Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Jewelry displays...

As the craft fair approaches, I've been thinking up ways to display my jewelry. I didn't want to spend much $$$ on fancy displays so here's what I came up with:


The frame on the right is fabric slipped into a brass frame and the one on the left is one I made out of cardboard! I put a little batting in there to give it some puff and it's important to use a fabric that's easy to poke through. For mine I use a terribly distressed old silk slip that I cut up and then some pretty vintage lace to cover up the card board edges. It's pretty ghetto, but I like being resourceful!

Idea #2 was so easy I thought I'd give you how to instructions.


Materials needed: Regular scissors, Wooden spool, Floral foam or Styrofoam, 24 gauge copper wire:



Step 1
Cut wire 14" long. Fold wire so ends are together, leaving a loop at the top.






Step 2
Twist wire together leaving a 2" loop at the top. Just do a little bit at first to hold the place and finish the rest after top loops are made.








Step 3
Smoosh top loop as shown in picture then twist into two side loops as shown.


Step 4

Finish twisting base and cut even.

Step 5
Cut floral foam into a tiny rectangle and press into hole of wooden spool. Use your finger to make foam level across top of spool.

Finish
Stick the earring stand into the foam and enjoy!

Over time, with wiggles a jiggles , the hole in the foam might grow bigger and not hold your earring stand up properly. Push out the old foam and replace it with new. These would look great with thread still on the spools too!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Green Machine

So, I am trying to make the best of this left over yarn from a sweater I designed for the next Stitch and Bitch Book (Name drop, name drop) and need your opinions about what I'm making with it.

The sweater that produced this excess of yarn was a Fair Isle vest pattern done in a bunch of different greens. I wish I could show you the photos of the project, but you'll see them soon enough in the actual book! I will tell you though that the book is all patterns for MEN and the model dudes are super cute! Oh Mans!

The editors of the book helped pick the yarn: Nature Spun Sport weight from Brown Sheep Company. It comes in a zillion colors and isn't too expensive, which is always a concern when designing for a book. You can't really expect people the pay $400 to make your sweater! All together, the greens look great together, but individually, they are not my favorite.

The Nature Spun is 100% wool, which I can't complain about, but the color just does not have the depth that I am used to with the smaller dyelots of, for lack of a better word, expensive yarns. Commercially produced yarns are like Crayons. The colors are vivid, opaque and will not vary from box to box or store to store. Smaller companies like Koigu, dye their yarn in very small dyelots of about 24 skeins. It just makes it so every store gets a totally different looking yarn! Look at the photo below of two different skeins of Koigu Painters pallet in two dyelots:




I like this kind of yarn for many reasons, but mostly because it supports others artists like me. The colors seem to glow and I'm fully convinced that when the spirit is given room to move... things are just better! You know what I mean? I commend the Brown Sheep Company however for making natural fibers affordable, since most inexpensive brands are all fake.

So I made a harf using my left over yarn and think it turned out ok. The plain green seemed a little bland to me, so I added contrasting white trim. I also did a curved edge for the button band, which I like better than the straight version on all the others. It reminds me of stuff my mom and teachers might have worn in the early eighties. Maybe a wrap around skirt with contrasting piping or a monogrammed sweater... that's what I was going for.

What do you guys think?

Monday, May 28, 2007

ETSY shop

Guys, today I started an ETSY shop!

You can see the little mini version over there at the right. There's a couple pairs of earrings in there now and soon....much more!!!

Wish me luck!

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Under the sea earrings...



I just made these this morning. The coral is crocheted. I think this will be the first item in my ETSY shop. More on that later... it's my project for the day!

Friday, May 25, 2007

Life as of Late...

So I've been very busy lately babysitting and frantically making things for the Renegade Craft Fair. I've mostly been making jewelry which I would love to show you but... the trash camera I've been using while I wait for mine to get fixed, doesn't take very good up close shots. Alas. I guess You kids will have to come out to the craft fair to see all of it and buy it up so I can pay my rent!!!

I'll just share a few random things with you. First check out Luke and Eleanor posing while picking flowers in the park. I think this is one of the best kids shots I've ever taken! It really captured a funny moment between the two. We were gathering flowers to make flower necklaces... until a crazy storm hit and branches started falling down. Luke reminds me everyday that we still have to finish making those flower necklaces.... I wish I was getting married so these two could be my ring bearer and flower girl. Do you think they'll but up for it at age thirteen?



These are the two latest Harfs,


The top one will probably fit a child better or maybe a gal who's a little smaller than my model, Petunia.

I recently took the kids to ride the carousel in Prospect Park. How much do I love carousels? They really go so fast and I love the music. Anyone want to go again with me? I know some kids we can drag along to make it look like we're doing it for them...



As the summer approaches, the light in my room around six o'clock has been amazing. I didn't think trash camera could really capture it... but a little bit.

Dinah has been a little dare devil lately! She jumps out up on my window ledge like it's no big deal and sometimes it totally freaks me out. I don't mind when she goes out on the fire escape... look how funny she is!



I think this is it guys. I wish I had more new ideas to share... but I'm a little uninspired. What else do you think I should make for the craft fair????

Thursday, May 24, 2007

My Latest Crush



No secret. I'm totally in love with Henry on Ugly Betty. The actor who plays him, Christopher Gorham, is wonderful and handsome off the show, but it really is the Nerdy Henry that makes me giggle. I kind of love having a "program" to watch that is just light and fun and that has a cute little love story I can totally crush out on.

It seems I have many "Programs" these days.
These are the shows I make sure I'm home for:
Gilmore Girls (again more crushy love stories!)
LOST (hello!)
Ugly Betty
Greys Anatomy

These are the shows I've started getting into and make sure I watch if I'm home:
Veronica Mars
Brothers and Sisters

I'm a little sad that all the shows are ending for the summer. Especially that the Girlmore Girls will be no more. I can live without the fast paced witty banter, but I really love the Luke/Lorelai love roller coaster.

I guess now I can go out and enjoy the nice summer nights instead.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Yarn Crush



I just spotted this yarn on purlsoho.com It's called Nashua Ecologie Cotton. All the colors are natural plant dyes, which is super super cool and makes for pretty, subtle colors.

I don't know about you, but I'm always at a loss for delicate Spring/Summer cover ups. There are just some occasions where a hoodie is not appropriate so I've been planning a new cotton sweater in my head for a while now. I want it to be pretty simple and have some eyelets. Here's my drawing:


This yarn will make very defined stitches, so I think the eyelets will look nice. It might also look nice to have some other lace or cabling going on. I'll keep you posted as I buy, swatch, and knit this thing. It might be done for next Spring!

Monday, May 14, 2007

My new crush....


Is it possible to have a crush on someone's imagination? I mean, I really love my own, but when I look upon the work of Ann Wood I get giddy with crush-ness. I just love everything her hands touch... look




Her aesthetic is so whimsical and glittery. Like a day dreaming mind of a child with the hands of a skilled artisan. Her work embodies so many of my favorite things... birds, antique things, lost treasures, dioramas, vintage fabrics, collections, fantasy worlds... glitter...

Her wedding cake toppers make me ten times more eager to walk down the isle! Please visit her site and see all the other lovelies!

I leave you with my favorite, Isabelle.

Friday, May 11, 2007

A very long day

I opened my eyes this morning to an apocalyptic sky of yellowish-orange, just moments before a huge thunder clap and a monsoon like drenching. It was six am. I didn't go back to sleep at all! I totally got up and made breakfast ( oatmeal & coffee). Sipping coffee I did some epoxy-ing and jewelry making:




Then I knit some trees while watching Ugly Betty and Grey's Anatomy. Meet "Evelyn," "Karl'" and "Gertie."





This was all before 10 am!!

Then I headed to Anne's house to make more stuff, but first I went to the grocery store to pick up makings for sandwiches. Somewhere in my careful planning I managed to forget my wallet and had to schlep all the way back home for it. I did get to Anne's where we chatted, made things and ate things.
I made a bunch more earrings for The Renegade Craft Fairand later we took an adventure to look at fabric and pick up some Styrofoam display heads.

By this time I was starting to fade, but I had one more errand to run. I ended my day at Treehouse! I dropped off the trees and jewelry I had just made. I chatted with Siri, one of the owners, some lovely gals crafting away and a funny, cute neighborhood boy, who I think was flirting with me a bit. (tee hee)

It was a lovely, lovely, long day. So much was made and I'm going to bed feeling rather accomplished. This is a great feeling.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

W 46th street btwn 6th & 5th

Normally I'm not a huge fan of the hustle and bustle of Times Square but 46th street has now become a happy destination spot for me thanks to one of my favorite and important supply stores: Metaliferous

It doesn't matter that the isles are about two feet wide and that every jewelry design student seems to be in there when you are... the treasures are worth it. Well worth the dirty hands too! (Just ask and they'll let you use to bathroom to cleanup)

The staff are quick to point you in the right direction, suggest the best tool or cut chain for you, but don't expect a chat about the weather.

Before you go, make sure to stop at the $3 Falafel stand nearby... you'll need your sustenance to get out alive!

I got so many new treasures... I can't wait to share the jewels I make!

What I made today

Ok Kids, I've been knitting up a storm! I didn't make all of these today, I just finshed them... well yesterday to be exact. In fact I've already moved on to more Harfs which will be posted soon!!Thank you to my lovely model.... she needs a name...



Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Swatch blankets for Eleanor

Eleanor, the little girl I babysit, loves to tuck her animals into bed. Quite often I come across little rows or groups of her stuffed animals that are all snuggled in their own "blanket." She wraps them in napkins, socks, clothes... you know, whatever is nearby. One day, as I saw her wrap a bear in a pair of panties, I thought, "Maybe I should knit this kid some blankets..."

Then I realized I already had a perfect pile of blankets already! Every time I plan a project, I first knit a swatch. A swatch is not that big, just a small sample of the stitch I want to use, or whatever I need to work out before starting the actual garment. I have all these little "blankets" just lying around gathering dust so I decided to give them to Eleanor. It didn't take long to put them to use!

What I made today

Well, I "finished" these "Harfs" (Hat & Scarf) this morning. I'll most likely be selling these at the Renegade Craft Fair.