When it comes to Twitter, either you “get it”, or you don’t. For those who haven’t joined the flock, Twitter seems like a colossal waste of time. To the uninitiated, the four-year-old micro-blogging site is full of people with nothing better to do talking about what they had for breakfast and other pointless minutia. Most users, however, see it as much more than that. Sure, there are plenty of tweets about “nothing”, but there’s plenty of good information and fun to be had, too; that just depends on who you choose to follow. Most of the people that I follow are using it to network, stay in touch with friends, promote their products (or themselves) and, in some cases, just to be cute, clever or funny. I like to say that I’m there for all of that, but really, let’s be honest…it’s all about the shopping.
In the world of DIY, the “I” stands for just about everything; from making to marketing. Social networking sites like Twitter give makers a cheap (read: free) platform for promoting their products, keeping up with the trends, and connecting directly with their customers. Savvy sellers can list a product in their shop and instantly promote it to their followers and, in some cases, their followers’ followers, too. That’s how I first found out about Jen Mullen’s shop Tiny Art by J Mullin. I was scrolling through tweets one day and came across a “retweet” about a sale on Jen’s fabulous chair collages. Two or three clicks later, and I was the proud owner of “In My Place”. (What can I say…they had me at “sale”.) Since then, I have been a huge fan of Jen’s work, like the piece above, and a loyal follower on Twitter. You can follow her, too: twitter.com/jennifermullin.
Reclaim, reuse, recycle…retweet? Thanks to Twitter, we have a fourth “R” in our vocabulary and Katherine of reiter8 does it all. Her shop is filled with a fun and eco-friendly collection of unique accessories upcycled from reclaimed sailboat sails. Her pillows, like the ones pictured above, are a fabulous way to add a touch of sporty, summery style to your home or cottage. And, if you have sails that you are looking to get rid of (don’t we all?), you can donate them to Katherine and she’ll send you a tote in return! Check out Katherine’s tweets and retweets at: twitter.com/reiter8.
Casey of IKC Designs has a shop full of some of the coolest, upcycled goods I’ve ever come across. Cleverly finding new uses for everything from valve knobs to vintage trophy figures, Casey makes pieces that all share a fresh, uncomplicated aesthetic and a modern appeal. Staying up-to-date with the latest from the IKC Designs shop is as easy as going to twitter.com/ikcdesign and clicking “follow”.
Tracy Melton’s tree ring paintings (above) are each a little slice of awesome. Tracy uses a chainsaw to cut each one from a dead elm tree, then carefully sands, clear-coats, paints and clear-coats again to produce her beautiful, one-of-a-kind pieces. The paintings are sold in sets of three, but Tracy encourages customers who visit the Focus Line Art shop to buy more than one set to create their own unique assemblage. I, for one, probably wouldn’t need much convincing; like Twitter, I think collecting Tracy’s paintings would quickly become addictive. Follow Tracy into the woods via her Twitter feed: twitter.com/tracymeltonart.
I love to read tweets by artists and artisans who are passionate about their work. Taryn of Talking Squid is no exception. Twitter gives you 140 characters to get your message across, but Taryn manages to create excitement in less than half of that. Of course, when you see her rugs, you see why! At first glance, you’ll want one for your home, but when you find out that each one is made up of strips of super-soft t-shirt fabric, you’ll want to sink your toes into one…stat! Follow Taryn to get the scoop on all of the exciting news (and deals!) from the Talking Squid studios: twitter.com/talkingsquid.
Shopping aside, the thing that I love most about following artisans on Twitter is getting a peek into the “behind the scenes” stuff. In addition to marketing their goods, my favourite tweeters keep it interesting by giving their followers little glimpses into their lives, too. I hope that you’ll get to know this week’s featured sellers by visiting their shops and following them on Twitter. And, while you’re at it, you can follow me, too: twitter.com/zenbecca.
Ok, back to shopping…are you dying to know where to get a handmade Twitter coffee mug, like the ones pictured above and at the top of this article? Look no further! They are available at Mug Revolution and can be customized with your very own Twitter name. How cool is that? For a peek into potter Owen’s world, you can follow the mug-maker himself at (not surprisingly): twitter.com/mugmkr.