Thursday, 10 September 2009

grouchy pink grrl makes an etsy treasury!

Uh-oh, uh-oh, Punky Brewster, we'll always be the best of frie-ends...

Hey, I haven't thought about Punky in . . . forever! But Britt ( has and she's put together an adorable etsy treasury of items she thinks "could be for a modernized Punky Brewster," including my very own grouchy pink grrl sweatband (which you can purchase here)!

Thanks Britt! =(V)

Saturday, 20 June 2009 makes a top five!

Cheers Melissa Carter (! She listed as her top five etsy shops! Have a look HERE.

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

follow the carrot brick road . . .

Spring done sprung! To celebrate, kpie and I are putting up a new fence in our garden, painting older fence panels and gates . . . and making garden art. Here's the first of what I hope will be several to liven up our porch and garden area.

I'm currently painting several coats of clear acrylic to weatherize this painting -- which, in a former life, was a cabinet front. I primed it with a flat latex (emulsion), sketched out a basic design with a Sharpie (the garden theme accidentally bounced out); then painted it with acrylics, oil sticks and ink. I'll be securing it to a fence post along the porch to break up the panels.

It measures 23"x27" and I'm calling it, Follow the Carrot Brick Road. More to follow!

all images ©copyright ramey n. holsman

Thursday, 21 May 2009

instructions for your hand-painted art patch

Thank you for purchasing your very own hand-painted, original ART PATCH by me, Ramey Holsman (aka cookie chang)! I'm repeating the instructions that came on the label and adding some aftercare tips here . . .

IRON-ON INSTRUCTIONS: Always pre-wash clothing
(t-shirt, coat, trousers) before adhering art patch. DO NOT USE fabric softener. Hats and bags may be a little more tricky to wash, just make sure the item is clean or new. The iron-on backing is "HeatnBond Ultrahold," and states it will adhere to most surfaces.

1. Peel off backing paper.

2. Position on desired material, adhesive side down.

3. Place clean, blank paper (bond works best), on top of patch and firmly press pre-heated iron (WOOL, low setting, no steam) for 8-10 seconds. Allow to cool before testing. If a corner or side is not properly attached, press iron down for another few seconds and allow to cool before testing again.

After properly ironing on your art patch, you want to take care of it so it lasts! All of my art patches are hand painted with fabric paints and inks, then heat fixed for permanency -- which means you can machine wash them, but make sure it is always COLD water, then line dry. (The adhesive is heat sensitive, so if you put it in a hot dryer, the adhesive will heat as well and the patch will most likely fall off.)

Often when you take the item of clothing out of the wash, the art patch may well look like this -- all wrinkly (sometimes even more than shown):

That's OK. Gently flatten it by hand as best as you can, then set your iron on WOOL (one notch over is fine):

Place a clean piece of white paper over the top of your art patch. Regular bond works best:

Once your iron is heated, firmly press for approximately 3-5 seconds. This will flatten the patch and strengthen the adhesive bond. DO NOT iron the patch without a clean piece of paper between the iron and patch.

Don't over do it on the time. Just iron long enough to flatten out the patch, then line dry as usual -- no dryers! Your art patch should last and last . . .

And of course, be sure to check often to see what new creations are waiting there for you!

Friday, 17 April 2009

a gorse is a gorse of course of course . . .

The proverbial "they" say you learn something new every day. I'm not sure if that's true for all 365 days of the year, but I'm pretty pleased with what I learned today. Or rather, what I put into action after learning last night.

As my past posts will tell you, I jump back and forth between art and wild mushrooms here. More art than wild mushrooms – mainly due to the tiny seasonal window of picking opportunities. But this spring my foraging eyes have lifted off the ground and followed my nose up a few feet to one of the sweetest smells in the Ashdown Forest – and one that certainly baffled this Pacific Northwest grrl's nose the first time I smelled it.

"What is that?" sniff sniff. "Coconuts?" sniff. Honey?" sniff sniff. "Citrus-Flower-Coconut-Grass? WHAT IS THAT SMELL?!"

Then my nose led me to the prettiest bright yellow flowers growing amongst . . . the scariest looking thorny leaves I have ever seen! But of course I felt compelled to find out if they tasted as wonderful as they smelled.

So I discovered a wonderful site last night whilst searching out information on GORSE FLOWERS! It's called which I've bookmarked for future foraging information. They had a delightfully simple and fresh gorse flower cordial recipe that had me up and moving early this morning preparing to gather enough of the little yellow flowers to make a double batch of the stuff.

So today I picked GORSE FLOWERS . . . in the pouring rain and serenaded by a lone cuckoo (the first I've heard this Spring). I filled a 12 litre bucket about a fifth of the way up with flowers and snacked on a few in between snagging my fingers on the sharp thorny leaves. Once I got the hang of it, it was pretty easy and only took about 40 minutes for 8 good sized handfuls.

The recipe was extremely easy to follow (check it out) and I've ended up with more than a litre (double recipe) – some of which I've made into ice cubes for easy storage . . . and for experimenting over the next few weeks! I'm thinkin' martini?

Meanwhile, I'm finishing off a sublime glass of ice cold gorse flower cordial and sparkling water (1 part cordial to 4 parts water). It is the perfect spring tonic! If you're lucky enough to have gorse growing nearby I highly recommend trying it yourself.

(NOTE: Always make sure you know exactly what you're picking before you put it in your mouth!)

Saturday, 28 March 2009

art patches – the moving gallery

My most recent project started after trying my hand at screen printing. I did a couple large designs, but will get back to them once I've made a little more room in my studio. The process got me thinking on the lines of wearable art. What I came up with were these little art patches!

First I do really quick pencil sketches on raw canvas. I never know what cheeky little characters are going to pop out! And in fact, some of these sketches have become designs for my larger t-shirt patches:

Next, I draw the outlines with this wonderful glass pen – last year's birthday gift from my friends Jacky and Rachel. (Thank you so much! I love it.) It's perfect for drawing on canvas with a water-based fabric paint:

Then I fill in the backgrounds with white. I use a combination of my glass pen and a brush:

Next, the colors go in! I use a combination of fabric paints and inks:

After heat-fixing the paintings with an iron (low heat for 4 minutes), I sew around each edge, cut them out and over-lock the edges. The final step is ironing a fabric adhesive on the back. The backing paper peels off and the patch can be ironed on to any clean fabric (without fabric softener). I was thrilled to find they adhered perfectly to sweatbands!

You can purchase this one now in my etsy shop

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

gO!bama! new products on etsy

Hey hey! We've got a new President today! I'll be watching the whole Inauguration do on BBC1 in just a couple hours . . . but before that, I had to post my newest items at

To mark this very special occasion, I've created gO!bama buttons (badges) and you can mix and match from six different colors.

Also, check out my "have a dream" buttons, featuring my digital illustrations of Barack Obama and Martin Luther King, Jr.

Now, you could probably live without these, but why would you want to? Especially when it's such a great deal! I mean, where else can you buy 3 high quality, handmade, 1" metal pinback buttons with full-color, laminated, original designs such as these for only $2.50? Well, of course!

Happy Inauguration Day 2009 and congratulations to the 44th President of the US of A!

Sunday, 11 January 2009

mert hoody doll on etsy treasury with banksy!

Hey, just a quick THANK YOU to Isabelle ( for including my mert hoody doll with crumfiti action pack in her fabulous treasury! You can only view it HERE 'til Monday, 12 January 2009. But if you don't make it by then, at least have a look at this screen shot -- note I'm on the same page as banksy. Whoop whoop! =(V)

Friday, 9 January 2009

NEW ITEMS on etsy!

Yo yo. After a wonderful visit with my famdamily in the Portland area, and Christmas, Boxing Day and the New Year back in Jolly Old England, I'm back in the proverbial cookie chang saddle and ready to rock 'n roll!

When I returned, just before Christmas, I came back to a huge button (badge) order from Seems Claudia has a penchant for selling the "holy cow" out of cookie chang 1 inch badges, so orders are coming in fast and furious!

The biggest sellers, by far, have been my KEEP BRIGHTON WEIRD line -- including the Brighton PAVILION and WEST PIER designs. Now I'm not sure why I waited so long to put them up in my etsy shop, but they're there now, so order away! (Mix and match 3 for $2.50 + shipping.) You can also contact me if you're interested in wholesale pricing to carry them in your store.

The other great sellers have been my illustrated high top badges. What a bargain -- 4 buttons for $3.30 + shipping! And, as ever, my fond fare thee well to RESIDENT Bush have been selling off the shelves. Get yours today so you're proudly wearing one when he finally vacates the White House and OBAMA strides in! (3 for $2.50 + shipping)

And finally . . . last, but not least, I send a shout out to my main mama -- FRIDA KAHLO!!! the lil' frida LIMITED EDITION DOLL is now available! She comes complete with a full-color, handmade takeaway box, lil' frida doll 1" badge and collector card -- all for $22.00 + shipping.

All my dolls are ON SALE right now in my etsy shop. Have a little gander!

Happy New Year! =(V)