Saturday, August 30, 2008

Blog Feature

One of the fabulous things about is discovering other craftsters/artists and sharing them with the world. Etsy folk love to help spread the word about the Etsy artists they love. We do it on here. And someone has done it for us!

One of our items for sale on has been featured over on the Tags and Buttons Blog: award


Thursday, August 28, 2008

Preparing to Weave

I'm getting ready to put a project on my loom finally !   

I recently got a book from the library that I had requested ages ago - it's Anne Dixon's The Handweaver's Pattern Directory and it was published in 2007!   And it's in full colour!!   

I've been so frustrated by the fact that all the weaving books are from the 70s and 80s and are stylistically of no interest to me (in fact, they're almost enough to turn me off weaving all together) and are mostly in black and white when what I really need is help understanding how colours blend together in the different weaves.  This new book is exactly everything I've been wanting - 600 weaving patterns for 4 shaft looms with full colour pictures of every single weave.   Fabulous.   I had to use my other book Learning To Weave (Chandler) to help me understand how to read the drafts (the symbolic explanation of how to set up and work the weave) but I think I've got it now.

I had picked out an awesome pattern (an undulating twill) that looked just complicated enough to be fun without being way over my head (ha, famous last words) but realized that the yarn I have on hand isn't really suitable for that so I'm back to the drawing board to figure out what is appropriate for the yarn I have... while also shopping for yarn to do the fun pattern.   In any case I really hope to start warping this weekend - fingers crossed!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Meditation on space

Due to multiple circumstances, sometime last year I moved from a one-bedroom apartment which I had all to myself, to a tiny single room in a shared house. I do love where I am right now, but there's one thing I really miss about having my own place - being able to have craft stuff anywhere and everywhere.

Currently I have fabric and sewing stuff under my bed, one spinning wheel in a corner of my room, a dresser drawer full of assorted craft stuff, a small table for my sewing machine, and my tub of yarn in the den. Downstairs we have an unfinished basement. So unfinished there's only one light (mostly blocked by boxes) and no insulation. Down there I keep all my other supplies. They are in disarray in several boxes and all over a book shelf.

I have grand plans to organize this area, and to purge a lot of the stuff I don't plan on using, but it's never really happened. I think about doing it, and plan to on a specific day, but it doesn't happen.

However, on Thursday night I decided I needed to move the furniture in my room around. My roommate was helping me, and she had a chance to really see how inefficient my room is to craft in. She has a larger room, but she also has a clothing line that's in hiatus a bit. She has an industrial sewing machine, a serger and a ton of fabric (also split between her room and the basement).

Her suggestion is that we make a crafting space in the basement. Get some bright lights, a space heater, good chairs.

This makes me happy. To know that I may be in a temporary living situation, but that I share it with people who have common crafty needs. It's a pretty awesome feeling. Now we just have to clear out a space for it, and start putting it together. I have a feeling that value village will be selling some chairs to us in the near future.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Parallelogram Picnic Blanket

I've been working on a sewing project off and on lately - trying to use some of my fabric stash to make a picnic blanket (I don't like to touch nature if I can avoid it).

I've learned during this process that it's really hard to cut an exact rectangle that is so large when you don't have an enormous picnic-blanket sized table to lay it out and measure precisely. It's even harder to cut 3 exact rectangles and line them all up so you can sew them all together. Especially if sewing straight lines is not your forte. But, I'm moving forward with my slightly-wonky blanket, I'm sure the end product will be good enough to throw on the grass at the park and take a nap, no matter how much it may resemble a parallelogram.

(This is why Rhiannon, who sews a mean straight line, makes all our zipper pouches.)

Monday, August 11, 2008

Summer Shopping

Ah, it's that time of year - where the rain in Vancouver goes away for a few months and we all flock outside to bask in the sun. That means that not a lot of crafting gets done... or if it does get done there's no time to photograph it or blog about it because in a short while the sun will go away again and we won't see it again until next spring!

So - how about looking at awesome stuff other people are making?

Like this adorable canary necklace by Joanna Rutter that I'm in love with:
she has a shop full of equally adorable things.

Or this awesome collage by Nolan Mueller:

And, on the lighthearted site - these hilarious and awesome earrings from CuteAbility:

Monday, August 04, 2008

Crafty score of the summer

So, I have a bad habit of trolling craigslist for people selling craft supplies for a song. It's kind of a dangerous thing to do when you're a craft addict living in a very very small apartment that already has every nook and cranny stuffed with craft supplies. But, it's also a great way to snag supplies for dirt cheap.

I lucked out on a yard sale last summer where I got a yarn winder ($5, normally $40), wooden swift ($5, normally $50) and warping board ($10, normally $50-90 if you can find one) and tons of yarn for weaving for outrageously cheap. It was a pain to lug it all home on the bus - especially the warping board - but so worth it!

Today, in anticipation of my planned foray into cold process soapmaking (because I really need another hobby, the 6 I have aren't enough), I picked up someone's entire supply of bath and beauty making supplies. For $40 I scored every possible supply you can think of - most of which I don't know the purpose of (boric acid? I've got a kilogram of it, ditto stearic acid and beeswax and sea salt). I have every kind of oil you can think of: almond, sunflower seed, avacado, grapeseed, jojoba, palm, coconut... etc. And - perhaps my favorite part.... 25 (!) bottles of essential oils. 25!