Saturday, December 13, 2008

Christmas Presents






So I haven't posted anything new in a while, sorry to anyone who checks! I've been really busy with the end of my semester (in case you don't know, my non crafting alter ego is an art history professor). And when I've emerged from beneath the mounds of grading for a few breaths of air I've been maniacly making presents for almost everyone in my family for Christmas. I'm having a very handmade Christmas this year. Mostly things that I've made, a few things I've picked up on Etsy, and one or two presents from in-person stores, but a limited few. So of course that means I can't show you what I've been working on because it might just be for you (mom)!

Instead I thought I would post a few new pics of things in my stash. I realized the other day as I was relisting some jewelry on my Etsy site, that some of the items in my shop have been sitting there for way too long and I could tell by the pictures, and what if my customers could tell by the pictures?! So I spent this morning, my second morning post-semester, taking new pics of some beautiful earrings that just don't deserve to sit in my closet, they deserve love and wearing!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Craft-y Inspiration

I really like the idea of sharing with you all my favorite sites for Craft-y Inspiration, so here's another blog I check every day: Craft: Blog or Craftzine.com Blog. This blog is kept up in conjunction with a fabulous magazine called CRAFT that you must check out, lots of great ideas and fun projects and gorgeous pics! The blog is constantly updating with craft project tutorials and ideas found online, and often sends me to unexpected places for inspiration!

For example, today I came across a really beautiful cable sweater pattern that I am going to flag for future use. It's a gorgeous cable pull over that would be very light for Southern weather yet has a really sophistacated look with three quarter length bell sleeves. See here for pic. The pattern made its way from the Lime & Violet blog (also one of my favorites for another day) and Lime & Violet found the pattern from artist Hinke Schreuders! What a tangled web we weave! I love that Craftzine pulls so many great ideas together in one site! Thank you Craftzine!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Chain Links



Like all good nights of craft inspiration, I'd been concocting some earrings in my head all week and finally last night sat down and made two pairs. I'd been thinking about these silver links in circles and ovals that I had and accenting them with dangling chains and earthy colors. These are the two that I came up with. I have a few more ideas to come but I ran out of the fine sterling silver chain that I like, so maybe I'll make a run to Michael's this afternoon to pick up some more. I don't think the pictures do justice to the oval pair, the freshwater pearls have a gorgeous iridescence to them that changes the color from dark forest green to almost copper colored.

I've been Tagged

I'm really excited to have been tagged! On all the blogs that I read I see the bloggers playing little games with each other, but never thought my little blog would draw anyone's attention! This tag asks for 6 random things about me!

1) I'm caffeine intolerant, but that doesn't stop me from eating chocolate or drinking the occasional sweet tea.

2) I own snowshoes and cross country skiis and a plethora of hats and scarves but I live in a town that gets less than an inch of snow every ten years or so.

3) I have a 6-7 month old kitten but I'm allergic to cats so she has to sleep in a separate bedroom.

4) I like to go to the beach all year round, like even when I'm in Maine at Christmas and it's 20 degrees outside, just to hear the waves and smell the salt air.

5) I'm missing the bottom part of my right knee cap from an incident involving a school bus and a bee when I was in middle school.

6) I sleep on one of those foam contour pillows for my back, nothing makes you feel like an old lady like taking you contour pillow to a sleep over! Oh well!

The rules:
* Mention the rules on your blog.*
Tell six quirky yet boring, unspectacular details about yourself.
* Tag six others*
Go to each person’s blog and leave a comment that lets them know they are tagged.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Favorite Site for Sewing Ideas

I know that many of my readers like to dabble in the craft-i-ness, just like moi, so I thought I would blog a little about some of my favorite sites to visit, etsy shops, and blogs I read! My absolute must read every-day blog is the Sew Mama Sew Blog. Sew Mama Sew is a fabric store that also runs an amazing website for sews to learn from and inspire each other. There are forums for discussion and links to photos of others' projects. Its really a great stop for sewing inspiration. I got turned on to Sew Mama Sew last year when they were running special Handmade Holiday blogs, every day for the month of November there was a post suggesting handmade, mostly sewn, gift giving ideas, complete with tutorials on how to make these great gifts! It was an inspiration to me and really opened my eyes to the online world of sewing tutorials! I'm excited that they are doing it again this year and encourage you all to go check out the November blogs for Handmade Holiday suggestions (Here's the direct link to the Handmade Holiday 2008 Archives!)! With this years excessively perilous economy, wouldn't it be nice to spend more time and less money on gift giving?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

New Earrings





Just a quick post to show off the new things I've posted this week now that my camera is up and running!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Foyer Table


Last weekend when my mother was in town, I had a whole list of things I was hoping to do to the apt. many of those things did not get accomplished unfortunately, there is only so much time in a weekend and we filled every minute with shopping and enjoying each others' company. The one thing on the list that we got done was to find a foyer table for the entry to the apt and to hang the very heavy iron mirror above it. We found the table at World Market and it was a little more than I hoped to spend but still within budget and I love the carved design below the table top. As you can see, it is also just the right size, perfect fit! And yesterday I found the perfect vase to go on top. I wanted something tall with a punch of color. I'm not sure the pics do this vase justice, it was difficult to capture the color, its a very dark maroon with a handful of red prints of flowers and asian symbols. Definitely warms up the space! Now if only I could find an armour to hide the TV and end tables and lamps to fix the lighting in the living room...

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Fabric Stash and Sewing Projects




So this afternoon my friend Nikki and I went fabric shopping! Dangerous stuff, I know, but I was on a mission. I want to make some Christmas presents and needed to pick up some patterns, but I didn't end up working on any of those projects tonight. Of course, fabric shopping and talking about sewing projects with Nikki got the creative juices flowing and after sending her the tutorial that I used to make my plastic bag dispenser a few weeks ago (http://www.dioramarama.com/2006/12/grocery_bag_dispense.html) , I was inspired to whip up another one. This one will be a Christmas present, receiver will remain unnamed until further notice for gift giving privacy concerns, but if you know me, you can probably guess by the print :)



I also did a serious combing through my stash (picture above) looking for other inspiration (and just because sometimes you really need a reminder of what you have in that bag!) and I found a small fragment of vibrantly hued pink butterfly fabric, that I just know my niece would love. So I whipped up a drawstring backpack for her.




It's a perfect addition to her birthday package that I've been putting together (which will be a smidge late since today is her birthday, oops, bad Auntie!)

New Camera Batteries!


So... my rechargeable camera batteries finally kicked the bucket. My mother was visiting last weekend and on our trip to the beach I was able to shoot 7 pictures in fairly rapid succession before the batteries died (thats her in the first pic!). Then this week I tried to shoot a few things to post on Etsy and only got 3 pictures taken before it died. Needless to say I was pretty fed up with the camera. I was considering getting a new camera for Christmas, Santa loves an easy Shopping List, but then I thought I'd try to buy new batteries. I picked some up two nights ago and have been itching fo rthe sun to come out to try them out and behold! I took over 50 pics this morning of all the treasures I've made in the past 2 weeks, so I'll be posting them on Etsy slowly over this week, two at a time. Here are the first 2 that I posted today! Now I'll have to think of something else for Santa to get me... any ideas?



Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Power Earrings


Have you ever heard the adage that animals prints are power prints? I couldn't help but think of it when I made these earrings. The lampwork glass beads are a beautiful orange-y copper color with a black polka dot within simulating a leopard print! I think they would add just the right punch to a black suit or dress to add some wow factor!

PS. Hope everyone made it to the polls today, no complaining for the next four years if you didn't vote!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Vampire Kitteh


Happy Belated Halloween everyone! I took this pic this morning and it just seemed quite fitting for the season. I purchased a laundry basket for Annibelle a few weeks ago in hopes of giving her a cozy place to sleep now that I've banished her from my bedroom at night but I hadn't seen her actually get in the thing on her own, let alone sleep in it til this morning! Yay! She was very comfy in it until I got out the camera, which apparently makes a very intriguing sound every time I turn it on. Humph. Anyways, this was actually the beginning of a yawn, the second pic is 2 second later, such a cutie pie!


Thursday, October 30, 2008

Leopard Print Rarrrrrr


Sometimes you just have to let that fabulous side of yourself out, right? The other day I saw these beads in my craft store and, well, just couldn't hep myself. My inner goddess/ lioness/ leopardess, you pick, snatched them off the wall and put them in my shopping basket. Sometimes I really love animal prints, I've been far more into giraffe prints lately, but how often do you see giraffe print glass beads? Never. So I figured I was lucky enough to snag these beads, I would run wild with them :-) And I suspect that inner wildness runs rampant within knitting circles, therefore, they become stitch markers! I've also worked up two more of these beads into a pair of earrings that I'll be posting in the shop in a day or two in case anyone is interested!

Pink Jasper Sets





So I've definitely been feeling pink lately. This weekend when I was doing all of that bead shopping, I picked up a ton of pink jasper! I didn't even realize it until I sat down to make the necklaces, that I had these graduated pink jasper teardrops and that I had purchased the pink jasper medallions the day before! In my defense they are very different in size and in pattern, in fact I'm curious how they can really be the same stone, but thats how they are labeled and since I don't really know any better I can't argue. I suspect the medallions are pink jasper but within some other stone. Anyways, I've just posted one of these sets on Etsy and will post the other set tomorrow! Hope you like them!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Match-y Match-y




Here's one of the necklaces that I made over the weekend! I finally had an opportunity to photograph and list them! Well, I've liste done of them. I didn't have time to list the other two yet. Either tonight or tomorrow sometimes I guess. This is the necklace that coordinates with the earrings I blog about yesterday. I've been told not to use the term "matching", that it sounds like you can't wear other things with them or some such thing. So I'm using the term co-ordinating. I doubt it makes much of a difference but I'm willing to give it a try! So this necklace coodinates nicely with the last set of earrings. :-)

Monday, October 27, 2008

Too many necklaces!

I've been on a necklace spree the last few days but I didn't have any lobster clasps to finish them off with! Eek! So I finally made the sacrifice to go to Michael's after school today and pick up some supplies. Of course they were have a sale. I'm proud I got out of there spending less that $20! But then since I was down in that direction, made a pit-stop at Joann's, where I picked up some fabrics for Christmas presents, and then while I was at it went to Barnes & Noble too. Didn't spend anything there but got some great ideas for presents for my brother and for a friend of mine who is expecting twins... who also reads this blog so I will say no more....



Anyways, here's a sneak preview of the posts for this week. These are a pair of earrings that coordinate with one of the necklaces I made this weekend! I made matching earrings for all three. This set I am posting separately, the other two I will post as earring and necklace sets. I love these beads together. I picked them up on Saturday at my favorite bead store, which was having a trunk show. Love trunks shows! It's a great opportunity to see things that aren't normally in the shop! Like these beads! Clearly I was inspired. Hope you like!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Weekend Projects



So it seems that crafting has become a weekend only project. I went to town last night after getting home from the Mobile Roller Derby (yup, thats what I said). I had been working out some necklace designs in my mind all day and whipped them up last night along with coordinating earrings for each and another pair of earrings. Then made more earrings this morning! Phew! So now I just need to go buy some more lobster clasps to finish the necklaces with and I'll post them. Posted these two pairs of earrings this morning, check them out!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Playful Annibelle Video

video

Maybe I should keep some of these...



I posted two more sets of stitch markers this morning. And it occurred to me, I don't have any stitch markers of my own to use! It's that silly? I've been posting all of these really pretty stitch markers and I haven't made a pair for myself. Maybe I should keep a set for myself! The thing is, I hardly do any knitting now. I have a half finished pair of fetching gloves made that I had begun when I was in Maine two summers ago, before I moved to Alabama. It seems that once I moved south, I lost my interest in knitting, maybe because it is always so warm outside. I do like to knit when its cold out and I'm all curled up in a chair by the TV. I just haven't been moved. This summer I started a new project, a daunting one, a sweater! And I haven't done more than one night's work on it. It's sitting on the bookshelf. I can see it from here. But I can't work on it with the kitkit around and she's always around. Hm... Maybe I will bring knitting home to Maine for Christmas. Maybe by then I will need a set of stitch markers to call my own?

Monday, October 20, 2008

More Stitch Markers



A few days ago, after putting my sewing machine away, I also thought it was time to put away the jewelry stuff, so I cleaned and cleaned of fthe dining table til nothing was left (almost)> And then, of course, I was inspired to create! How does that always happen? So I took out a limited number of supplies and worked on a handful of sets of stitch markers. I'm hoping they will be good sellers for the upcoming holidays!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

More Sewing Projects

I thought I would share some of my other sewing projects from the other night when I made Anni's new sleeping bag. I also made a plastic bag dispenser, a project that has been on my to-do list for almost a year! And two little bags to pack lingerie in when I travel. I hate to idea of the TSA people scrounging through my undies....



Here is the plastic bag dispenser. This will come in handy for clearing out the floor of my pantry, whichi s currently covered in bags! I use the bags for my bathroom garbage cans and for taking out the cat litter, very handy and good recycling I think. Plus look how cute the fabric is! The bottom fabric was another gift from my friend Nikki, she clearly has good taste in fabric, can't believe she gave me some of her stash! I used the tutorial from www.dioramarama.com to make it, although it is mostly a free hand tutorial. Here's the link if you want to check it out: http://www.dioramarama.com/2006/12/grocery_bag_dispense.html I found it on the Sew Mama Sew Blog from last year's Holiday Handmade. What a great series that was!


The other project from Sunday night was this set of lingerie bags. No tutorial here, just stiched up one side for the pull strings and then folded over the rectangle. Very straight forward, but I like to organize things when I pack and I like the idea of keeping my under things in separate bags when I travel. Plus, how cute is this fabric? Picked that up at JoAnn's last weekend without any projects in mind, just couldn't help myself! Sorry these picks are so dark, camera batteries started flashing at me, so I was in a hurry to download!

Monday, October 13, 2008

What's New



Here's another new pair of earrings I whipped up. I made these a few days ago but really had to hem and haw about whether or not I was going to keep them for myself. The end decision was, I have another pair of these briolettes and many more of those pearls so if I decide I must have them, I'll make myself another pair :) I think these would be lovely as bridal earrings, something blue maybe?

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Kitteh Sack




So I noticed recently that Target has some really, really cute Kitty accessories that have a handmade appearance. There were toys and beds and sacks and I almost bought some of them when I realized, I CAN DO THAT! So today, after making a pair of earrings and hemming and hawing over a necklace that never did get finished, I converted my jewelry making space, i.e. the kitchen table, into my sewing space and went to town.


I whipped up a kitty sack out of this lovely brown canvas with a swirling leaf and butterfly pattern. I had intended to make Annibelle a comfy bed with this fabric but after seeing how much she loves being nestled inside the paper bag I thought she really needed a more permanent sleeping bag. And it is definitely a success! As soon as I put it down from my table she jumped on it and layed down and after half a second of coaxing she was inside her own bed. I used a gorgeous yellow flower print gifted to me last weekend from my friend and colleague Nikki to trim the endge and for the bird applique on the front. Thanks Nikki!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Lotus Blossoms



It seems to me that sometimes making jewelry is like the flowering of lotus blossoms, known for their enchanting beauty, which arises out of murky water. Well, here's a picture of my murky water, the mess that is my dining table when I'm working on my jewelry!



And low and behold, I've been making more earrings with flowers! How poetic :) These are plum colored iridescent freshwater pearls wire wrapped around silver ovals and anchored with a glass flower.