Thursday, July 16, 2009

Beaded Tank

Continuing in the theme of finishing projects I started a really long time ago.... I've got this green tank top that I did a little funky bead embroidery on ages ago. It's one of my favorite summer tops because it's casual and comfortable but has a little unique detail on it. Nothing fancy, just a bit of personality.

I liked the finished product enough that I went to the store and got 2 more tank tops to do up. One I ended up wearing plain - I needed a shirt and didn't have time to wait for me to get around to crafting it up (I can be so slow!).

The other shirt got started and promptly shoved in a workbox. I pulled it out recently and decided the bead colour was all wrong (blue on white) - that's what caused me to hit a wall with it. So I took out the beadwork that had been started and I went with something more subtle this time. I've been working at it a bit here and there this week. I think a few more squiggly turns and it will be done.

Those who know me, know that doing random, organic/flowy things is very difficult for me. I prefer lines and patterns and things planned out in advance. Just winging it is not my forte!

But, it's good to break out of your box every now and then and do something that challenges your natural tendencies.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Handmade Swag

The Vancouver screening of Handmade Nation was fabulous! It's a great film - a neat snapshot of the crafty, DIY scene in the US.

What really resonated with me was the community aspect of crafting. Crafting can be a very isolating/isolated activity. You don't need other people around, you can do most of it alone - that's part of why I love crafting actually, because I like my alone time. But, when I plugged into some online crafting communities, like, I got way more inspired (and interested in diversity of crafts beyond my beadwork). Then I met some other local crafster forum people, and eventually Maked was born.

It's amazing, the power of the internet to help you forge connections that you wouldn't otherwise. As a result, I've learned to crochet, screenprint, make soap, bind books, do craft fairs, run an online shop.... the list is kind of endless!

Crafting alone is fabulous, I will never knock it, but getting out there and interacting with fellow crafty folks is tons of fun and will energize you to try things you never would have.

As an added bonus - at the screening I got a promotional swag bag full of goodies. Yay! It included an adorable tiny terrarium (complete with alien) by Plantscapes. I love it. I also love this tiny flower pin by Roxypop made from ricrack! It's very vintage-looking.

Saturday, July 11, 2009


I'm picking myself up off the floor to share with you my new totally-don't-need-it-but-I-want-it item.... the most beautiful lampshade ever, called Midsummer Light by Tord Boontje. I just need a place with even higher ceilings first.

More images of his work here.

Of course I'm also thinking.... if I just got myself some tyvek and a supply of exacto knife blades, I could make my own (over the course of 10 - 15 years). Seriously, where does one get crafty-grade tyvek? My preliminary research shows you don't want to use construction grade tyvek and there is a different kind that people use for papercutting arts. Anyone ever seen that in a craft store?

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Momentum & Cycle Chic

I've got an adorable folding bike that I love to bits and I live in a city that's pretty progressive in providing bike lanes/routes (by North American standards).... so I've cycled here more than any other city I've lived in.

But the sporty style of bike accessories frustrated me. My cute bike and I deserved more! I'm not interested in going super fast and getting sweaty. I want to be relaxed and wear normal clothes and arrive at my destination relatively unsweaty. My desire for a more relaxed, stylish form of biking was fueled in a major way by this website - Copenhagen Cycle Chic, which documents the ease with which cycling fits into everyday life in Copenhagen. It's very inspiring - a glimpse into how things could be.

First, after much difficulty, I found a helmet that was in no way aerodynamic (I have no intentions of traveling at speeds where drag will be an issue, thank you), something with a bit of chic to it.

Then I made myself a few bike cuffs to keep my pants out of my chain while riding.

This month my humble little bike cuffs were featured in Momentum Magazine!

Momentum Magazine, a fabulous free magazine all about everyday person cycling (not sporty cycling), put out an issue all about the crafty DIY culture and how it intersects with bike culture. It's a fantastic magazine. If you can't find it in a bike store near you, request it. In the meantime, read it online here. And happy cycling!

(I've got ideas brewing for other bike accessories that could easily be more stylish (bike gloves!). If only I had more time. And magical sewing elves.)

Monday, July 06, 2009

Handmade Nation

I got my ticket to this event the day they went on sale.

It's going to be awesome. All the crafty people in the area will gather together and celebrate the awesomeness of making stuff. Join us!

Thursday, July 9th, 2009
Location: Rio Theatre, 1660 East Broadway @ Commercial Drive
Screening at 8:00pm, Craft Showcase at 7:00pm

Tickets & Info Here:

Traveling across the world to sold out crowds, it is Vancouver’s turn to join the handmade revolution! Join Director Faythe Levine, July 9th, for Western Canada’s premier of Handmade Nation. Be the first in Vancouver to see the film, meet Faythe Levine and participate in a Q&A and book signing session after the screening.

Tagged as the ‘Ambassador of Handmade’, Faythe Levine has traveled 19,000 miles to document what has emerged as a marriage between historical technique, punk culture, and the D.I.Y. (do-it-yourself) ethos.

A companion book, Handmade Nation – The Rise of D.I.Y., Art, Craft, and Design, features 24 artists, their work environment, their process, their work, and discussions of how they got their start and what motivates them.

For more information, visit:
Handmade Nation’s official website
Faythe Levine’s blog