Friday, 21 November 2008

red mutha fashion fair in brighton

Guess what I've been busy doing the past few weeks? That's right! Getting ready for the RED MUTHA FASHION FAIR at FABRICA GALLERY on Duke Street, Brighton! In fact, I'm just packing up ye olde Corsa, as ver sprechen, and getting ready to drive down to set up.

In addition to all my original designer badges (buttons), which are selling like hotcakes at and red mutha, I'm introducing the new lil'Frida doll, who will be sharing center stage with the mamey beergarden doll. If I sell out, don't worry, I'll be taking orders and can get them to you within just a few days!

Original paintings, ACEOs, crumz bottlecap clips, necklaces, brooches, postcard packs, one-of-a-kind art toyz and the all new 4-colour crumzine . . . all original, handmade creations by moi, Ramey Holsman. It's cookie chang's TAKEAWAY ART!

If you're in Brighton this weekend, pop down to Fabrica Gallery and get a head start on your holiday shopping! It runs Saturday, 22 November from 10am-7pm (happy birthday, mert!); and Sunday, 23 November from 11am-5pm. 50 designers, DJs, FREE ENTRY and a bar!

And if you can't make it to Brighton (for obvious geographical reasons), visit to get'cher cookie on!

Saturday, 18 October 2008

mamey beergarden opens in brighton

kissmekwik! the mamey beergarden doll cloned herself overnight and a whole gaggle of them hopped off the stage and are now roaming the streets of brighton's kemptown! OK, maybe not the streets, but they're definitely wreaking havoc in one uber hip gift shop known as kissmekwik.

Perched amongst quirky, kitschy, queeny cards, badges, notebooks, mugs and a plethora of brilliant gifts, mamey and her beehive are in their element and ready to jump off the shelf and into your christmas stocking.

Each doll is made by hand, signed, numbered (limited edition 300) and packaged in a full-colour "takeaway" art box with a collector card and 1" mamey button (badge).

If you're not able to make it to brighton, pick one up from my etsy shop.

And if you can make it to brighton, kissmekwik is located at:
4 george street • brighton • bn2 1rh
phone: 01273 571 757
they're open
mon-fri and saturdays when they feel like it!

Monday, 6 October 2008

cookie chang in brighton & lewes

cookie chang is now in 5 shops -- 3 in Brighton and 2 in Lewes! In BRIGHTON the crumz, "keep brighton weird" and various other original designer 1" badges (buttons) are in red mutha and in the North Laines. Both are open 7 days a week, so you can get your cookie chang on whenever you're in town.

kolkata, brighton's fair trade gift shop, features cookie badges Sundays from 12-4pm during their Lazy Sunday Market.

And now the crumz are running around LEWES, getting all excited for the 5th of November -- bonfire night! may's general stores and the lewes tourist information centre are both carrying the brand new bonfire crumz badge pack, which includes a full-colour postcard, 7 full-colour bonfire crumz badges, a crumzine and free magnet -- retailing for £4.50. Whatta bargain!

These are the only two retail shops in the world where you can buy this product! But never fear, if you can't get to Lewes, East Sussex, UK and can't live without the bonfire crumz, you can purchase them at my etsy shop. Get them while they last!

=(V) <-- click the fortune cookie to buy yours today! BRIGHTON:
red mutha • 92 trafalgar street (north laines) BN1 2ER
01273 603 976 • • 22 gardener street (north laines) BN1 1UP
01273 696 935 •
kolkata • 8 grantham road (5 ways) BN1 6EE
01273 565 105 •

may's general stores • 49 cliffe high street • BN7 2AN
01273 473 787 •
lewes tourist information centre • 187 high street • BN7 2DE
01273 483 448 •

Thursday, 25 September 2008


Oops. I didn't want to, I HAD to. This is my latest listing in my etsy shop -- 1" metal button/badges telling you how I really feel. If you REALLY feel the same way, why not get some of your very own? You get 3 for $2.50 (US Dollars) + $2.40 shipping to the US or $1.00 shipping to the UK. I know that sounds like a lot, but with the exchange rate, it actually costs a little more than that to send them. To make the deal a little sweeter, if you order 2 sets (a total of 6), I won't charge for the extra postage!

Come on, you know you've been looking for a button ("badge" as they're called in the UK) that says this very thing. Wear one and share the rest with your friends. They even come on individual 4-color cards . . . and they're selling like hotcakes in Brighton! If you're in the Brighton area, visit RED MUTHA on Trafalgar in the North Laines, or KOLKATA at 8 Grantham Road (BN1 6EE) on Sundays from 12-4pm. I might even be there chatting with Mariana or Maria or Siobhan!
=(V) <-- click the fortune cookie to view this item in my etsy shop!

Friday, 12 September 2008

cookie in kolkata!

There's a wonderful gift store nestled in a cute little neighborhood a few streets north of the London Road Railway Station in Brighton. Located at 8 Grantham Road, BN1 6EE, Kolkata features handmade, fair-trade products including: clothing, jewelry, embroidered cards and tiny key chain bags, hats, toys and paintings from Kolkata India.

And now, on Sundays from 12-4pm,
Kolkata is welcoming a handful of artists and craftspeople from the surrounding Brighton area (many from etsy) to sell their handmade wares in the Lazy Sunday Market – and that, mes amis, will include cookie chang!

At the moment I'll be displaying my 1" crumz and "keep brighton weird" badges (pin back buttons), as well as my zine, meet the crumz – a B&W, 16 page story of cookie chang, featuring each crumz' profile. But soon I hope to include a few more items – postcards, aceos, crumz bottlecap clips and dolls!

If you're in the neighborhood, stop by and say, "Hey!" to owner Siobhan and the ever-charming Mariana and Maria. And If you can't make it to Brighton, visit my etsy shop and check out the goods for yourself!

Tuesday, 26 August 2008

boletus not into temptation

I know I seem to be bouncing between cookie news and fungal reports from the Ashdown Forest a lot lately. And I realize there isn't an obvious connection between the two -- except for, well, me. But don't I at least get a few points for consistent inconsistency?

Either way, we had a fantastic day of picking yesterday! Our friend Paul joined us for his first foray into the vegetarian version of hunting . . . and he showed us both up by finding the first porcini (boletus edulis) of the season -- fabulous!

I got a nice little handful of hedgehogs (hydnum repandum), a smaller handful still of chanterelle buttons (cantharellus cibarius) I'd hidden under leaves to mature from my last harvest a few days ago, and a bagful of bay boletes (xerocomus badius)!

In fact, after lunch at a nearby pub (mushroomer's code of secrecy prohibits me from disclosing this location), we said goodbye to Paul, who had to get back to London, and I drove kpie and poppy home, then headed back out to pick for another four hours.

Needless to say, we had a wild mushroom risotto FEAST last night! OH YAH! =(V)

Wednesday, 20 August 2008

cookie chang and red mutha

YOO HOO!!! cookie has her first retail outlet! That's right, folks, if you've got a hankering for some cookie chang badges ("buttons" to my stateside peeps) and you're any where near 92 Trafalgar Street in Brighton, then git yer bum into RED MUTHA and scream, "I NEED COOKIE!!!!" You might even get lucky and meet Red herself. She's da bomb – and the shop is as chock full of gorgeous "one-off, customised, recycled garments for those who dare to wear them!" Plus loads of other great stuff . . . now including cookie chang badges! Likewise, check out red mutha's myspace page . . . hey, while you're at it, check out cookie's myspace too!

Priced at just 60p for one or 2 for £1, you can kit out your bags, shirts, hats, coats, ties,
knickers, shoes and anything else that takes your fancy with these little 1" babies.

If you're a little too far from Brighton to visit RED MUTHA and gotta get your cookie on, visit my etsy shop to buy them online! I'll be listing them all in the next couple of days . . .

Here's a peek at just a few of the designs . . .

(Shout out to Mariana for contacting Red Mutha in the first place!)

Tuesday, 12 August 2008

shrooomin' august!

I know I should be really disappointed that the weather has been so crappy in the southeast corner of the UK, like . . . for the entire SUMMER. But I just can't be! 1.) I don't really like hot weather and get far too sticky and grouchy; and 2.) It's brought out the only thing that rivals my obsession with making art and cookie chang . . . MUSHROOMS!!!!!

So this morning when I took Poppy to the Ashdown Forest I figured I'd slog through the mud on our loop while she chased creatures up trees and rolled in any number of suspiciously stinky spots on the trail. And that's how it was going . . . until I spotted a very familiar little glimmer on the embankment to my left. CHANTERELLES!!!!

Now this is my third mushroom season here in
Jolly Olde, and I have only ever found a tiny handful of these little golden nuggets. I have to face facts that it will never be the same as the deep old growth Hemlock, Spruce and Douglas Firs of Oregon where I could easily trek out with 10 pounds of Pacific Golden Chanterelles (cantharellus formosus) on my back. But I gotta make do with what we have on our doorstep here . . . .

. . . and what we do seem to have in abundance is hedgehog mushrooms -- hydnum repandum! (Sounds like something Harry Potter might say.) And they are as delicious as chanterelles -- if not a little more meaty and equally exciting to find!

When I spotted these little guys on a leaf
covered knoll, I thought at first they were older, faded chanterelles. But having found my first hedgehog mushroom last year, I've since learned they are often mistaken for one another. Either way, I was ecstatic with the find -- two handfuls! "That will make a nice, nutty addition to our dinner tonight," I thought.

But as I tromped deeper into the woods, following the stream Poppy was happily submerging herself in, I stumbled upon the MOTHERLOAD! This photo doesn't even show them all. Rather than a "nice little addition" to our meal, pied de mouton will be the main course!


Thursday, 24 July 2008

cookie at brighton's west pier market

I haven't made any new posts lately because I've been very busy for the past two months getting cookie ready to launch down at Brighton's West Pier Market. After a very blustery weekend and a failed attempt last Saturday, I checked the Met Office for Brighton's weather forecast, packed the car up and headed down bright and early yesterday morning. With just a light breeze off the sea and the sun poking through the mist, I set up my stand with the beautiful, eerie skeleton of Brighton's West Pier as a backdrop.

OK, so I didn't make a fortune (cookie) -- which may have been a little anticlimactic -- but what made up for it were the amazing PEOPLE I met. And to me, that was everything. My neighbor stall owners were helpful, encouraging, friendly and very welcoming.

Though the weather was stunning, there weren't a lot of people down on the pier, and everyone agreed it was a particularly slow day but that I shouldn't let it discourage me from coming back. Who knows, maybe it had something to do with it being a Wednesday, or maybe people were just shocked that we finally had a summer's day in England and it took them a while to remember where the beach was.

Either way, I'm not judging anything from just one day. I'll be back down on Saturday! (Let's be realistic, if everyone had an office space like this, that wouldn't be a very difficult decision to make, would it?)

Friday, 13 June 2008

Lady Day

Just did this today -- oil stick and pencil on board. I'm not sure why I keep painting Billie Holiday, but every few years she just pops up.

I guess I can think of worse things to do with my time...

(image ©2008 ramey n. holsman)

Friday, 6 June 2008

Viva Frida! (and Shrinky Dinks!)

In May, mel.e sent me a packet of Shrinky Dinks for my birthday. (I'd requested them because my stash was left behind when I moved from the US to the UK almost three years ago.) So this week, while kpie was away on biz, I indulged in a few late nights with a pile 'o art supplies spread out over the coffee table and reacquainted myself with Shrinky Dinks.

"Viva Frida!" is my ode to my favorite grrl artist ever -- Frida Kahlo. I drew her with a fine line Sharpie on the glossy side, then had to think "backwards" when shading and coloring on the sanded side with colored pencils. I'm quite pleased with the outcome! Frida's mounted on two wooden dominoes which I've glued together. I used wood filler on the sides, then sanded and painted acrylics and gel pens (another gift from mel.e).

I ordered a good handful of milagros from in San Antonio and included the little silver flaming heart, so when you wear this necklace, Frida's heart beats next to yours . . . ahhhh.

Up next will be "Fighting Basquiat," my tribute to Jean Michel Basquiat -- hands down, my favorite boy artist ever. The Shrinky Dink part is done, but the rest is still rattling around in my noggin. Inspiration . . . .

Tuesday, 3 June 2008

NEW! crumfiti uk POSTCARD & BADGE pack!

check it out!
Includes: all 7 crumfiti postcards, 1 crumz badge (pin-back button)
and FREE MAGNET in a glossy, 4-color pack ...are you kidding?
Get yours today!

Thursday, 22 May 2008

hapa rules!

I just have to take a minute to give a huge shout out to Mike and Nancy who sent me the most amazing gift today. part asian • 100% hapa is an inspired creation by kip fulbeck. It's a 262 page book of portraits of "hapas" and their corresponding, hand-written answers to the question, "What are you?"

For those of you who don't know what "hapa" is, it's described on kip's website
as: "Once a derogatory label derived from the Hawaiian word for “half,” Hapa has since been embraced as a term of pride by many whose mixed racial heritage includes Asian or Pacific Island descent."

Being a hapa myself (dad's Korean, mom's Irish/Scottish) and growing up as a child in the 60s-70s, I never dreamed I would see a book like this! And you know what? My reaction was something I neither expected, nor could control. I cried. I even laughed at myself for crying . . . while crying.

Now I don't particularly view myself as being a "wounded individual" for having experienced racism in my life -- or for never fitting in as one race or the other. I've always marched to the BWWONG of my own gong -- so to speak. And besides, my parents always, always told my sisters and me to be proud of w
ho we are. I guess my reaction to opening this book and immediately knowing the language Kip used, seeing the faces of my fellow tribe of hapas and reading their quirky, insightful, poetic answers to the question, "What are you?" touched the core of ME and who I AM.

Yeah, I guess that's why I cried. Seeing the faces of my fellow tribe of hapas and knowing I can finally tick one box.

Now I realize I started this blog to "blab" or "blag" about and cookie's crumz and all the art projects I've been working on and everything you can buy at . . . so I'm going to wrap this up by reminding you why there's a cookie chang in the first place. It's nothing mind-blowing or earth-shattering. I just liked the name. And because "cookie" and "chang" go together like, well, Irish and Korean!

Anyway, one last little plug for this book . . . even if you aren't hapa, you're gonna know one. BUY THIS BOOK for yourself or the hapa in your life! They're on and and I'm sure at plenty of local bookstores.

I loved this grrl'z answer to "What are you?"

"I am a monster! Raa! And I have a pet dragon (quail). Well . . . I'm actually a Pepsi Twist. No. I'm a dark, dark black hole that sucks the universe. I'm an alien! (With pink sneakers!!)

hapa rules!!!!!

Saturday, 10 May 2008

cookie chang MAGNETS join the BRIGHTON FESTIVAL!!!

I got up early this morning to drive down to Brighton. My mission? To disperse FREE cookie chang MAGNETS!! The Brighton Festival is happening through May, so it only seemed fitting that free magnets advertising my handmade art be an unofficial part of this amazing month-long festival devoted to visual and performing arts!

So did you find one? I left them on magnetic friendly surfaces all over the North Laines. In fact I'm here right now, drinking a faaabulous cup o' joe, looking down Kensington Street, where this photo was taken.

If you found one in your shop and would like to carry my products or artwork, leave me a comment and I will gladly contact you.

If you're not a shop owner and found one on the street, please leave a comment as well. I'd love to know where you found yours.

And please don't forget to visit my etsy shop: Don't be put off by the US dollar pricing. Paypal will convert it for you. Besides, the dollar sucks right now, so you can basically halve the price ($8.00 = £4.00). That means REALLY GOOD DEALS on ORIGINAL HANDMADE ART and art byproducts.  

OK, now on to the seafront to leave the rest of my magnets . . . . Maybe I'll see you down there? 
Could it have been any more gorgeous today? mel.e took in some sites:
Prickly Prunella grabbed some rays:
Mamey Beergarden checked out the Royal Pavilion:
. . . and hit an all-time low in the loo. Oh Mamey, ya gotta stop cheatin' yourself!

Wednesday, 7 May 2008

Chicken of the Woods in May. Heh?

I couldn't believe my eyes yesterday as Poppy and I walked through the woods just down from our house in East Grinstead. There, on a muddy little stream bank, lay a log teaming with fresh, juicy Chicken of the Woods (laetiporus sulphureous)! Translated, this means MUSHROOMS! On May 6th? Who knew?

The earliest I've found them in Oregon was late late summer. But mostly I've found them in the autumn while picking Chanterelles (cantharellus cibarius). I guess like most similarities between the US and UK, you just have to tweak a little here and twist a little there to fit one into the other. (Well, kinda sorta.) At least we share many of the same edible species.

Poor Poppy. She thought she was on her way to chase squirrels up trees all afternoon. But as soon as I spied this log (where I'd seen little orange blobs only a week before), I flipped us around and back up the tree-lined incline home for the camera, a paper bag and my brand new Carluccio's Mushroom Knife  -- an inspired birthday present from our wonderful friends Janne and Christine!

Is it not just the sexiest mushroom knife ever? And the only thing more exciting than finding Chicken of the Woods at the beginning of May was using it for the first time! Was it actually Antonio Carluccio who designed this masterpiece? I don't know, but it's brilliant! Brush, blade and little tweezers -- all in one perfectly balanced, wood-handled tool . . . and that rhymes with COOL.

And now back to the laetiporus sulphureous . . . . When discovering these mushrooms in the past, I'd have to trim only the outer edges, leaving the tough and chewy majority on the stump. Not these babies. They were moist and springy and, well, perfect really!

Now all I have to do is decide how to cook them.

Monday, 5 May 2008

what the...

I wish these people would stop pestering me to post their videos! I agreed to do it initially because I thought they needed a creative outlet (plus I felt a little sorry for them -- for obvious reasons), but now it's getting downright creepy. 


Some people really shouldn't be allowed passports. Can I get an "amen?"

Saturday, 3 May 2008

bday toys

The amazing kpie just gave me the most gorgeous birthday present! (A MACBOOK!) I neither expected, nor deserved it . . . but am eternally thankful and vow to continue my creative quest with ultimate fervor! 

In addition to faaaabulous programs like CS3, Flash, Dreamweaver, etc. (with which I will be spending a considerable amount of time reacquainting myself -- and learning), it also has a very dangerous little application called Photo Booth. Really, you can tell me to stop anytime . . . .

Thursday, 1 May 2008


What the hell? I feel like a cow drifting down a never- ending stream of molasses- consciousness and honey-bunches-of-freudian-oats . . . or something weird like that. Just when I thought blogspot was the last networky, bloggy, shoppy, websitey thing I was going to do to promote my art, etsy goes and sends me an email saying that there's this site. mooooooo . . . gotta git me some a dem oats . . . .

Hey, but you know what? I dig me some etsy folk! And are there some talented peeps out there, or what? I even made friends with some of them. (Awww.)

OK, so I did spend the entire day messing around with my profile format instead of cutting out magnets and signing ACEOs, but as you can see, I was able to fit in an hour+ walk with little ms. poppy pants -- who can't be more tuckered out!

So, go check out the site and my profile! And, um, if you're reading this at blogspot first, just pretend you didn't notice that I'm plagiarizing myself by running this in both places.

Wednesday, 30 April 2008

street magnets! a kinda "how-to"

I lied when I said that I haven't done ANYTHING to market my cookie chang products. Last fall I had this idea to do what the crumz were already doing -- graffiti. But, being a 42 year old woman in a new country, I thought it might not be too smart to get busted drawing on public buildings . . . and anyway, what the crumz are doing is "virtual crumfiti" not "actual graffiti."

So I said to myself, "Self, what if you could leave your mark around town without actually defacing property?" And what magically popped into my head? MAGNETS!

Being a natural cheapo-minded artist, I fit a bunch of 1" circular designs on an A4 page, printed it out on my inkjet printer, painstakingly cut out little "" labels to affix to the back of each, laminated the page, cut each out with my 1" circle punch and stuck a little magnet to the backs. Fantastic idea, right? Uh, not in rainy olde England is wasn't!

One beautiful sunny day kpie and I put them up all over Lewes and Brighton. I skipped home, certain that the next day I would check my web stats and find thousands of new hits! Well, I did get a few extra from my efforts . . . until it rained . . . and rained and rained. When it finally let up I scoured the places we'd put them, only to find soggy, smeared paper and peeling lamination.

Now, several months later, I've discovered a better way . . . and I want to share it! I've been getting postcards and ACEOs printed online at (or for several months now. They're all over the world and well-known for their free business cards. You can get 250 for free, but apparently they have vistaprint info on the back. Smart marketing on their part! But if you're like me, you want the thrill of seeing ONLY your designs on printed material.

So I got on their mailing list. They send one promo a day -- all advertising FREE products. Now if I've learned one thing in this lifetime, it's that nothing is FREE. But sometimes you can get a damn good deal if you pay attention!

Get on vistaprint's mailing list and take the time to look at the promos when you need something printed. Some of the postcard offers give you free uploads, free B&W printing on the backs and free glossy finishes. If you're willing to wait 21 days, you'll only end up paying £3.70 + VAT for 100 standard postcards.

I digress. We're talking about MAGNETS, not postcards. But the idea is the same. Vistaprint's magnets are 4-colour process on vinyl magnet sheets and don't fall to bits when it rains! I spent considerably more than £3.70 + VAT, but did some work to make sure I got 6 different designs on the large size (same size as the standard postcard), and cut them out with an x-acto knife. Voila! 100 sheets magically became 600 bright, colourful magnets which advertise my etsy site and my website! Easy peasy! The whole thing cost me £65.00 . . . but are FREE to you if you find one.

Now all you have to do is look for them on the streets! The crumz are busy putting them up from Seattle to Portland to Brighton to Lewes . . . to a metallic urban surface near you! Let me know where you found yours.