Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Eek, Holidays!

The Christmas season is fast approaching! Eek! So much to do, not just for Maked and getting ready for our winter craft fairs, but also the personal crafting that I aspire to each year to try and inject as much handmade love into the season as possible.

I was looking through some pictures of my older beadwork projects and came across some of my beaded ornaments.

I have mixed feelings about these - sometimes I love them, sometimes I'm not a huge fan (too fussy for my taste sometimes), but I do love making them. I always make it up as I go, so the end result is a surprise to me.

I did about a dozen of these as wedding favours for my sisters wedding a few years ago. They were a big hit but I really burned out while making them and haven't done any since. It's been a few years though, so maybe this year I'll do another....

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Soap? Maybe!

In non-Maked crafting related news (i.e. personal crafting) - my boyfriend and I did our first batch of cold-process soap making over the weekend! I lured him into the world of crafting by explaining the dangers of working with sodium hydroxide (lye). ;) I also sold him on the idea with this little factoid: "Commercial soap manufacturing takes out the glycerin (moisturizer) from the soap and sells it to cosmetics manufacturers for more profit." That's pretty uncool.  

So - we gathered together the ingredients. It was really tough tracking down the lye but we found a place in Richmond, BC that carried it. Finally, last weekend we had everything we needed and enough time to get into it. It was super easy. 

We popped the soap out of the mold the other night and sliced it up... it looks okay so far but it has to cure for another 4 weeks before we know if we've been successful or not.

Really, it's already been a success because the boyfriend wants to do another batch, something fancier this time with scents and additives. =)

For anyone who is interested, there are lots of instructions out there - we followed this set at Orthogonal Thought.

Monday, September 22, 2008

We're crafting for winter!

Yesterday we had a super productive crafting day, and I hope to have another once I get some breakfast into me.

Here's a small slideshow (View slideshow) I sent to Lisa after a day of supply shopping. The sweaters were felted yesterday and I'm hoping to get around to cutting them today. We'll see though - crocheting and more blocking is going to take priority.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Whoooo - winning!

A while back I entered a contest on Tamara's blog. She asked for some topics people would like to see articles on, related to natural beauty and cleaning products. I made a suggestion and not only did I get to read a helpful article on my topic, but she sent me a box of product samples for suggesting it! Yay! I've tried a few out and so far, I'm liking them!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Freezer Paper Stencil Fun #2


Since my first freezer paper stencil project went so well, I decided to promise a second stenciled shirt to my boyfriend.  I let him pick the image this time and he was keen on this Kill Bill stencil by justinexcore on craftster.   Oy.   That's a tricky one with lots of fiddly little bits.   But okay, I figured I was up for giving it a try!   So I worked away at it little by little with a nice sharp xacto knife and a lot of perfectionist angst and eventually it was done!   Whooo!   (see pics above)

I went looking for black and red fabric paints and had to buy a black/red/yellow/blue starter kit to get them...black was sold out everywhere.  So I've now got a LOT of fabric paint  (I predict more stenciling in my future).  

Here it is in progress (stenciling is the only time you will find me ironing t-shirts).

Unfortunately there was a bit of a snafu with the red cross on the eye patch.... some of the red paint got under my carefully ironed down stencil.  doh!

I managed to scrape most of the paint off with the xacto knife...  it wasn't a pretty solution but it worked okay.    I anticipate this shirt will fail via a hole in that location... then I'll have to turn the eye-patch into a real eye patch (so to speak).

Fixed, mostly.

Modeled by Peter with the grimace of extreme happiness.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Amazing Thank You

Found via OnePrettyThing  - a link to Craftstylish instructions (and the philosophy) behind this most amazing thank you note.

I know I'd be blown away if I ever received something like this in the mail - it's stunning.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Art on Etsy

A lot of the stuff I find on Etsy that I love is jewelry (oh, such amazing jewelry!) - but there's plenty of other products to be crazy about - including art.   Original paintings, collages, and lots of fantastic photographic prints are available directly from the artists themselves.   I've hardly even scratched the surface and here are a few of the works that have caught my eye:

By a photographer originally from The Netherlands - this mezmerizing photo taken in Madrid.   I loved Madrid and I love architectural pictures with strong patterns and details and glimpses into the everyday lives of people far away so this picture really caught my eye.

This unique artist uses a combination of woodburning and painting to make haunting images.  I fell in love with the original piece shown at left and was sad to see it had sold - but photo prints of it are available (whew)!   This image captures so many moments I've spent by the water in Vancouver  - moments of quiet where the weather just blows around you.

This self-taught photographer creates amazing, fascinating scenes using miniatures.   I could stare at her pictures for hours - imaging the stories behind the scenes she's set up and beautifully photographed.   I had the hardest time picking out just one image to put here - I still have not decided which one is my favorite.   

This one looks like it has a great story behind it...

Sometimes you need some COLOUR.   This bit of art caught my eye one day - how could I miss it?   Something about it keeps drawing me back...     (I also love the combination of hand-drawn in ink and digitally coloured.)

Friday, September 12, 2008

September already

September is a big time for us. It's when we finalize what we plan on making for the winter season and decide which fairs we are going to do in Vancouver.

One of the biggest new things is happening is 3 hours. Lisa is meeting with yummy yarns to pick yarn for a new product we're making. The prototype is lovely, and was made from this fall-appropriate colourway.


We also might have a great idea to accessorize this new item, but more experimenting is necessary.

I also spent Wednesday morning trolling thrift shops for new books to make our notebooks out of (will be 45 pages now, instead of 35!) and sweaters for felting.

And final teaser for new Christmas things: buttons! buttons! buttons!

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Summer Returns!

After a bit of grey sky and rain - summer came back! Whoo! We've all be out enjoying the great weather, getting in lots of trips to the parks/beaches/out of town, making the most of it. It's good times but part of me is looking forward to using the bad weather as an excuse to stay home and craft for entire weekends at a time. 

I did get a bit of craft time in and went on a bit of a delica ring making frenzy (black and pink this time round) - they've been getting some attention at our etsy shop ever since I posted the listing for this extra-blingy silver one below.   The rings are stitched together bead by bead which is slow, but kind of relaxing and if there's no complex pattern, can be done kind of absentmindedly while the brain wanders on other things.  I find them very satisfying in their perfect uniformity and seamless construction (courtesy of the magical delica beads).