Saturday, January 29, 2011

This printed today on the front page of our local paper!

NEW ALBANY — The Dandy Lion could be mistaken for a Bardstown Road or Frankfort Avenue boutique, as inside the shop the shelves and racks are lined with handcrafted jewelry, locally designed clothes and somewhat obscure trinkets.

But 26-year-old twin sisters Ani and Ali Tucker desired to bring their business to their native city, so instead of Louisville, The Dandy Lion launched in August at 310 Bank St. in downtown New Albany.

“This has always been my dream — to come here while downtown was developing,” Ani Tucker said during a ribbon-cutting ceremony marking the early success of the business this week.

“We couldn’t be happier — we want to be here forever.”

Infinitely in terms of downtown, as Ali Tucker said they hope to be so successful they’ll one day need to expand or find a larger building.

The Dandy Lion focuses on local artists and products, which Ali Tucker said sets the business apart from other specialty shops in Southern Indiana as well as Louisville.

“Our mission is anti-mass production,” she said. “We’re all about small, independent designers.”

The Tuckers were born and raised in New Albany. Ali received a Bachelors degree of Art in Philosophy from Indiana University Southeast, and Ani graduated from Savannah College of Art and Design in Georgia with a Bachelors degree of Fine Art in Fashion Design.

She was featured on the TLC reality television show “Say Yes to the Dress: Atlanta,” and was co-owner of a similar boutique in Athens, Ga., before moving back to New Albany to open The Dandy Lion.

The sisters incorporate their varying passions into their work, which is also featured at The Dandy Lion. Ali Tucker molds jewelry and fine art, while Ani designs clothes, hats, bags and shoes.

Their interest and creativity forms the store, as Ani Tucker said The Dandy Lion is pretty much forged with upcycled, found objects.

The name The Dandy Lion was derived from the sisters’ admiration of the vintage word dandy, and the fact their Zodiac sign is Leo, which in Latin means lion.

The shop brings diversity to downtown which is what the city needs, Realtor and Develop New Albany member Mike Kopp said.

“We continue to have an interest down here, and a push toward more retail,” he said.

Kopp helped the Tuckers find the spot for The Dandy Lion, and the owners said business has been good so far.

“We just saw the potential that was already here,” Ani Tucker said.

They see their role in the community as being more than just retailers because The Dandy Lion has sponsored events and concerts. The business has organized a Valentine’s dance Feb. 12, themed Lincoln in Love in honor of the late president’s birthday.

The event is a cooperative effort at Dave Thrasher’s Art Store.

A boutique like The Dandy Lion compliments downtown restaurants by providing customers options so they can shop and eat in the same area, Mayor Doug England said.

He credited the sisters for investing in their home city.

“It’s been our local people — our local people making downtown work,” England said.

The Dandy Lion is open Tuesday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday. The store’s phone number is 812-944-9477.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Upcoming Dandiness! ! !

-Offical Ribbon Cutting with the Mayor: This Thursday, January 27th

-Valentine's Day/Jeweler Spotlight in Current Magazine, Volume: 3.1, February 2011 issue

-LINCOLN in LOVE Valentine's Dance @ Dave Thrasher's Art Store- w/ OKDEEJAYS!!!!-Saturday, February 12th (Click Here To View The Facebook Event)


-Non-Profit Gardening/Art lessons, and Free-Thinkers' Reading club

-Outside events all Spring & Summer long: hosted by The Dandy Lion!

-2 DAY ART & MUSIC FESTIVAL in the works for April 2012


Friday, January 21, 2011

Meet a Maker- Melody Dennison

How did you become so Dandy? Were you born that way?

I was born stubborn. My first word was "no", not "mommy" or "daddy". I had to be restrained every time I went to the doctor as a child, and no one could brush my hair without a battle. That hard headed fire in me paid off as an adult because I have always fought and worked hard to do what makes me happy in life.....not what was expected. Luckily I had an amazing mother that supported my decisions, no matter how out there. Thankfully I got over throwing tantrums and am much nicer now.

What drove you to start pursuing art?

I was always drawing and doodling growing up. Art was always the only subject in school I looked forward to. In high school I was in an Art Club that met after school, and outside of school I was exposed to graffiti and was amazed by it.

How do you pick your medium/materials? What are your favorite materials to work with?

I mostly work with spray paint, but I have also been working with acrylic and watercolor more. There are things you can do with spray paint that you just can't replicate with other mediums, and it will always be my first love. I'd like to play with oils though. I like a lot of variety. It's good to push yourself out of the norm.

What pieces do you have in mind for the future?

When I'm not doing stencil and pop art, I really like doing cartoonish style lowbrow stuff. This year I plan on doing more of that.....weird creatures and silly stuff.

Inspiration: anyone who has ever bought one of my paintings
Music: Lately I've been listening to a lot of Bon Iver or old soul. I also have an obsession with 90's hip hop. I'm all over the place with my music selections.
Artist/Designer: Jeff Soto, Ron English, Audrey Kawasaki, Roy Lichtenstein, Banksy

Thoughts on world domination? Anti-mass production? The handmade movement?

I love that more and more people are putting their handmade creations out there...crafts, knitting, paintings, cartoons..all of it. It's not easy letting people judge your work that you put your heart into, but we need it. People need to be reminded that as adults you can still do all the things you love to do. The daily grind of work can eat at your soul. Creative outlets help relieve that monotony and help you keep your inner child. As far as mass produced art has no soul. You could splatter some paint and a gallery would sell it for thousands of dollars if you have the right people backing you. The art world is pretentious. You have to hold onto your values, stay true to yourself and be humble. Beware of gallery owners that only see dollar signs. With my stencils I sketch and trace them and cut them all by hand. Even though it would be easier to use a printer, I like doing it the hard way. It wouldn't be as rewarding if I just mass produced paintings without putting everything I could into it. That would take all the fun out of it for me, personally. I make art because it makes me happy and because it's what I love. Knowing that people like anything I make enough to put it in their home just inspires me to keep doing it. I still get excited every time I sell a piece. That support means so much.

Just - In!

Earrings by Withering Elm Jewelry

They're back! Headbands by Gleeful Peacock

New rings by Julie Rose and Withering Elm Jewelry

New Earrings by Bess Vane

Bird Cage Necklaces by Zapol Design

Owl Post Earrings by Zapol Design

They're back! Earrings by Gleeful Peacock and Bess Vane

New Handmade and Vintage Clothing, Jewelry, and Accessories in DAILY!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

New Vintage

What's cooking, good looking?
A batch of new vintage! Here's a taste of what's new in-store!

Bow Necklace by Ani Tucker, Lady Lioness by Withering Elm Jewelry

Bow Necklace by Ani Tucker

Bow Locket by Gleeful Peacock

Mothra Necklace by Withering Elm Jewelry, Oxidized Feather Necklace by Gleeful Peacock

Arrow Head Necklaces by Ali Tucker

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Ring Display Box Tutorial

This project is wonderful for displaying rings at boutiques, trunk shows, art fairs, or home. I stayed basic with the colors I used, so that the rings displayed would be the focal point. You can customize this as much or as little as you want. I found my wood tray at Ben Franklins, a local craft store. You could go digging around your house, treasure hunting at an antique store, etc. As long as the style and size fit your intended purpose.

Project: Ring Display Box
Time: 20 - 30 minutes
Skill Level: Super simple, though some parts take patience.
Please ask for assistance cutting the rods if you decide to use an electric saw.

What You'll Need:
Dow Rods (I used 1" thick)
Fabric - stiffer or thicker fabrics w/little or no stretch
( I over bought, to make room for errors. Leave room for tucking the fabric into the sides and grooves)
Saw or Jigsaw
Fabric Scissors

I found a thin butter knife helped when tucking the fabric.
I also opted for a staple gun, because I found it easier to wrap each rod individually. You can staple the fabric in place on the ends and middle. This is easily hidden.

Step 1: Measure your box and mark the cut line for each dow rod. Cutting them too short will leave too much wiggle room and make it hard to space the rods evenly.

Step 2: Carefully cut each rod. I will go ahead and throw a disclaimer in here... I tend to be inpatient. Please use the correct work table or area to cut your rods. Also small bits of saw dust may fly around, so using glasses or safety goggles is best. Always ask for help, pride regenerates... Fingers... Not so much.

Step 3: Snug each dow rod into your box. Space them between 1/4 and 1/2 inch apart as pictured below. This will allow you to tell if you've cut enough pieces for your project.

Step 4: Lightly cover and stretch stuffing over your rods.

Step 5: This is the most tedious part of this project, tucking in the fabric. I found it easiest to cover each rod one by one by wrapping the fabric 1/2 way around the rod and stapling the middle and ends. A thin butter knife really helped to neatly tuck the fabric.

Step 6: Enjoy! You should be able to gently tuck the ring base of each ring in between the rods. The stuffing will help cushion and protect each ring.

Optional: You can always stain or paint your box before hand. Trying different finishes or antiquing processes could add a unique look. Allow your stain or paint to dry for 24 hrs to avoid ruining your fabric.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Floods in Brisbane, Australia

Hey all. Just wanted to post real quick to mention the disasters in Australia and remind everyone to keep that positive karma flowing in honor of them. There has been flooding in states nearby Brisbane since late November, but it just recently turned violent- 16 lost their lives, over 40 went missing-some sources saying 90! Hundreds have been rescued via helicopter.

With the snow causing difficulties in the US we all understand how natural weather conditions can cause severe stress-keep the citizens of Brisbane in your thoughts and contribute in whatever way you can!

Click Here For the Full Story

Click Here To Contribute to the Queensland Flood Relief 2011

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Spotlight: New ARTIST!

Hello everyone :) Hope all in the Louisville area enjoyed this most recent round of snow, and that everyone is staying warm! We wanted to welcome our newest artist, Morgan Kessler, with "I Wish I Had a Penguin Friend". She is from Los Angeles California, and enjoys doing arts and crafts, as well as drawing amazing comics :D.

Stop in soon to see all of her lovely prints, starting at $7!

Check out her website for more information on her and her items!