I've been super sick the last few days, but since I have a friend coming to stay with me later this week I spent this afternoon doing a major clean-up of my bedroom. Part of that was finishing an organizational project that has been about 1 year in the making.
This is somehow organizing my massive collection of jewelry in a way that makes them easy to see, but not take up much space (I have a very tiny room). I wanted something that could handle rings, necklaces, pendants, and earrings. This was complicated by the fact that I don't have hooks or posts on any of my earrings, so lots of ideas don't work for me. I also hoped to put my small but nice pin collection in the same place.
Anyways, after a visit to the dollar store, just under $10.00 and a free bulletin board from work I came up with this:
Here are some basic instructions:
1. Put jewelry in mini zip-lock bags. Mine are mostly 2 inches, but some larger 3 inch ones at the bottom. Some bags have two or three tiny similar pieces.
2. Get bulletin board (BB) of appropriate size.
3. Put hooks about every 2.5 inches along the sides of the BB.(or about 0.5 inches than the size of your baggies.
4. Tie string to each hook attaching it to the hook on the opposite side of the BB. Make sure the string is as taut as possible.
5. Using mini clothes pins, hang baggies along string. Don't be afraid to overlap them - this allows for a smaller BB.
6. Hang on wall (If your BB doesn't come ready for this the dollar store also has picture hanging stuff that you can attach to the back of it.)
7. Add pins along edges for convenience and beauty.
Organization feels so good!
Sunday, December 30, 2007
I've been super sick the last few days, but since I have a friend coming to stay with me later this week I spent this afternoon doing a major clean-up of my bedroom. Part of that was finishing an organizational project that has been about 1 year in the making.
Monday, December 24, 2007
So last night I quickly wipped up a crocheted bookmark for my neice. I wrote the pattern as I went, planning on posting it here, but then wrapped it up with a bookstore giftcard before I took pictures.
I'll take pictures when she opens it tonight, but for now here is the pattern. It's a perfect quick-last minute add on. (If you don't have all sorts of other crafts that are still needing to be finished like I do that is.)
Yarn: Crochet thread (mine is from Daiso and only has Japanese writing, or I'd give more info). I did mine in all one colour but it would also look great in two colours, one for the flower and then green for the "stem".
Hook: 3.25mm. But this is flexible. Up or down 0.25 shouldn't matter in the least.
Start by working the flower in the round.
-ch 2, 6sc into 1st ch. (6) Do not join.
-2sc into each sc of prev. rnd. (12) Do not join.
-sl st into 1st sc of prev rnd, ch 5, sc into nxt sc. *ch 5, sk 1 sc, sc into nxt sc* repeat * 4 more times. (6 ch5 spaces)
-sl into 1st ch 5 sp *sc 7 into ch5 space* repeat * for rest of ch5 spaces. (42) sl st to join.
-*sc, 2 hdc, dc, 2 hdc, sc* repeat * around (42) sl st to join.
-sl st in next 2 st. (If you are using a spearate colour for the stem change it here.) sc in nxt 3 sts. ch 1, turn (You will now be working rows instead of rounds.)
-sc across, ch 1 turn. (3) repeat until stem is 2.5 inches (this took me 24 rows.)
-ch 5, sl st in last sc of prev. row. Turn. (1 ch5 space.)
- sc 7 in ch5 space (7) ch 1, turn.
-sc, 2 hdc, dc, hdc, sc (7)
Fasten off, wet block, startch if you want it stiff, and weave in ends.
Thursday, December 13, 2007
To start - the pattern/template is available at http://www.maked.ca/shoepattern.pdf .
And similarly a pdf copy of this tutorial is available at http://www.maked.ca/shoetutorial.pdf .
OK, enough blabber.
Cut out your pieces. For each piece you want two pieces of each colour (4 in total). Shown here I have just one piece of each colour. This is what you need to make one shoe. The pieces are such that you don't have to worry about flipping them over or anything. They're symmetrical. So just cut the shapes out and they'll work.
Not shown, you'll also need two pieces of elastic about 3/8" wide and about 3.5" long.
All seams are 1/4 inch seam allowance.
Place one of fabric A and one of fabric B right sides together. Sew them together along the longer straight edge.
Fold the heel pieces over the seam so that they are now wrong sides together.
Now you sew a seam to make a casing for the elastic. My elastic was 3/8" wide so I sewed my seam about half an inch away from the edge.
Your seam will depend on the width of your elastic. Try not to use an elastic that is very thin as this might cut into the baby's feet. Too wide and the elastic won't hold the shoe snugly above the heel.
Attach a small safety pin the the edge of the elastic to help you push it through the tunnel.
Push the safety pin through until the other end of the elastic is just poking out. Do not push the elastic the whole way through. At the pictured stage, the safety pin is hidden inside the fabric.
Now we make a sandwich.
Fabric A toe, right side up
Heel piece , fabric A down, fabric B up, elastic towards the middle, elastic poking out the side
Fabric B toe, right side down
Start sewing a seam along the flat edge of the toe pieces, catching the heel piece (including the elastic) as you sew.
Stop after you've sewn over the heel piece, a little less that halfway down the toe piece.
Here's where it starts to get tricky.
While everything is still in the sewing machine, pull the elastic and scrunch up the heel piece so that the free end of the elastic pokes out the other end of the heel piece.
Pull the heel piece around so that it's edge is lining up against the edge of the toe pieces.
I like to put a little pin at the end, hold the pieces together with my left hand and pull on the safety pin with my right hand.
Finish the seam.
This is how it should look when the seam is done.
Fold the two toe pieces over.
Now it should look like this.
Ooooh, it's starting to take shape.
Now we make another sandwich.
The shoe top is going to get squished in between the two sole pieces.
Fabric A sole, right side up
Shoe top, fabric A down, fabric B up
Fabric B sole, right side down
Pin often, attempting to keep the fabric distribution relatively even. I like to start with pins at the mid point of the toe and the mid point of the heel and then go from there.
Also I find it works better with smaller pins. Here I'm using mini quilt appliqué pins. They work great.
Sew around the shoe leaving an opening. I like to leave about an inch at the side of the shoe because that's where it's straightest and going to give you the least amount of trouble.
Fold back one of the sole pieces away from the opening. Sew the remaining pieces along the seam line.
Now, through that little opening, you turn the shoe right side out.
We're almost there!
Slip stitch that opening closed.
You're done! Yay!
Find a little tootsie to show off your new creations.
Saturday, December 08, 2007
It has been a full day of craft fairs for me. I'm pooped. There we four craft fairs along Main so I started at the top and worked my way down. There was so much amazing stuff and I got so many awesome x-mas gifts. It made following through on my "buy handmade" pledge a cinch.
First I went to the fair at the Heritage Hall. I found the perfect gift for my mother-in-law and something for the little person growing inside my sister-in-law. I also saw an amazing jeweler, Ginger Pottin. She does beautiful work with bits of leather and copper enameling. I've never seen anything quite like it. My favorite piece was the one pictured to the right.
Then I walked up the Blim to check out the Vancouver Craft Mafia. It was small but there was some super cute stuff and I met some really neat people. I especially enjoyed chatting with Lia of Goodmorning, Morning. I had two favorite bags. That's one of them on the left. Adorable right? Yeah. She uses a lot of thrifted fabrics and has a lot of different styles, so her bags are very unique. Not to mention beautiful and practical.
Then it was a bit of a walk down to the skate shop Anti-Social where Seamripper's was having a do. At first it didn't look like I had the right place, or maybe I had the day wrong but I asked the girl at the desk and she says "oh yeah, it's just in the back there". Umm okay. So I walk past the skate ramp room through this little hallway and emerge into a crafty mecca. It was the coziest atmosphere I've ever seen at a craft show. And though it was small, there was a lot to take in. The first table I went to was Thistle Town. I had talked to Claire at a show at Heritage Hall last weekend and had told her that I was looking for an elk stuffie. Well I walk into the room, skip over to her table and right away I see little felt horns sticking up out of the plush pile. she had made two, both super adorable, and I immediately claimed one as my own. I haven't taken a picture of him, but I picked out another of my favorites from her site to show you. Aren't those ears the cutest? I think so!
OK, so then, across the room I see Jaime of Crookkid. I met Jaime at the West End Community Center Craft Show where I bought like half her stock of cards because I loved them so much. I was happy to see her at Seamrippers because I felt it was more her crowd, and I was extra happy to see that she now has an etsy shop. I'm so excited that I can now get her stuff without waiting to see her at a fair.
After the Seamrippers I walked a little further down Main and dropped into ShinyFuzzyMuddy. There was some amazing stuff there. It was a real artizan market.
I have to say, after all that I was pretty pooped. But it left me feeling really in touch with the craft community, and also left me with tons of amazing gifts for people. I've always loved handmade goods, but taking the handmade pledge has nudged me to seek handmade when it normally wouldn't occur to me. And I have to say that I am consistently overjoyed with the results. I feel so much better about my purchases, have so much more fun shopping, and get the best reactions from my giftees. Not to mention it hasn't been any more expensive.
Saturday, December 01, 2007
So I think this morning qualifies as the first real snowfall in Vancouver for the season. It's already melted from how it was when I got to work this morning, but downtown gets the least amount of snow in thw whole lower mainland. I'm sure in the suburbs there is still much to be found.
This title can also be about how I've been feeling about crochet lately. I got invited to Ravelry just about two weeks ago so I have been super motivated to finish projects, plan projects, and organize my stash.
I finally got to blocking the "Cold Shoulders" Capelet I mentioned a few weeks ago. I still need to buy a matching ribbon so I can actually wear it, but it's complete and I love it.
I also did a bookmark for my mom for Christmas. It is using crochet thread from Daiso, a 1.50 hook, and a fan lace pattern I found on ravelry.
I also made a scarf for a friend, a hat with awesome bamboo buttons for myself. And folowing the trend I bought a bunch of hand-dyed roving to spin and placed a knit picks order to make a top and scarf from the CrochetMe book. I also went to a close-out sale for a yarn shop in Burnaby and bought some cotton/wool blend for a shawl for my mom, and 10 balls of merino/silk blend for something. It was just so soft and shiny that I couldn't resist.
Also, as Lisa Mentioned we are almost out of the Novel Notebooks. This doesn't mean we will not have them again. We are rethinking the binding and the page amounts, and will be incorporating lined pages into the new design. Watch for them in the new year.
Saturday, November 24, 2007
So day 1 of the West End fair was great! We're nearly sold out of our Novel Notebooks!
It's an interesting mix at this one - mostly old-skool crafty types but a few more edgy people. Seeing all those crafty people and projects (even if they aren't my style - like the fun fur knitted vest) makes me want to lock myself at home and craft.... unfortunately all my craft supplies are packed because I'm moving next week. Torture!
Anyway, we'll see how Sunday's fair goes. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the fair organizers for playing very subtle Christmas music very quietly. ;)
One pic for now, more later.... (lots of knit & crochet suff at this fair)....
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
This weekend we'll be venders at the annual West End Craft Fair! I'm excited about this one because it's in my 'hood and I just have to mosey down the street to get there, rather than lugging all the stuff on the bus to some far off venue.
Admission is FREE so everyone should come and check it out. I think it's a mix of old school crafty wares and more... uh... youthful? edgy? stuff. In any case, it's free, so swing by and see what kind of handmade awesomeness there is. Did I mention the part where it's free?
It's Saturday, Nov 24 and Sunday, Nov 25 from 10am - 4pm at the West End Community Centre (870 Denman St.).
Sunday, November 11, 2007
I'm at work and bored. We're slow and there's not a lot to do. Well there's a ton of laundry but one of our dryers isn't working so it's very slow process.
Anyways, I decided to look for quizzes about crafts. Like "What kind of craft are you?". I didn't have much luck and found a lot of quizzes about the movies "The Craft". I did find two decently appropriate ones though. Maybe I should make one up. Hmmm.
Quiz one: Craft Trivia
Ok, I scored 19 out of 23 on this one. Three of those were related to crafts I've never done, so I'm ok with that. I did get #10 wrong, which I shouldn't have, but at least I learned from it.
Quiz two: What's Your Craft IQ?
I only got one wrong (#7) so that means I have "craft terms all sewn up". I'm happy with that. Careful though, with this quiz the answer is right after the question, so if you scroll to fast you'll see the answer.
Post how your answers compare in the comments. We also welcome links to other fun crafty quizzes.
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
Kalin brought up miniature knitting and I just had to contribute...
The first person to get me into miniature knitting (and still one of my favorites) is Knit Purr. She has some amazing work. And if you're at all interested in Blythe dolls or Momoko dolls, then you definitely have to check her out. The picture above is a Blythe doll wearing one of her hand knit dresses. I picked this one because I know Kalin likes Blythe dolls and mini knits. Plus, I think this doll looks like her.
Sunday, November 04, 2007
Yesterday was the Point Grey Craft Fair at Point Grey Secondary School. This was our first "regular" craft fair - one that isn't described as edgy or urban or unique.... and it did seem pretty old school with people selling some mass-produced stuff, some handmade barbie dresses, but also some amazing woodwork and pottery. It was a pretty slow day for everyone but the food venders - this is the good part about doing these things with friends - we hang out and craft and have a good time no matter what!
Wish I could share pictures of the event but I don't think any of us remembered to take any!
Next up is the West End Craft Fair in Nov 24 & 25!
We have been pretty busy the last week or so. Not just with our non-craft lives, but with prepping for craft fairs. We were at Portobello West last weekend, and at the Point Grey Craft Fair yesterday. Both went well, but were really different environments.
If you want to find us at other fairs before Christmas, we will be at Portobello again on December 16, and at the West End Craft fair on the 24 and 25th of this month. It's the first year for the West End fair so it'll be an interesting weekend. Details for it can be found on our main website.
But what motivated me to post this morning was an email from a friend in Britain. It was a link to an article about a woman who knits very tiny things. My only wish is that there were more pictures...
Knitting for a Bugs Life
Posted by Kalin at 7:47 AM
Thursday, October 25, 2007
On Tuesday evening Rhi, Lisa and I went to the Vancouver launch of Crochet Me at Urban Yarns. It was super fun and inspiring, but Rhi will post more about the event soon.
Last night I had the intention of posting here all about the book, but the inspiration of the night before caused me to work on a project all night. I stayed up way too long working on it. (For those interested: S&B Happy hooker pattern "cold shoulders", in Mirasol baby llama yarn.)
But now I am posting about the book. And I would have spent yesterday working on a project in it, but don't have yarn to make what I would like to make in it (three separate patterns are fighting for the position of "first project"). I'll be ordering some from knitpicks next week though.
Anyways, on to the book.
Ok. So really I kind of love this book already and just want to say the patterns look awesome so far. Tons of neat techniques: tapestry , felting, weaving, beading, and tunisian. And great explanations of actually using all of them.
I also really like that Kim hasn't rated the project by difficulty, but instead by "concentration level". I think this is genius. It's super un-intimidating, which i think is really important when you want to tackle your first sweater. Also, it seems like a much clearer system. Like it's hard to decide if I'm ready for an "advanced" pattern, but easy to decide if I can handle one that is too complicated to do while watching tv.
Although, as Kim explained on Tuesday, it's not a beginners book, it's still completely accessible to a beginner. The diagrams are great (for assembly and stitch charts), there's a glossary, and breaks between the patterns with technical notes. These range from blocking to shaping to gauge. I think it would be a great book to grow with.
Also, I love that there is a listed yarn, and a substitution guide if you want a try a different yarn. Like one swater I want to do lists that the substitution yarn needs to have stretch. Not knowing anything about the yarn recommended, I never would have known to look for a stretch yarn. totally awesome. Also, as usual, there are a lot of expensive yarns called for, but this substitution guide is a great anti-dote to that.
And there's something about that idea of making the whole book work for you, and playing with everything in it that's so appealing. You get a really good size write up on all the designers so you get way more info than most books. There's also a few small essays within the book. I have yet to read them but just the idea of them is good.
It's somehow much more than a pattern book. It's a little statement that crochet can be super awesome and flexible (drape!) and suit your cool best friend as much as your grandmother. And the photography is awesome, the design/layout is yummy, but not distracting, and there is an abundance of cool internet links.
Ok, I'm going to stop gushing. I am going to go work on my capelet so when my new yarn gets here next week I'll be all ready to get to work on the Icelandic turtleneck. I actually want to make the mini-wrap skirt (out of Red Heart!) for someone, just to make it. See, gushing.
(oh, and go buy the book for yourself and others.)
Sunday, October 21, 2007
Yesterday I was trying to figure out ways to get the word on winter craft fairs out, so I made a facebook group. It's called "Vancouver Craft Fairs". If you're on facebook and you're either a buyer or seller in the City Please join it. Link to your shop and list fairs you might be going to. Then invite other people who might be interested in it.
I'm going to also put it up on craftster, livejournal, and flickr so the word can get out a bit.
This morning I was at fellow Vancouverite's etsy shop "track and Field Designs" and saw that they were being featured on another site that did monthly showcases called "Poppytalk Handmade"Then at their website I saw a company called Beehive Kitchenware. They might just make the cutest measuring spoon sets I've ever seen.
Saturday, October 20, 2007
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
We're starting to get some craft fairs on our agenda, should be a fun season - our first time out to holiday craft fairs! There's so much to do - not only crafting our stuff but getting our display ready so I've been trolling this flickr group to get inspiration and tips on how best to do things. At some point I'll have to stop surfing the web and actually get to work!
So far we're planning to do these two fairs, hopefully we'll add one or two more:
1. Point Grey Craft Fair on Saturday Nov 3 (10am-4pm) at the Point Grey Secondary School in Kerrisdale.
2. West End Community Centre Fair, 870 Denman St, on Sat. November 24 and Sun Nov 25.
Just to prove that it really is that time of year - a picture from outside my apartment in the West End of Vancouver... a popular spot for foliage pics:
Monday, October 08, 2007
I spend a frightening amount of time looking through Etsy listings, finding stuff to fall in love with. So I'm following Kalin's post and sharing some of my favorites:
1. Anna Leah Designs - she makes amazing wearable art pendants that are really stunning. She has a whole series of tree images that blow me away.
2. Sour Kitten - awesome, eye-catching abstract pendants done with a combination of silk screening and fused glass. Also: a Canadian artist.
3. Tilly Bloom Curious Jewelry - very unique jewelry here with a 19th century vibe, sometimes creepy but in a totally awesome kind of way.
4. Colleen Baran Jewellery - some of the most amazing rings I've ever seen. Colleen is a Vancouver artist we had the pleasure of sitting next to during a craft fair. I am the happy owner of oneo f her bubble rings which I love to pieces.
Friday, October 05, 2007
One of my favorite things to do while I'm crafting alone at home is to open up my laptop and listen to an episode of NPR's "This American Life." I was trying to think of how to describe the show, and not really satisfied with my own explanation I turned to their web-site. Here's what they say:
"There's a theme to each episode, and a variety of stories on that theme. It's mostly true stories of everyday people, though not always. There's lots more to the show, but, like we said, it's sort of hard to describe."So, I guess I shouldn't feel bad for not coming up with anything.
I love this radio show so much. It has everything from interviews to biographical stories to short fictional stories to radio plays. Sometimes they do little documentaries about personal projects they take on. Over time, the more episodes you listen to, you start to get favorite contributors. Some of my favorites are Sarah Vowell, David Sedaris and David Rakoff. So I was thrilled the other day when I started listening to an episode called "Meet the Pros" which not only had a project documentary by David Rakoff, but it was one about crafting.
Act Three. Martha, My Dear.You should go over and take a listen. The part where he goes to visit Martha Stewart Living is pretty darn cool, and his musings about doing what you love for a living is something I often think about. There's more to the segment though. Rakoff also talks about why he loves crafting and how he feels about gifting. It really made me think about my own crafting and I'd love to know what other people's reactions to Rakoff's thoughts were. Plus, I just wanted to share the craft accompanying joy that TAL has been for me.
Contributor David Rakoff visits his dream job: in the crafts department at Martha Stewart Living magazine. If his hobby became his job, he wonders, would it still be fun?
p.s. Please note that I give Kalin a hard time about not putting pictures in her blog posts and now I'm doing only my second post and there's no pictures. Hopefully the links to good things will make up for it.
Wednesday, October 03, 2007
Yesterday Lisa and I spent the morning shopping. We were on a mission for 100% wool, dry clean only sweaters. We found several. We also went looking for cups for the candles. We found lots of those as well.
Then in the afternoon we went to my place and fulled the sweaters. This involved washing them (twice) and drying them. They shrunk and thickened up and are now ready to be made into hot-water bottle covers and maybe slippers.
This is all part of our prep for our upcoming craft fairs. Well only one is confirmed (November 3nd at Point Grey Secondary), but two others are pending. We are doing some of our usual products, but also some new ones.
I have more to blog about (wooden buttons, screenprinting) but will save it for when I have pictures and am not quite so tired.
Sunday, September 23, 2007
I worked all weekend so there was no crafting to be done, but I did get to spend a lot of time on etsy. I added lots of items (many more to come!), read the forums, and added shop to our favorites. Some of the shops are run by people we know from around Vancouver, but some were just ones that caught my eye through the forums and the main page.
However, as I'm not in a buying place right now (so sad!!) I'm going to share my favorites with you.
1. Ami Nytray Designs: The specimen jar pendants are what really caught my eye here.
2. Wash The Day Away: Lots of neat baby stuff, but she's going to make a tattoo healing lotion. I'm saving this one for christmas gifts.
3. Robin's Jewelry Box: I'm loving mini stuff right now, so add food and jewelry to that and I love it.
4. BundanART: I'm not really a huge fan of landscape paintings, but I adore these.
That's it for now. Actually no, not quite. Rhi's really dislikes blog posts without pictures. SO here's a teaser for an upcoming post of mine. I'm finally going to finish the pattern for my "Cupcakes for Secrets"and then I will post it. And it will be free. yay!
Thursday, September 20, 2007
As Kalin mentioned below - as part of our Etsy store opening we're including a free delica ring for any orders over $16. Yay free stuff!
I make these rings somewhat obsessively - they're quite addictive, a quick little project for me to do while watching some tv series on dvd. Here are a few of the ones I've got on hand to whet your appetite:
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
This will be short and sweet because I totally have to leave for school. However, I'm excited and I couldn't wait to tell you all that our etsy shop is open!!!
We'll be adding new items every day and free delica rings will be included in any orders over $16.00.
Visit and tell your friends!
Thursday, September 13, 2007
I've been playing around in my stash of delica beads lately - I love my delica beads, so precise, so shiny - and I ended up making some gourd stitch pendants. Simple rectangles with some interesting colour combinations and patterns (I'm big on randomness lately actually). I was puzzling out how to do the wirework to finish off the pendants and I couldn't pull off anything that satisfied me.... here are two attempts:
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
I made these last week for a friend of mine and her fiancee. On the back of them they have coordinating origami papers. These little guys are small and simple, but I have some plans for them.
The ones we have made so far sold ok, and were a mix of origami and book cutouts. I'd love to try them with fabric because my laminator says it can do that. Once a bunch more are made I think we'll do a submission to the sampler and then add them in themed packs of four or 5 to etsy.
Which reminds me that I really should start posting things to etsy. Tonight I have time and I will do it.
(Extra thought: Maybe we can do our first naming contest with these. I'll need to talk to the gang about it.)
Tuesday, September 04, 2007
OK, so we need a better name. But I'm still super excited about these adorable candles. We had a few kinks along the way, but I'm very pleased with how these have turned out. I really hope people like these because I'm looking forward to making lots more. I shouldn't be worried though, I already have a couple requests from people who haven't even SEEN them.
Saturday, September 01, 2007
Today Rhi and I are experimenting with making soy candles. We're trying to remember to take process pictures as we go, but we get caught up with things sometimes. Right now we're waiting for the second batch of wax to cool enough for scent to be added.
And with that break in activity we decided to start up the blog. It will get much prettier soon, I promise. What you will be able to find here in the weeks and months to come is information about products and techniques, tutorials, pictures, and general chatter about crafts.
oh, we might also hold naming contests involving puns, where the prizes will be our products in the future. So bookmark us and check back. We are also very interested in exchanging links if you have a artsy or crafty site too.