techniques to share. In the process, I learned a lot about both my medium and myself. I also saw first-hand where my instructions were lacking. I found out where other people had difficulties, and I was able to focus on those things not only in subsequent classes, but also in blog posts for my website, and later in my book.

Speaking of which, I’m not sure I’d be a published author today if it weren’t for my local community. And I’ve been happy to see the other members of the group find their own successes. Penni Jo now has her own very-successful line of polymer clay molds and has been asked to teach at polymer clay retreats across the nation. Several of our members (including one who joined the group as a beginner!) now teach local classes. Various members have placed in large polymer clay contests and/or had their work published in a national polymer clay magazine. I personally feel the group’s constant encouragement is part of what has led these artists to their successes.

We’ve done the things Penni Jo and I originally envisioned. Our library has 70+ polymer clay books and magazines. We hold themed swaps every other month. Plus we’ve done other things we hadn’t initially imagined. We held our first retreat earlier this year, which even drew a couple of clayers from outside the state. Through the Bottles of Hope program, we’ve shared pieces of polymer clay art with many local cancer patients. And I have to mention the friendship aspect. Together we’ve gone through baby showers and funerals and everything in between. Our meetings are full of chatter and laughter. We are able to encourage each other both artistically and in the more mundane day-to-day matters.

If you want to try starting your own group, come back next week for a few tips on making it work.

Join us Saturday for our monthly meeting!

Angela Mabray is a co-founder of the Central Oklahoma Polymer Clay Guild, which meets the second Saturday of each month at City Arts Center. She blogs about polymer clay at CraftyGoat’s Notes and recently co-authored Polymer Clay 101.

Deluxe Podcast, Episode 3

It’s time for Episode 3!
This episode is for the crafters thinking about planning their craft show year, getting organized and finding the shows.
Here’s a handy pin board on Pinterest for podcast resources:

Deluxe Podcast Episode 2

It’s already time for episode 2 of our brand new podcast! Introductions are over, now it’s time to start digging into some good stuff. If you have ever been interested in organizing your own event, this episode is for you. I cover the very beginning steps to get started. Location hunting, budgeting ideas, etc…
It’s all very general and with my own experience in mind but could certainly be adapted to fit a wide range of needs.
If, after you’ve listened, you feel like there is something missing or the content brings up questions please email me. JD (!AT!) JDStar DOT net or leave a comment on this post.
General comments are always welcome too!

Also… I’ve got the podcast on iTunes now too so you should be able to find it there also.
<3, JD

Deluxe Podcast Episode 1

Hey everyone, it’s JD. You may (or may not) know that I have been trying to get a podcast going for Deluxe. It’s all planned out and waiting to happen while I figure out the technical details of uploading it to our blog and iTunes. Please listen to this first episode and giggle with me as I get some on-the-job training.

If you have any questions about the podcast please send them to me JD (!AT!) JDStar DOT net.

Deluxe in pictures

photo by Rex Barrett

Rex Barrett of Glass Eye Studios captured some great images at our 2011 show – check out this set on Facebook and please tag yourself!

photo by Rex Barrett
photo by Rex Barrett

Guest Post from Hounds of the Heartland

We owe an incredibly huge thank you to Deluxe for highlighting our organization as the featured charity at the event this year. I arrived at Deluxe at 9:00am with chairs, raffle prizes, dog beds and signs in tow and was thrilled to see a little greyhound pen set up for us by the front entrance.

Thanks also to everyone who stopped by during the show to meet and pet the greyhounds. Many of you were impressed with how calm and friendly the dogs were, and how little barking and commotion they caused. We were busy during the entire event, answering questions and telling everyone about what great pets greyhounds make and how our adoption program works. Thank you to our amazing volunteers who picked up foster dogs and helped answer those questions, and to the Midtown Rotary for checking in on us and helping with set up!

I tweeted pictures of adoptable greyhounds during the show at @greyhoundpetsok. Polly’s cute Christmas pajamas sure got her a lot of attention!

One more round of special thanks to those local businesses and individuals who donated raffle prizes: Ashley Smith at No Regrets Tattoo, Deep Fork Group, Adrian Mix of Fried Okra, Jemellia Hilfiger of JemJam, and Robin Mead. We raised $200 that will help us with veterinary costs, food, and supplies for our foster greyhounds. Every greyhound that we are able to provide foster care for here in central Oklahoma gets lots of attention on our blog, website, and at show and tell events. When these dogs get adopted, we can bring in more of the retired racing greyhounds out there waiting for homes.

So far in 2011, we’ve adopted out 55 greyhounds. Two more potential adoptions are in the works thanks to some love connections at Deluxe. Thank you for your support, Deluxe, and thank you, Oklahoma City!

-Emily Williams, Hounds of the Heartland