Tuesday, January 30, 2007

New Items up!

I just wanted to let you all know really quick like that I put another drawing and 3 new catnip pillows in the etsy shop. You should check them out. I picked up some cute kitty fabric in the Ames quilting connection.

I don't really have any new pictures other than project shots, so here is a little something out of my sketch book.

Sorry to be so short for tonight, but that was all I had time to do. I'm tired and am going to bed. Have a good night!

Sunday, January 28, 2007

D is for draw, P is for paint

I started work on my new painting series about the endangered/threatened Illinois plant species this last month and found the best resource ever called VPlant. It is a virtual herbarium that the Chicago Botanical Gardens helps to run/host or something like that. They have plant species that have been collect as far back as the 1840's. It's amazing to me to see all of these plants, which are now endangered and/or threatened, have been collected for more than one hundred years. It is kind of depressing to see the lack of collections in recent years because they are becoming more rare and when they are spotted they are just recorded and no longer collected.

Here are a few of the species that will be included in the series... there will be more though, I have yet to work my way through the listings of rare species in the Illinois region.

In traditional botanical illustration, lithoprints were first done, then color was added after each print was dry. At least this is the way that some were done. I wanted to reflect on this method in my work. I am going to start with pen and ink drawings, then print them, and then I will touch them up with color. I'm thinking either acrylic ink, watercolors, or oil paints. I am going to layer the printing process, drawing, and inking/painting with gesso to blur it. I'll post some pictures of the whole process once I get some finished. I've started the preliminary pen and ink drawings this weekend and hope to get some prints done on Monday or Tuesday night.

On another note I put another dishcloth for sale in my etsy shop today. Unfortunately I forgot my needle and thread this weekend and will not be able to finish the knitting needle holder until Monday.

Anyway, that's it for tonight, I'm needing to pack up and head back to my home town.

Editted in: I added a new section to my etsy shop "Fine art" and put a drawing up for sale. I will be adding more small drawings and paintings in the near future. Also you can get any drawing or small painting matted for a small fee of $4. Have a good night!

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Fiber Stuff

Well I've finally started weaving in my weaving class. It took us the first 2 weeks to make our lap looms, but now we are off to a running start... doing plain weave. Which is okay, good practice, but I really can't wait until next week when we start doing tapestry stitches.

Here is my little loom, isn't it swell? I think so. I have done the first inch of weaving on it with 4 rows of twining to get things off to a good start. It's actually a two harness loom which is really nice, makes things go a lot faster than they did this summer. If only I had known, but I suppose now I do!

Also, that sock that I started knitting around the time of the last post is also making some headway. The cuff is actually about half way done! I'm very excited, I hope I actually finish the pair. I think I will though, there is a bit more motivation because it is yarn I dyed myself and I want to be able to wear them around and say "look what I made! Isn't this neat!?"

I was feeling a bit down and then realized that it was January and I was most likely feeling the winter blues. So I bought myself a pretty plant! Pink pedals and everything, she brightens up my apartment.

And good news all the more! I recieved another order this morning! So the first one wasn't just a freak acciedent after all! That is exciting. I'm working on a new type of catnip toy, hopefully by next weekend there will be a few for sale. This weekend I'm going to put up some more items for sale, I will post an update on the blog if I do.

Oh on a sad note, I'm going out of town tomorrow afternoon so there will be now Craft Leftover pattern this week. I'm very sad about this, I really like doing them every week. I think I'm just going to have to work on those submission guidelines to help fill in the weekends I can't write one. Or I might just have a once a month scheduled off weekend for out of town purposes.

Anyway, I'm super tired and still need to pack so I better head out. Have a good night!

Monday, January 22, 2007

Sketchity Sketch Sketch

I've been doing a whole lot of sketching lately... which is usually followed by a fury of making new things... so hopefully that will come soon. In the meantime I thought I would show you what I have been brainstorming about.
Here are some quick little doodles about the Craft Leftover Pattern layouts.... but I'm starting to think that maybe I will put 5 patterns into each book so that way I can actually make some money on printing them. It's about $4.50 to print a 4 pager, but only about $5.50 to do more around 12, so I figure I will just do more patterns in the one mini book. They are what will be included in the kits. So it will be good for both the people who buy the pattern/kit and for myself, because I will not have to order say 5 mini books of 5 different patterns up front.

Guess what I'm going to be making more of? This is the general sketch... I will be working out the details in later pages ++like size, material lists, cost vs price++ that kind thing. I am hoping to have a few ++or at least one++ finished by the weekend to put up for sale in the etsy shop. You guys/ladies gave me such a positive response that it seemed like something that would be good to make a bunch of. Not to mention that I really enjoyed making it ++ I'm sure after the tenth one it will not be sooo exciting, but hopefully I will keep up the interest. Oh that reminds me. I'm also working on a set of more affordable sewing kits to put up for sale, I think those will be done in 2 weeks, maybe less.

I went a little nutty with the ocean life books and have been doing quite a few sketches of those as well... here are three of them.

I think I'm going to cast on a sock today to take to class with me... I'm starting to get that yansy feeling in my fingers. I'm finally going to knit up that yarn that I dyed with walnuts before Christmas.... I will post pictures, I'm really excited. I'm going to try a variegated walnut/lettuce sock yarn next, I need to get some lettuce and some wax linen thread first. I'm shooting for next week for that. I'm thinking about 8 skiens worth. Two for a friend, two for me, and maybe just maybe four to sell. We will see how it goes, I will keep you posted.

That is all for today, I need to finish my reading for that said class that I will be taking the sock too. Have a good one!

Friday, January 19, 2007

Hi there

Well well well.... so I tried to add a list of the patterns into the sidebar of craft leftovers tonight and did something or other to the template and now it looks really screwy and I may end up having to redo the whole thing, not too hard, but still annoying. So I'm really sorry about the mess I left over there but I am experiencing some technical difficulties (aka I only have very basic html skills and have no idea what to look for).

The good news is that I did post a new pattern tonight and you can go check it out here... just scroll down and you can get to the pattern, just nevermind all the text garble at the top.

Here is a little preview shot, it's a needle wrap.
I will also be adding some new felted dishcloths to the shop tomorrow so you should go check that out as well.

Now that the first week of school is over I have some things to report. I love my classes, but they will be nuts. And my last day at the Village Commons Bookstore will be this Thursday.... and that is the only day I have left to work too. I'm so relieved, it's been really stressing me out. It will be nice to only have one job for once. And this semester I won't be required to get up earlier than 8:30! That's a first in I don't know how long. It's a good thing that things will be more open for me because I am going to need a ton of studio time. I'm taking two painting classes, weaving, and an advanced art history class. It will be fun though. I will post some pictures of what I am working on in the studio as it comes up... I'm supposed to get 2 paintings done a week, so it will come up a lot.

I better get off to bed, lots of stuff to do tomorrow, it's my first day off work since new year's!

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Sewing Kit Upcycling!

Okay so I just wanted to let you know that I put the sewing kit up for sale tonight. It's a little pricey I've been told by a few people, but it took quite a long time to make because of all the little french knots and satin stitching on the lid. And the box is completely made from scratch, it's not a generic Micheal's one and that took some time too.

This will be the next sewing kit that will hopefully go up for sale tomorrow night... no promises though.

I'm off to bed, have a good night!

Friday, January 12, 2007

Friday Fantastic

I'm not sure why it's friday fantastic, but I'm sure it is for some reason or another. I do have some fun stuff to show you. This is the sewing kit that I mentioned in my last post. I wanted to show you how it came about... well that did start with jill late at night at vi, but i mean the actually composition.

I started with this:

Which turned into this:

Which then became this (rotated a bit):

I haven't quite finished the stitching around the edge of the lid seam, but I couldn't wait to show and tell.

I also have some general announcements:
There is a new pattern up over at Craft Leftovers for a crocheted felted dishcloth... the perfect dishcloth. And also, if you don't feel like making them yourself, I am putting some up for sale over in my etsy shop tonight, check back in the am for those.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Hey Y'all

So guess what guess what guess what!? I received my very first order through etsy today!
And a friend of mine bought two catnip pillows from me today as well. It's so exciting. I've sold 4 things in as many days.

I also received a thank you/care package from one of the quilt block swap members. It had coffee, hot chocolate, and sock yarn in it! How sweet is that. She even told me I was a good quilt block swap mom. It totally made my day. I was kind of feeling down about the qbs too because of how rough it was getting things together for the January swap. Not to mention that 5 different people haven't gotten blocks even though they sent theirs out. It's just frustrating. But now I can sip hot chocolate or coffee and knit a bit to relax. It totally perked me up about the whole thing. I still can't believe I've been hosting it for 7 months now, 8 including the December month that we took off. So thank you Tammy, you are a serious sweetie.

Another thing about the quilt block swap is that we have had odd number members just about every month so I have been sitting out, which I think is effecting my moral because I am just admin now instead of an active member. So hopefully, in Feb we will have an even number and i can make and receive some blocks and work a bit on my own quilt.

Another neat thing that is going on and that I'm going to enter into the Upcycling contest at etsy. Only a couple days to do some upcycling.... which is actually kind of funny because that is pretty much what I am all about anyway. I really just had to choose which item I wanted to submit. Upcycling is the whole premise of Craft Leftovers. I decided on the little sewing kits I make out of scrap fabric, yarn, and mat board. All things that would normally get thrown out, but instead I make them into something to use. That is what upcycling is. I guess the term was coined in the book From Cradle to Cradle, which I actually read last summer... or maybe it was the fall. Anyway, it's a good book, you should read it.

I'm going to let you all go and stop blabbing on and get to work on those sewing kits. They will most likely go up on the 13th. I will post an update.

Oh yeah. Also, I will be putting some dishcloths up for sale around the 13th too. Be looking for it. And I put some more bookmarks and catnip pillows into the store tonight.

Have a good night!

Monday, January 08, 2007

Mark those Pages

Mentioning nativities again, here is one I made for my grandma when I was.... oh i think 10. Also Deb, I totally should have known that you got it from a garage sale, what was I thinking.

Here is a picture of the catnip pillows in progress. I just picked up some more catnip today to make some more and decided to go the organic route. I think that better, kitties don't need to be freaking out over chemicaled up catnip.

I'm not sure what I'm going to do with these, maybe some more tin pin cannies, we will see.

I posted some bookmarks for sale in my esty shop tonight. 2 for only $1.50, what a steal! They are made from recycled library card catalogs and printed on with a hand cut linoleum block. Plus they are laminated so even if you spill your coffee all over your book, your book mark will be A-okay!

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Etsy Store Update!

Amazing, two posts in one day!
I got a little too about the prospect of updating my store and made a bunch of stuff and updated it tonight.

I made some of these:
And some of these:

Go check it out!

I'm going to start adding items on a regular basis... just about every other day, maybe more. So, check back frequently to see the new stuff. Or subscribe to my mailing list to hear about the store update first by e-mailing me at kristinroachoriginals@gmail.com with Mailing List in the subject field.

Have a great night!


Okay, so for the last week I have been working.... a whole lot. And being sick and all I have been trying to eat well, but breakfast has really been lacking... I'm just so worn out that I struggle to get out of bed and end up not having enough time to make something other than toast. So this morning, late morning, I made some Banana fritters with pecans, honey, and mini chocolate chips... and then I made quite a few extra to freeze and then toast up during the week. Most likely without the chocolate chips, that was a special treat just for today.

The other cool that I'm doing today is making a ton of needle holders. They start out like this:And then end up like this:
Here is the production line:

All the yarn for me to dye up came in this past week. Doesn't it look delicious! I can't wait!

Here are some little crewel works that I stitched up over Christmas time. They will soon be little sewing kits, I just need to make up the boxes and glue it all together.

Anyway, I'm going to get on those tin can pin holders, I'll post pictures when I'm finished. I think I'm going to follow my ferret's lead and take a nap first. I'm starting to lose the cold, but now I'm coughing a whole lot and I'm having a hard time breathing, so I'm getting tired super fast. Nap time!

Friday, January 05, 2007

Stuff and Junk

Exiting news! There is a new pattern up on Craft Leftovers! Here is a picture of it, live long a prosper! I will be posting new patterns every Friday from here on out. How cool is that.I cut all the pieces for my mock up of the pants I'm going to make really soon out of the denim and corduroy.
I found this really neat hat out in the yard. I thought it might belong to someone, so I left it all day... and then I came home from work the next day and it was raining and so I took it home. I don't think I will wear it though because I don't know where it was. But it will be awesome in still lives and other prop type things. Although on the off chance of someone knowing: Does anyone know a good way to clean it... just in case I would like to wear it sometime... maybe.
This is what the little circular strip of fabric turned into, cool huh? I wore it over a blouse and it was très chique!
And here is my pink panther in Chartre! Bon soir!

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Disaster Everted...

Okay, so first a funny little story. Opening shipment boxes and unpacking art supplies is what I do... just about everyday.... but today was different. I'm not sure if I was just tired... maybe a little too much caffine... whatever it was I messed up. I meant to slash the tape and I ended up gouging my own thumb instead. My boss took one look at it and said "yep, that's what my thumb looked like when I need stitches, we better send you to the clinic to get that checked out." It was pretty great, they paid for everything... including the 3 hours I spent waiting at the clinic. It was a close call though, it turned out I missed my nerve by about... well the doctor said that he wasn't sure exactly how it missed my nerve, but that in case it goes tingly, I have some numbers to call. Nice.

Anyway, better stuff. Here is an apron that Deb gave me along with the stash of fabric... somehow wearing an apron makes me feel super... well... just super.
In fact so super that I organized and cataloged my fabric stash, this is just the first bit.
Then I tried my hand at this:
It's weird how this:
Turns into something swanky.

Well, I'm off to bed, have a good night!