Saturday, June 30, 2012

Furies: Murfreesboro Mom Serves Up Original Publication With Plenty of Attitude

Ms. Zook and Her Funky New Mag

All too often, the words "arts and crafts" conjure up images of sock monkeys and sweaters knit by your grandma, not that there is anything wrong with those types of crafts, but today, we are going to explore the mature and edgy side of fashion and the arts with Liz Zook, the founder of Furies Magazine. Liz lives in Murfreesboro, TN, and also has an online Etsy shop selling original paintings, clothing, and unusual home decor, like her uber cool zombie head lamps. Her latest project, Furies, includes adult content and humor, so it is not for everyone, but then again, neither are sock monkeys! Let's read what Liz has to say about her publication and make sure to like her Facebook page for all the latest updates from Furies.

1) What is Furies Magazine and how do I subscribe?
Furies Magazine offers new art, music, fashion, tattoos, comedy writing and a monthly pin-up. We even do some news snippets and parenting tidbits. We don't have a way for people to subscribe right now. That is something we're working on, though. For now we are only online.

2) Why did you choose the title "Furies" and what is the main theme of the magazine? What is the history of the publication?
I wanted to call it Fury Magazine to sort of give it an edge, but that was already taken. It was my husband's idea to change it from "Fury" to "Furies". I actually like it better. It's a running gag that it's only one letter away from "furries", but Furies are actually Roman goddesses of vengeance - or Erinyes in Greek for the goddesses of retribution. I think that has a pretty good edge to it.
The theme of the magazine is sketchy, but fun. It's colorful and entertaining, but there is some sex humor that a lot of people might not like. It's definitely not for everyone. I would say if you've been searching for tattoos, half-naked girls, great art, a variety of music and raunchy humor all in the same place then the place to go is
As for history, we're not even a month old yet! I'm spontaneous with ideas. If I have a good one I jump on the opportunity to get started. Furies Magazine might be the best idea I've ever had. So far, it has been worth the effort that I'm putting in to it.

3) What types of materials are you looking to cover? How does one contact your magazine to see if they have content that would be a good fit for you?
Our goal, as a magazine, is to cover only the best in art, fashion, music, etc. I'm extremely particular when I'm going over content. A lot of the people we feature are undiscovered. As an artist I know how important it is to get your work out there - to be able to tell people that your work has been published.
I encourage people to look over our website before they submit their work. I also tell people that a sense of humor and a good personality is a must, but so is talent. We don't just feature your work, we feature you. If you want to be featured in our magazine you can go here:
We're currently looking for people to do a punky parenting article. We're also looking for a "news anchor" and someone to cover fashion in other parts of the country that I can't get to right now. That information is here:

4) What are your plans for the future of the magazine?
When I started Furies I had no idea what I was doing. I didn't want to waste a lot of time on research so I just jumped right in. I'm learning as I go, but I was mentally prepared to do a lot of work and I have very helpful friends. Right now our focus is on putting out great content. If you have good content an audience will come. Once we have built a following we plan on putting together a print magazine.
We don't plan on staying local. A lot of our artist features and musicians are being pulled from all over the US.
(I have to give some credit to Colleen Suave. I started writing for her - B.Real Magazine - in May. She really inspired me to start my own magazine, but I still plan on contributing to B. Real.)

5) Does Furies have any opportunities for local people and businesses to adveritise? How does one advertise with Furies?
Detail From "Forbidden Fruit" An Original Painting By Liz K Zook (Mature)
We don't have any opportunities for advertisers, yet. That is a goal for us, though. If people are interested they can e-mail me at and I can keep them on file for when I do start looking for advertisers. I have to say, though, that I'm going to be very selective with the type of advertisers that I approve.

6) Anything else you want readers to know about Furies? Do you have any links to your favorite articles or the mag Facebook?
We literally just started on June 8th. We're just going to get better and better.

Our comedy writer Sully Sullivan has his debut article on July 2nd.
Our first Featured Artist will be on July 3rd.

Our facebook is 

Monday, June 25, 2012

June 24th Meetup Recap and Pictures

Samantha and Nancy Chat in Hastings

Samples and Nichole's Latest Cuff Bracelet In Progress

Thank you everyone who attended the Team meetup at Hastings on June 24th. As you can see, we had plenty of samples, smiles, and questions to be answered. Read on for a summary of the burning issues. Besides discussing crafts, marketing, and Etsy, we got to see Samantha knitting with rich, red yarn, and the latest work of Nichole, from BluPoppyStudio. She was making an embroidered cuff, as seen in the foreground of the second picture.

1) What affordable craft shows are coming up?

Laura Franklin of Treasures Seven is hosting a craft show in Tullahoma this fall. It is a private school fundraiser and the table fee is an amazing 25 dollars. Contact Laura here:

Rey, owner of the shop Zadzukki is helping to organize another show at MTSU. The plan is to have it outdoors in Oct. or later, in a high traffic area. More details will be announced about this even as they become available. She also is looking for yarn and fabric scraps to create items to send to children in Africa. Rey's sister is currently on a mission in Africa and would distribute the handmade items. Contact her here to donate or inquire about the MTSU craft show:

2) What's new with the business side of things?

Vistaprint has new premium quality business cards 250 for an intro price of 9.99. They are comparable in quality to MOO cards.

Etsy now has direct checkout available. It is popular with buyers, but you cannot access your funds until 3 days after an item ships. This could be difficult for custom orders.

The Art Barn in Murfreesboro is looking for arts and crafts for consignment. They also have new summer classes and art camps. See the home page here:

On etsy, you can now list multiple quantities of items without the additional 20 cent fee per item. You do pay the 20 cents per item on your bill if you sell more than one.

3) What is happening with the team?

As always, we need content for the blog. Contact me (Clare from Mylana) to have your shop featured. I might be planning a giveaway for later this summer.

Check out the team facebook. You can share one item or sale/promotion a week, and any pictures or announcements of your work in progress:

Play the team treasury games. There will be a winner once every 2 weeks. Look on the team discussion boards or facebook for links and details.

The next meeting will be in August.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Remembering Home

Josh Hawkins Designed Tennessee Posters
"I was raised in Knoxville. I went to Karns High School, home of the Beavers! Which is definitely the most respected and feared mascot in the sports world." - Josh Hawkins

Today we are going to talk with Josh, the owner of our featured shop, TheBrainFreeze on Etsy. Josh is from Tennessee, but moved away, and found himself nostalgic for home, the heart of Tennessee. He started making posters from elements of original design and vintage book photographs. What you see here in the picture is a series of posters devoted to places in Tennessee. What a great idea to celebrate this state and honor the photographers of the past! Let's see what Josh has to say about himself and his creations. Here is his story:

"My name is Josh Hawkins and I live & work in NYC. I write music by day and design art by night. My artwork is not my career so I can do whatever I want with it. I like it that way. I take Polaroid pictures and dabble in lomography but most of my art usually consist of manipulated vintage photographs that have a surreal or dreamy feel.

It started when I started looking for artwork to hang in my home. I knew all about Hatch show print & Yeehaw print shop, who produce really great letterpress posters, but I struggled to find something that was in a more modern style. So I took it upon myself to make new artwork dedicated to Tennessee. The initial creative process for me starts by searching through my secret catalogue of images from old textbooks, public domain archives and photos I've taken. I almost never start a design from scratch. I just look for something that draws my attention and then from there it's a blur...

Even though I live in Brooklyn now I was born & raised in Tennessee. Moving away made me realize how great that state is. Now every time I come visit for Christmas or a quick escape from NYC I always pack 3-4 cameras and tons of film because I know I will find some great shots to capture. So even though I'm constantly surrounded by tall buildings & subways I find my roots always pushing me towards the scenery of the south for inspiration.

The only solid plans I have are just to experiment more with photography. I definitely plan on continuing to produce prints but my work will be less focused on a specific place. HOWEVER, I will not be a one hit wonder I promise you that!"

Here is his favorite poster, a tribute Knoxville, TN, the Marble City.

You can find his shop and other work here:

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Washi Tape Madness

Honey Saffron Soap from Treasures Seven of Estill Springs
Washi tape, deco tape, gaffer tape, tissue tape...whatever you want to call it, this is a new craft essential and tons of fun. Essentially, these deco tapes are printed making tapes from Japan; however, you can now buy them in Hobby Lobby and other local craft stores under the Tim Holtz brand. Expect to pay roughly 3.50 dollars for a 10 yard roll. This tape has many uses and is well worth the price. There are tons of patterns and designs, with some of my favorites being the Tim Holtz vintage themes.

This Honey Saffron soap looks so cute all wrapped up with pretty green tape! No matter what you make, decorative tapes can make your products and wrapped gifts look extra nice.

So, besides the pattern, what is so special about this tape? For starters, it is removable and will not damage or rip paper. That is great for scrapbooking and cardmaking. Imagine an adhesive that is totally reposition able and will not damage your project!

Handmade Card (by me, Clare) In Murfreesboro With Black Damask Tape
What else can you do with Washi tape besides packaging and paper crafts? If you are a baker, simply wrap the tape around a toothpick and cut to make flag cupcake toppers. Fold it over a string and trim into triangles for quick mini-bunting. Seal envelopes, cards, and letters with a special touch. I use it with plain brown paper to wrap samples and free gifts.

Where is the best place to buy deco tapes? As I said, I like the Tim Holtz designs available at Hobby Lobby, but I also like buying tapes online. There are many supply selections of deco tapes online at, but many of the best designs are located in Japan or Korea, meaning a 3-4 week wait for your tapes. Just search for Washi tape or deco tape and you will find many to choose from online. Locally, you can also purchase it at Walmart in the craft section, for 1.00.

More Soaps With Deco Tape
See this blog link for many more photos and idea, including decorating wine bottles and making favor boxes:

Friday, June 15, 2012

Eat More Kale!

Gardening is America's number one hobby in terms of money spent on supplies and time invested. One of the great things about growing plants is cultivating edible items to cook and prepare. Common sense tells us that eating greens and vegetables is healthy, plus, what could be more satisfying than growing your own? Let's talk about one green in particular and then see my homemade greenhouse to grow my own indoors. Behold, the nutritional powerhouse, kale.
Loaded with nutrients and fiber, but having few calories, kale is a dieter's friend and a great filler in soups, stews, salads, and other dishes. It is more fibrous than spinach, with a similar flavor and can be used in many recipes. One of my favorites was the kale and white bean soup that was served in my college cafeteria. If you are new to kale and want to try it raw, it might be best to mix it in with other greens in a salad. Personally, I like to cook a large batch of kale in the microwave, then saute it with olive oil and garlic. This cooked kale freezes well or can be kept in the refrigerator to be added to pasta, pizza, soup, or casseroles. It is fantastic in rice dishes and I even add it to mac 'n cheese!

My Indoor Kale Mini-Greenhouse

Kale seeds can be purchased at any garden center, or you can find heirloom varieties online. Above, you can see my growing station to grow my own indoor kale and lettuce. I live in an apartment, so I need to cultivate my greens indoors. I use a jumbo lasagna pan filled with potting soil and plant food. The plastic lid keeps the cat out and the humidity in while the seeds are germinating. When the greens are about 5-6 inches tall, I harvest them and add a fresh 1/2 inch or so of potting soil to the top of the pan, along with plant food, as instructed on the label.

If you like kale, but don't want to grow your own, try the farmer's markets in Murfreesboro or Nashville. You might get kale in a CSA box if you participate with a local farm. Kale makes a wonderful addition to many cooked and raw dishes. You can even use it in green smoothies or homemade juices. Here's to healthy eating and fun cooking in Tennessee!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Etsy Lush: Free Marketing and Promotional Site For Your Online Crafts

Green Tea and Cherry Blossom Candles As Seen On Etsy Lush
Everyone who sells crafts likes free marketing opportunities, right? You need to invest either time or money in getting your creations seen by your target market. Etsy Lush is a site for buyers to browse some of the best of handmade crafts, and for sellers to show off their wares. You can visit the website here:

How does Etsy Lush work? There are 2 options, a free to submit category and a paid submission category. Simply choose the paid or free option and fill out an item submission form. If your item meets the guidelines, it will be placed in a queue to appear on Etsy Lush. The paid submissions appear on the front page, which rotates, and the free ones are in the gift guides, divided by category.

There are some guidelines for submitting, please read them all before you do, but the 2 important ones are that pictures cannot be more than 1MB and some categories are not being accepted at this time. An example of something you cannot submit is jewelry, unless you personally made a majority of the beads or components. For example, if you made a ceramic cross and hung it on a necklace as a pendant, that would be OK, but if you bought a cross and made it into a necklace, that would be a no-no. The rules change to reflect what categories are very saturated, helping to display a diverse selection. Also, you can only submit one item a day. Sometimes, items are not selected for display if the photo is poor or you have exceeded your limit for submissions. Please read all the guidelines before submitting, to avoid disappointment.

Additionally, Etsy Lush picks treasuries to display in the featured section that are made entirely from items on the site, so if you submit, the odds are high to appear in a few high-class treasuries! This treasury is from the featured page. To participate in the fun, join the Etsy Lush team. You must make 2 treasuries a month to join. Making treasuries gets you free exposure too, especially if your treasury is chosen to be featured. You can join the team here, but make sure to read all the rules for participation:

'Fireworks are Made to Explode' by bethsknits

and showcase beautiful color

Envelope Clutch: Faux S...
Doll Face Fabric Brooch...
Jungle Fever, unique so...
Rainbow Snake Scarf han...
Cha Cha Charm Bracelet ...
8,2 x 11,8 inches Origi...
Yellow Jar Candle, Summ...
Vintage Blue Vase Cotta...
felted soap bars with m...
Sweet Orange Vegan Bath...
Madam Butterfly Polymer...
Pastel Tree of Life Art...
Queen Quilt - Colorful ...
Cat Cave "Color of...
Kitty Retro Tag Set