Holiday Handmade Cards!

The holidays are coming up quickly, but you still have time to create and send out your own handmade holiday cards! We're happy to introduce our first of many craft videos to show you our step by step process for creating your own unique holiday card set. This video with our store owner Nicole Northway will show you how to line envelopes, emboss, and more! This process is fun, quick, and perfect for crafters of any experience level. We've also added some additional holiday card designs below to get you thinking of a design that will make all who receive your card feel festive!

photo (9)

photo (8)

photo (7)

If you don't have supplies at home for your holiday cards? Stop by One Strange Bird to pick them up, or join us for our Holiday Handmade Cards class or choose from any of our other holiday themed art classes. Stay tuned for more holiday crafts and video tutorials!

Handmade Holiday Crafts!

Happy Handmade Holidays!  Here is one of many great Holiday Craft Projects we have created to spread holiday cheer.  We will be releasing craft tutorials throughout the whole month of December.  If you are in Chicago, check out our holiday class page and come visit us to craft in our inspirational studio.  These beautiful photographs were taken by the lovely Madeline Northway Photography. Here are some lovely holiday themed terrariums Nicole Northway created.  These are great center pieces for your table or wonderful on your fireplace mantle! These specific ones are for sale at One Strange Bird at 2124 W. Division Street in Chicago's Wicker Park neighborhood.

Christmas Terrarium

Here are the ingredients: Vintage holiday toys, bottle brush trees (new or vintage), white, blue, and natural colored sand, pebbles, glitter, Christmas themed floral picks, and glass containers.

I got all of my supplies from JoAnne fabric.  It is my favorite go-to place for inspiration.  To make the terrariums follow these easy steps below:

Christmas Terrariums

1. Choose your glass container.  You can find them really cheap at the Dollar Tree or at local Thrift Stores.

2. Begin with a layer of sand.  Shake your sand to one side of the other to create unique angled patterns.  After about an inch or two, change sand colors.  You can use just blue and white or more natural colors like the first picture.

3. Leave about 1-3 inches at the top of your container.  This will depend on how tall your "trees" are.

4. Start to sculpt your Winter Wonderland by placing your bottle brush trees under the top layer of sand.

5. Cut up your holiday floral elements and stick them into the sand to add some pops of color, add in your vintage figurines, and add any other little elements.

6. Sprinkle a little glitter to be your "snow" and you have your winter wonderland!

Stay tuned for next week's post: Terrarium Ornaments!

Artist Interview: Nicolette Ross

Nicolette Ross is an amazing artist who has been with One Strange Bird since 2011. She received her BFA in Printmaking and Books Arts from the University of Central Florida and her MFA in Interdisciplinary Fine Arts from Washing University in St. Louis. Nicolette works in a variety of media including printmaking, woodcutting, bookmaking, drawing, and painting. Her work combines natural elements and images that draw viewers in and make them want to look closer at the beautiful textures she creates. Nicolette's classes, such as printmaking on fabric or bookmaking, allow students to get an in depth look at a new medium from an extremely skilled artist. Screen Shot 2013-08-03 at 1.38.45 PM

What is your name?

Nicolette Ross

 What’s your favorite color?


 What’s your current studio jam?

anything Ween (when I want to get my silly on in the studio), or Pelican for those long days of rockin it out.

Who’s art are you digging lately?

I am really digging street-artist Sirus Fountain’s graphic wheat pastes that have been popping up around Chicago. Its always exciting when I happen upon one of his new pieces. Cheers to him!!

What’s on your summer reading list?

Of Wolves and Men by Barry Holstun Lopez & Freedom by Johnathan Franzin.

What’s your favorite place in Chicago?

I love Small Bar Logan Square and Mirabell German Restaurant in Avondale for great beers and grub! I also love Harmony House Cat Shelter. I volunteer there as much as I can, and the endless furry hugs are priceless.

What’s your hidden talent?

This is a tough one for me. I guess I have the outstanding ability to ignore conversation that I do not care to be a part of? haha I wish I had more hidden talents!

 What’s your favorite YouTube video?

Frankenstein Cat and Frankenstein Cat-2 

 What is your favorite class to teach and/or what class would you like to take?

I love teaching Handprinted Fabric! My students love the simplicity of the process and always go away with something that they can use for a variety of future projects. The possibilities are endless.

Okay, let’s get serious…

What’s role at One Strange Bird?

I have been with One Strange Bird since they opened in 2011 as a bookbinding and printmaking instructor. I had just moved to Chicago when Nicole made me a part of the OSB family, and I am grateful to her for giving me a chance. Watching OSB grow into what it has become is super exciting!

Screen Shot 2013-08-03 at 1.36.38 PM

How would you describe your artwork?

My current work is a series of hand-carved woodcuts and ink/acrylic drawings. I take a lot of inspiration from vintage instructional illustration and patterns in nature.

How does your art relate to your work at One Strange Bird and vice versa?

I am a trained printmaker and bookbinder, and I tend to teach the basics of both of these mediums at One Strange Bird. Teaching the basics to my students at OSB, allows me to revisit my roots and reconsider new ways to utilize my skills as an artist.

What type of art do you want to try?

I recently was given the opportunity to work outside with textile weaving. I would love to explore large scale public works that incorporate weaving and print processes.

Screen Shot 2013-08-03 at 1.36.31 PM

What publication do you see yourself in a few years from now?

I want to make my own publications and feature my fellow hardworking artist friends and colleagues. We all deserve to be seen and understood! yay!

We are so excited to show Nicolette Ross' work! See her pieces in person tonight at the opening reception for "We're All In This Together," from 6:00-9:00 and be sure to check her website.