Monday, September 5, 2011

TCDIY: A visit to Madam Chino's Look Nook | ThirdCoast Digest

TCDIY: A visit to Madam Chino's Look Nook | ThirdCoast Digest

Third Coast Digest article photo by Carly Rubach

This article is written by Carly Rubach. Carly is not a native Milwaukeean, perhaps that is why she doesn't take quirky Milwaukee events such as my weekly craft nights experience for granted, and broke out of her curious little shell. The same curiousity that brought her to travel in the first place, landed her right at the LOOK NOOK!

Read what she wrote and let her teach you the techniques of {CHOP TOP!} pony beads and ladder weaves.

TCDIY: A visit to Madam Chino's Look Nook | ThirdCoast Digest

"I met Vanessa Andrew when she kindly offered up her space and skills for the 2011 Etsy Craft Party in Milwaukee. I arrived early to the Brewer’s Hill warehouse just off Pleasant St., climbed a few flights of stairs and found myself in a tight, imaginative space. I felt like a woodland creature in a whimsical paper forest.

The storefront section is filled with vintage and handmade goods, the walls are covered in painted foliage and several shelves of fabric lead you into the office/chill area. We set up tables covered with cutting mats and supplies in the dim hallway, lit by a few spotlights.

I put out snacks while Vanessa used black permanent marker and brown craft paper to create a rug for the small space off the hallway. She was looking for a way to tie the room together and she totally nailed it. Who does that?

What struck me most about Vanessa was her willingness to share not only her ideas, but her supplies and equipment as well. Each Saturday, she hosts a Craft Night in her space. Some nights, you bring items to work with, and other nights she’ll have everything you need. One evening, for example, involved pieces of sliced tree limbs and wood burning tools—Vanessa guides you through techniques and encourages spontaneity in the process.

I attended my first craft night last week for the “Choptop” pony beads and ladder weave edition. I brought a few beers, an old Neil Young concert tee and we circled up on the floor and got to work. Vanessa casually taught us the ladder-weave technique, and we zoned out to creative la-la land with some sweet tunes to keep everyone humming along.

“How could there only be five of us here?” I kept thinking in my brain. Wake up Milwaukee! Craft Nights at Madam Chino’s Look Nook are the bee’s knees. Meet people who like to make stuff. What have you got to lose?

Check out the latest Craft Night calendar and find more information here. The Look Nook store hours vary, so feel free to check out Madam Chino’s Etsy page in the meantime, or visit her on Saturdays at the Eastside Green Market from 10 a.m.- 2 p.m."
-Carly Rubach

xx, madam chino

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