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Pittsburgh Events This Week

We have some local Pittsburgh Events we’re going to this week!

First off is Thursday’s event, the Wyland PTO’s 3rd Annual Mom’s Night Out held at the Narcisi winery in Gibsonia. It’s a gorgeous location, and tickets are only $40! That’s pretty dang good for a night out drinking wine.

On Friday the 21st, we’ll be at the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership’s Night Market! There’s going to be music, food, beer, and (of course) art. It goes from 5:30 to 11, at 8th Street & Penn . You can click the link above to look at the website for more information, or you can click here for the Facebook Page. Please invite your friends!

So, where will we see you?

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What You’re REALLY Buying

Given how yesterday was Small Business Saturday and tomorrow is Cyber Monday, you’ve probably seen some variation of this floating around on your social media feeds. And while it’s true, you’re buying so much more when you Shop Small and Buy Handmade this season.
You’re not just getting an unbelievably cozy scarf, or an expertly finished cutting board, or a ring you literally can’t find anywhere else. You are buying blood, sweat and tears.

Literally.

Allow me to explain.

The blood is the simplest, so I’ll start with that. If you’ve ever made anything with your hands, you know that sooner or later, you’re going to get hurt. All bakers have been burnt. All the people I know who sew have cut or stabbed themselves at some point. Even fiber workers like knitters get hurt. And when it comes to hammers and saws, it’s not a matter of “if”, but “when”.

As for sweat, well – That’s also pretty self-explanatory. Making things, even if you love it, can be hard work. Hard work isn’t a bad thing, but it does make you sweat. Whether it’s over a stove, a saw, or a sewing machine, we sweat. We sweat from the work, from putting up tents at craft shows, from hauling our totes of goods and displays up and down stairs. We sweat when see the application deadlines approaching, while we wait for acceptance emails and before the events start. We sweat over the details, not only in the work itself but on our business cards, our websites, and the pictures we take for our online stores. We’re doing this full time, but do we look professional enough? Do we look too professional? Is that a bad camera angle? Does this font look cheesy? Am I using the right words? Did I choose the right images to send with my application? Is this display “right” for my work? There are buckets of sweat behind everything you see in an online shop or at a show.

Now for tears. Big Artist Confession Time: Yes, you are buying tears. We usually don’t cry when we bleed, we’re used to that by now, but we cry at other things. We cry at numbers, especially when they’re bad, but sometimes when they’re really good, too. We cry in frustration when the work just isn’t working. We cry at rejection emails and shutoff notices. We cry happy tears when we’re accepted into one of our dream shows. We cry a lot when someone favorites half of our Etsy shop and then copies our work.

But if you really, really want to make an artist cry, come up to our table and say loudly, “I could make that.” We’ll smile and maybe we’ll used our canned comeback for this phrase (because trust me, we all have one), but on the inside, we’re crying. We’re crying because those four words contain every single bit of naysaying that we’ve ever heard from society, from the people we love and from inside our own heads. We’re crying because you’re devaluing the skills we have literally bled to acquire (see above). Some of us are crying because we’re honestly afraid that you’ll steal the designs we’ve spent days or sometimes even weeks developing. We’re crying because we’re literally putting a price tag on little pieces of ourselves and you’re telling us we’re Not Worth It.

We’ll be okay. We’re artists, and we feel all the feelings, but we’re tough. Some of us have been at it so long that The Phrase doesn’t hurt us any more. It might sting in the pocketbook, because those people never buy anything, but we know that the words are empty. Still, we feel for the others who have it used on them, because the person who says it always says it a lot. And loudly, too.

So remember, while you are wandering the shows and the Internet, that when you buy the Perfect Handmade Gift, you’re not just getting a thing. You’re getting blood, sweat, and tears, and you’re giving encouragement, opportunity, and hope.

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Next Up: Pittsburgh Three Rivers Regatta

We’ve been busy bees around here, going to NOWM, visiting family and, of course, making ALL. THE. JEWELRY. The summer show season is upon us, and we’ve got to hustle to make it good.

In addition to making jewelry, I’ve also been hard at work trying to photograph all the new pieces and get them up here on the website. Here’s three of the latest items! There’s a simple moonstone pendant in a quatrefoil medieval-style setting, a chain necklace that looks good with everything, and a medieval ring pin studded with lab sapphires!

Unless these get snapped up on the website, you can expect to see them and more new things at the Pittsburgh Three Rivers Regatta! It’s less than two weeks away, and right after that is Southside Works Exposed, so we’ve got some forging, smithing and stonecutting to do.

As always, if you’re local to da ‘Burgh and don’t want to pay shipping, let me know and I’ll have it boxed and ready for you at the show.

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Steel City Con & Holiday RAWk Wrap Up

This week we had not one, but TWO events here in Pittsburgh. The first was Steel City Con, where we met some other great local artists and writers. We were there to sell Brian’s new book instead of my jewelry. It was his first time selling his book at a comic convention. We’ve not been back in an Artist’s Alley in years, and it was a nice change from the Dealer’s Room. Lemony got to meet other Thors (she was Thor for a day, of course) and an amazing Groot cosplayer. We sold some books, bought some art, and overall had an awesome time. Click Here to go to Brian’s FB fan page and see the Steel City Con album in full. It’s mostly Lemony being adorable with cosplayers, but daaang there was some good cosplay! We couldn’t get a video of the T1000 walking, but I’m sure you can find it if you check on YouTube.

And yes, that’s me with Sherlock. No smiling, of course.

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Last night I wrapped up my 2014 show season with a showing at RAWartist’s Holiday RAWk show in the Strip. I’ve done several RAW shows this year, and I love them! They’re unlike any other art shows I’ve ever done. It’s nice to be able to actually mingle with people rather than just stand behind a table and smile. There was some very impassioned piano and singing, and the bellydancers were both exciting and mysterious. I liked the Solstice theme of their performance. There were also gongs being played while live painting happened on stage. The Grinch even made an appearance!

As for next year, I have Plans. PLANS! If you’d like to be kept up to speed on them in a more real-time format, you can follow me on Instagram @sinclairjewelry. I usually post pictures from my workbench and events, but sometimes the critters and the Little One make an appearance.

Do you have any big plans for 2015? Let me know!

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Still Gift Shopping, Pittsburgh? I Can Help.

I’ve got a bunch of places to find unique, locally-made goods! From your nerdy friends to party animals and arty types, I’ve got you covered.

Going on RIGHT NOW is the Sweetwater Center for the Arts holiday mART. It’s got loads of local art, including pottery, scarves, jewelry, paintings, wood crafts – Everything. This would be the place to go for your artsy friend who has everything. I would describe the wares there as more high-end, and the shopping experience is top notch. There’s wine after five on the weekdays, dinner on Friday, and a Sunday brunch to wrap everything up! I have some of my jewelry there – Just look for the purple ribbon on the tags. Click here for dates and details.

For my fellow geeks, I have to recommend the Steel City Con. You’re probably already going, but this is a great place to snap up merch from a favorite series, or get some sweet fanart. You could even give an early gift of a celebrity photo op! We’ll be there with Brian’s new book, “The Horrible Plan of Horace Pickle” in the Artist Alley. If you liked Dr. Horrible, Mystery Men, or The Red Panda, this is a book you should read. Click here for convention info, and here for book info.

Coming next week on the 10th, your party-minded friends can celebrate with you by kicking off the holiday festivities with RAWartists Holiday RAWk show! You can enjoy local dance and musical acts while browsing gorgeous local art, have drinks from the cash bar, and food from Brassero Grill. Click here to buy tickets. Tickets are $15 presale, but go up to $20 at the door!

And even though I won’t be there (I was the first Saturday) you should check out the Shop Small in Shadyside put on by the amazing I Made It! Market. There’s a few Saturdays left, and it’s great for the craft-lover on your list. Click here and support your local yinzers!

So, where am I going to see you? Let me know!

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IMI Shop Small Shadyside Wrap Up

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Yesterday’s Crowd at Shop Small in Shadyside

I Made It! Market never fails to put on a good show!

There was food, a fun atmosphere, and the space was great. I can image it was a bit challenging to get everything well-organized for a second floor event, but marketess Carrie Nardini (the creator of IMI) and her helper elves are seasoned pros and did not disappoint

PictureDon’t worry about playful little Portia and Mercedes – They both found new homes yesterday!

If you couldn’t make it out to Shadyside, that’s okay! There’s still several more weekends of it coming up. I won’t be showing there, but you’ll still be able to find a bunch more handmade goods from Pittsburgh-area artists. I don’t know if the Animal Rescue League will be there with more adoptable cuties, but you can always ask.

Speaking of supporting local artists, there’s SO MANY ways to do that here in Pittsburgh in the next few weeks; it’s awesome! In addition to all of the IMI events going on, I’m selling tickets for the RAWartists Holiday RAWk event coming up on the 10th, from 7 PM to midnight. There are more than 40 artists participating, including painters, photographers, fashion designers, bellydancers, models – The list goes on. RAW shows are always loads of fun and a great way to liven up your week!

You can buy tickets through my artist page my artist page or by sending me an email. You can even message me through our Facebook page if you like. They’re $15 if you buy them from me, and $20 at the door. I hope to see you there!

Are you Shopping Small this holiday season? What are you looking for? Let us know!

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RAW Current Wrap-Up, Upcoming Shows

If you get our newsletters, you know that I like to describe RAW Artists shows in two words – Art Party!

The Current show in Richmond, VA this past Thursday was no different. It was at the Hippodrome, which is a beautiful venue. I love the Art Deco look of the place, and the interior is just as gorgeous. Setup went well, and I finally got a chance to try out my new lighting kit! I think it looks pretty good, don’t you? Also, this is the first time Brian was able to show with me at a RAW Artists show, which was a huge help.

I decided to debut some new scarf pins there, along with a bunch of new pendant styles. I want to get them up for sale here on the site soon, but with three local shows in the next three weeks, I might be a wee crunched for time.

Speaking of, if you’re local to Pittsburgh and want to shop in person, I’ve got LOADS of opportunities for you! First off is Shop in Shadyside, which is a multi-weekend event that kicks off on November 29th, AKA Small Business Saturday. That’s when I’ll be there with my goods. Right after that is the Sweetwater Center for the Art’s Holiday mART. It’s a weeklong sale of local artists’ works, and some of my jewelry will be in the mix.

For those of you who don’t dig the craft fair or gallery scene, there’s an art party for you! Yep, I’m doing the Holiday RAWk show on December 10th. You can buy tickets for it on my artist profile page. Some people have had trouble in the past buying tickets (there’s no button, and the text is small), so here’s a handy-dandy guide for where to click on the page to get them. Like the image says, tickets are $15, but they go up to $20 at the door. There’s a cash bar where you can put that extra $5 you save to good use!

Will you Shop Small on the 29th? What are you looking to buy? Tell us!

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2014 Holiday Season Shows

The Holiday Season is upon us, so you can bet that we’ve got a bunch of shows coming up! We’re going to be BUSY.

First off, we’ve got two RAW Artists shows coming up, one this month and one in December. If you’ve never been to a RAW show before, they are nothing like your typical art show. There’s music, runway shows, films, dancers, paintings, photographers, a cash bar – It’s pretty much an art party! Tickets can be purchased through an artist’s profile page. I’m not selling tickets for the show in Richmond, but my fellow Yinzers can buy them for Holiday RAWk by sending me an email. We can use Square or PayPal, and after the Current ticket sales are over you can get them through my RAW artist profile.

November 20: Current – Richmond, VA
December 10: Holiday RAWk – Pittsburgh, PA

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I also have two other Pittsburgh events that I’ll be in, with the first happening in Shadyside on Small Business Saturday! If you’ve not heard of that, it’s the Saturday after Black Friday, and the goal is to support small, local businesses on that day in lieu of shopping at the big box stores in your area. If you’re too tired from Thanksgiving to even venture out in the days after it, that’s okay – It’s happening again later! I won’t be at the next ones, but you can support your local small biz people all the same.

November 29: I Made It! Market – Shop Small in Shadyside

If your holidays weekends are as busy as ours, you can still shop small. My work will also be in the Sweetwater Center for the Arts Holiday mART. There will be lots of other goodies there for the art lover on your list, and it runs for a whole week!

Holiday mART Info & Times In addition to our upcoming Sinclair Jewelry holiday shows, we’re even doing an event for Brian’s new book! We’re going to be at the Steel City Con with copies of his book to buy and some merchandise to go with it. It’s a three day event starting December 5th, and it’s perfect for getting your geek shopping out of the way.

Steel City Con

Go To Our Calendar Page

Hey, I said we were busy! What’re your plans this holiday season?

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