| May 9, 2012 | 10:42 am
I am so pleased to announce that I will be contributing some of my coffee bean bag purses and totes at the Portage Trail Barn Sale. My goal was to sew a bag a day for the past two weeks to prepare. That was insanity. There are so many moms who manage to juggle the work-at-home-mom gig. I don’t think that person is me.
I get distracted by my garden, my friends, my kids, my desire to learn how to build a drip irrigation system…. And another project that I am so excited to share, but I’m not quite ready yet.
Kid's Cape made by Portage Trail Barn
In any case. I have much less than 14 bags to offer at the sale, but the ones I do have are really great. You’ve seen the photos before. I’m also bringing some items which I made last year, some arm cuffs and headbands and stuff.
Mostly, I’m just glad to be a part of such a unique retail opportunity. My friend Mary Beth is such a creative and industrious person. She’s a real up-by-your-bootstraps kind of woman. And she has chickens, which is something I really want (anyone want an awesome house in west akron with fabulous neighors so I can move to a house with a yard big enough for chickens?).
There are many other vendors offering their wares at the sale, too. So you will need to check out the Portage Trail Barn blog to see her featured sellers to know what to look forward to. And even better, you can head over to the sale next weekend and feel all the hand crafted goodness with your own fingers. I am planning on restocking my supply of hand knit dish cloths. As well as finding some handmade gifts for my mom’s birthday!
- Spring Barn Sale- May 17-19
- Thursday 5p-8p
- Friday and Saturday 10a-3p
| February 17, 2011 | 11:39 pm
Olivia is in Kindergarten, which means that our whole family is blazing new trails. She is reading and making friends. I am being asked to be the craft mom for holiday parties.
OK, her accomplishments are a little more ground breaking than mine. True. But I do have to struggle to keep to my ideals of crafting– upcycled, useful, valuable, beautiful, etc.– while making a craft that 24 six year olds can do in 15 minutes. And it’s a bonus if no one cries.
Which reminds me! Have I ever shared my ethos on children’s crafting? People have often asked me to teach crafts to children. Upon seeing what I have planned to do they tell me that kids can’t do such and such. I’ve sewn with 3 year olds, made stained glass with pre-schoolers, and finger knit with Daisy Scouts. And I believe that kids can do all of it, just not as well as an adult can do it. They may not finish. It might not be the most beautiful thing you’ve ever seen. It might even get thrown away on the way out the door. But if the children were able to keep themselves busy doing the work you gave them, and no one cried, it was a well planned craft. The kids could do it, and they learned something new. End rant.
Well, for the Valentine’s Day party I designed these little magnet clips for the kids to make. We used felted sweaters for the hearts, glued them to clothes pins with magnet strip on the back. To decorate the hearts I punched out heart shapes from my Zero Landfill wallpaper books and the children added their pictures. No one cried, and all the clips looked great hanging on the white board while they dried.
I can’t wait until the next party!
| January 21, 2011 | 7:40 pm
This past Wednesday was the Anniversary party for our local Stitch N Bitch. Good ol’ group has been around for 7 years now. I got my second year pin, which is a tiny hand knit bear. I’ll have to photo him later, since I think he’s still attached to the sweater I wore to the party and that sweater is in the laundry chute.
Our group celebrates the event with a blind scarf swap. To participate you just need to knit or crochet a scarf and bring it wrapped up in non-descript wrapping paper. Then everyone just takes turns picking a scarf at random and everyone says, “OOOOoooooo, AAaaahhhhhhh!!” as they admire our talented group’s handi work.
I wanted to participate, mostly because I wanted to get a fantastic new scarf that was made with love, but I didn’t have time to commit to the knitting. I tried to wing it at the last minute and wet felt some hand died wool. Let me just say, it didn’t work and so I didn’t swap. I was going for a dark bluish green and I ended up with this bright spring green. Then when I felted it the scarf was too thin and it split down the middle. Craft fail.
Now I have this long piece of green felt. I think it might be salvageable if I cut it into leaf shapes and sew it together into a scarf. Maybe I will work on that this weekend… Or maybe I will just put it in the limbo of my closet in the studio…
| January 3, 2011 | 3:28 pm
I sewed my first tote bag! I love how it turned out, and I’m really pleased with the fabric (It takes me a painful amount of time to make fabric choices). I took the Intermediate Sewing Skills Tote Bag class from Martha at Craft Akron, and she was amazingly patient & encouraging. This is my first time doing a zipper, button hole, and using interfacing. Actually, this was my very first sewing class because I’ve been self-taught. This class revealed a few things I thought I was doing right but wasn’t.
Thank you Martha!
inside of tote
| December 16, 2010 | 4:35 pm
This is one of the few handmade gifts I’ve made this year. I’m still adjusting to life with two kids and taking life at a more relaxed pace. I’ve opted to make less & give more books this year.
I did manage five of these hair flowers so far. I researched how to melt the fabric edges from a tutorial at Simply Vintage Girl. Her flowers have more of a petal look while mine are rounded. For mine I cutout stackable circles from silky fabric, then melted the edges over a candle. I sewed the layers together, sewed beads in the center, and glued on a piece of fabric to the back to hold the clip in place.
| December 13, 2010 | 10:11 pm
Today we had a snow day so I had all my girls home with me for the first time in months. We spent the day making paper ornaments and a nativity scene with my wall paper from Zero Landfill. I wish I could show them to you today, but having all three with me was a little more over whelming now that they’re used to school and I didn’t sit down until after dark and the lighting stinks. It’ll have to wait until tomorrow I guess. So instead I will show you these new ornaments I made for the girls at the Craft Akron anniversary party two weekends ago.
I struggled with whether I should make them all the same, or if I should go ahead and do them each differently since I was planning to give them all at the same time. I don’t like how sometimes gift giving can turn into arguing when there are three sisters involved. But in the end I went with different takes on the same theme, which was gold and maroon with musical notes and scrolling letters.
To make these we dripped dye into a glass bulb and poured glitter into the bulb and shook it up to coat the walls. Then we glued a fanned circle of scrapbook paper to the front of the bulb and embellished it with a disk of paper.
Everyone loved their ornament and we hung them on the tree right away. And thankfully no one bickered.
| December 9, 2010 | 11:37 pm
Boy, it’s been a while since we posted a good ol’ tutorial. But man does life get away from you when you’ve got a Kindergartener. Now we’re two weeks out from Christmas Break. How did that happen? So, since it’s almost Christmas Break, that must mean it is almost Christmas. And therefore we are decorating the tree!
This year I am having the kids slowly add ornaments throughout Advent. I thought it was a good alternative to just getting all the ornaments out and rushing through putting them on the tree. The bonus of doing it this way is we are making a bunch of new ornaments instead of just using the same ones we’ve always used. This tutorial will show you how to make the “wrapped candy” ornament pictured in the middle of my tree over there. It’s a very kid friendly, and almost free project using things commonly found in your house. And, they’re very cute! Read more »
| November 19, 2010 | 12:20 pm
I must admit that I am sort of band-wagon jumping here, but how could you not? The best craft “fad” I’ve seen yet is the mustache. It’s just so funny. Something about the awkwardness of a bad mustache makes me really love the idea of putting them all over stuff.
For Crafty Mart (which was fantastic by the way, loved seeing many of you there!) I made “stir-staches” or a mustache on a stir stick for your cocktail glass. I held one up in front of my face for most of the day, and enjoyed making conversation with shoppers incognito. A good deal of people borrowed one for conversing with me. We enjoyed the silliness of it a great deal.
These guys are going to be for sale in my etsy shop soon. I’m waiting for the next sunny day to grab my camera and photo everything I have left over from the fair. As much fun as it is having a suitcase full of crafty-wares, it is more fun to have people out in the world wearing them.
| November 12, 2010 | 10:37 am
Making, making, making. All of my evening craft time is consumed with making little flowers for Crafty Mart. The fabric for the flowers is scrap strips from these scarves I’ve been making. The idea came to me all of a sudden, as all the best ideas do, while I was driving to pick up Olivia from Kindergarten. They are so simple, and classic. They’re also very fashion current, given the “deconstructed preppy” look (which I am in love with, by the way).
I love to leave little remnants of an item’s former life when I upcycle things, so these have the shirt tail hem left at the ends of the scarf. The contrast seams are both attractive and functional, in navy blue. There will hopefully be a gold trimmed version, if I can find a gold metallic thread that doesn’t hate my serger.
By the way, what do you think of my cashmere sweater? Someone gave it to me to felt it. But I love it, so I washed it and blocked it, and now I want to wear it every day!
| November 9, 2010 | 9:33 pm
More things being made. And these are my favorites to date. I can promise one of them will be mine to keep, and will be worn on Saturday.
These headbands are made with variations of suiting fabrics and broadcloth on the reverse. Some of them will be reversible. Some, like the one pictured here, will be more ornate. We can all thank the anthropologie catalogue for coming just in time to inspire me. There are so many muted, etherial colors in that catalogue, it makes me sew flowers for headbands.
There’s one more product reveal coming up. And one that I’m keeping a secret. Ok, ok, I’ll give you a hint: I’m calling them stir-staches.