Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Running at Full Throttle!

Gearing up for the Ars Nova Art and Craft Sale is in full swing! I have all of the small/child sized head wraps done and will start working on the med and larges today. I have also sew 34 cat nip pillows and am going to start filling them tonight. Right now it doesn't look like much, but it will when they are packed full of rice and catnip. I'm also going to cut the fabric for the pencil clutches today and if I have time some travel tissue holders too. I'm still trying to figure out display ideas. I want to try to make a step display made out of paper pulp from junk mail and paper scraps, but I have to make the form first which will be tricky for me.

I also have an old create that I'm going to fill with fabric and put the pencil clutches and tissue holders in. And then there is this swanky "take and Read" display I got a long time ago. I'm going to put kits for the pencil clutches and travel tissue holders along the bottom, pattern print out (they will be $1 ea) along the center, and then business cards and "about craft leftovers" pamphlets in the top. Perfect right. I love this little rack so much, I'm so glad I finally get to use it. Oh and then, I'm going to put the crocheted dishcloths in my dishdrain (which is bright red) and prop that up. I thought that would be kind of neat. I have a Styrofoam head that I will put one of the head wraps on, but I'm honestly not sure what to do with the rest of them. I'm sure I will get it figured out... Maybe that is what will go on the paper pulp stair form! Ha! Thanks for letting me chat this up with you all, because I think now I do know what I'm going to do for my display!

Now you may be wondering... how is she doing all this sewing if her machine is broke? Well, because of the generosity of others that's how. Thank you to everyone who donated, you have really made this little crafty lady happy! This is my new machine, isn't she beautiful?
It's a brother CE-4000 computer... she sews like a dream. If I would have known that sewing was so easy with a fulling working, not having to hold the foot control in your hand to make it go and only having one hand to guide things, no button hole function, bad tension, out of alignment, gets smelling like burning rubber when I use it machine, I would have bought one a long time ago.

And with that I'm going to head into the studio. Even though I have today completely off class, I have a lot to do... I'll show you what I've been up to in my studio at school in my next post.

Have a good day!

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Foggy Groggy

Well, they day(s) have been really foggy. It is positively reminding me of England... I am really getting the traveling itch lately. It's going to be another year before I can really get some time to run around to other countries. I can't wait to whip out my passport again... ah... le sigh.

Anyway. Lots of stuff to show you out there in webdom. I recieved my order of concave buttons after picking up these at the local vintage everything shop (Lavish Thrift).

These are the ones that I ordered:

I'm going to do something really super cool (hopefully) with them and will show you when I'm finished.

Also, I'm going to be collaborating with this Rockford artist that was showing his work at the group salon show at the leger gallery. We had a good chat, I bought this from him,

and then realized "crap, I should have gotten his info." After I took it home I realized that I was going to have to reline the inside before I used it.... then it hit me, what a great collaboration that would be, he could do the outside and i could do the inside. My friend saw him at the reopening, got his info, and i shot him an email asking if he would like to give it a try. He really liked the idea. It's something he had wanted to do, but didn't want to... if you know what I mean. It's just not his idea of fun... but it is for me because maybe I'm just a bit neroidic... but that's okay. So we are going to do a trial run. Like 2-10ish after I redo the one I have and see how it goes.

So far I'm in the process of ripping out the liner and scrubbing down the inside... this is what it looks like right now:

Gross right?

I'll show more pictures of it as it's in process, then finally done... hopefully by next weekend.

Okay so other news:
I just added more craftleftover kits to the etsy shop, you should go get your hands on one. Remeber 50 cents of each kit (the rest of the price is s&h and materials) goes towards the publishing of the book. The kits are all made from stuff from my stash (for the most part) and a lot of the materials in them are vintage and neat-o. So check it out. There are kits for the Pencil Clutch, the reversable travel tissue holders, the perfect dish cloth, and the newest pattern the Springy Crocheted Head Wrap.

It's pretty swanky... I got a ton of compliments and "ohhhh! where did you buy that?" comments, which are the best because then I can say "I didn't buy it, I made it, you can get the pattern for free on craft leftovers!" what great promotion right?

And even more fun Craft Leftover news, I'm going to be in the Ars Nova Art and Craft Sale that is happening April 11th and 12th at the NIU Glass Gallery in the Holmes Student Center. It's going to be all Craft Leftover stuff too. I'm working on my display and inventory right now. I'll be selling Craft Leftover Kits, have the patterns printed out that will be 50 cents each, and then all the different craft leftover projects made up for sale. Mainly the catnip pillows, crochet head wraps, reusable tea bags, reversable travel tissue holders, and pencil clutches.

I'm also going to apply for the Renagade Craft Fair this summer so hopefully that will be coming up in the fall. It will be way easy once I get my inventory/display all ramped up! Woot.

My goal is that by next summer I will be in the Bazaar Bizarre out in the bay area... here's to hoping!

Okay so I do have some bad news in all this.... my sewing machine has totally, finally, completely... bit the freaking dust. I'm so sad. I haven't been able to sew in over a week. It's driving me nuts. I have plans on getting a new one, after a few pay checks and a painting sells, but honestly it will not be nice, it will be one of those on sale walmart ones. Plus, my credit card number got stolen last week so I can't even go out and emergancy charge the thing.

I'm not one to ask for help, but if you feel my pain and feel inclined to help, there is a donate button in the sidebar of craft leftovers, that would go towards helping me to get a new sewing machine. Anything would be an big help.

Well, now that I'm done groveling, I'm going to get on that art history paper, have a good weekend!

Monday, March 19, 2007


That was quite the breather! I love vacation, especially when I don't have anything in particular to do. Although I'm sure I could have spent my time more wisely, I sure did enjoy myself... and my visitors. Both my friend Jill and Jason made it here to visit with me. It was great! Jill came the first half of the break. We used the time to shop and craft and mainly I taught her how to crochet and she taught me how to make jewelry! We also walked around and had some good times in general. Here are the earrings she helped me to whip up.

It brightened up just enough to take two bike rides! So I put my new clip peddles on my bike and road off to no where in particular. It was wonderful! I even stopped in the park to sketch some geese. I haven't tipped yet either so I'm happy. I did come close today though. Oh yeah, for those of you out there who aren't acquainted with these peddles I'm talking about, basically you have these shoes with a clip on them and they lock into the peddles. It is a common occurrence to forget to up clip them and literally just fall over on your bike. More embarrassing then painful. It happens in theory several times until you get used to it, but hopefully it will be one cycling experience I will never have to endure.

Anyway, then Jason came and we just hung out a whole lot, it was super fun. You know, I honestly don't know what we did in particular, just kind of hung out. We did get out and about quite a bit, but mainly just running around together. It was great. I can't wait to finish school so I can see him more than once a month or so.

Some pretty cool stuff has been happening, like Craft Leftovers was just featured again on the CRAFTzine blog! I am excited to say the least that it wasn't just a one time freak thing. Also there are more kits of a new kind up in the store. All the proceeds from those go towards the book that I will hopefully come out in the fall. I scored some sweet buttons while my friend Jill was here and some more when Jason came to visit, I have a secret project that I am working on with those. I will post pictures when it's finished.

Oh I made a new reversible tissue holder for myself just to make sure I had the kinks worked out of the pattern, I am really loving it. Here are some pictures of it in and out.

I got some coffee and tea in the mail today which is always so nice. I tried out the cherry green tea immediately and it was delicious!

I am also whipping up some ideas for my senior show.... or my three senior shows... geeze. I'm maybe going to have twoish in chicago and one in dekalb. I'm not sure what the one in DeKalb will be, but I'm sure it will get worked out. I will think of something, I always do.

Oh there has been a really long delay/back order on the sock yarn so I think I'm going to just dye up what I have left and it should be ready by this weekend. I'm shooting for some brown and green variegated in the sock, some green in the hemp sock yarn for me, and some green for the worsted that I'm going to make into a sweater vest. I'm on a sweater vest kick lately, I'm not really sure why, I am just loving them.

Ah yes, the list. So what did I get done on it?
Clean, clean, clean
Sleep, sleep, sleep

That was seriously all there was time for... I did throw away a lot of stuff, and consigned about half my closest, but I have a long way to go as far as getting rid of all the undesirables in my apartment. Not to mention more cleaning! It never ends, but you all know that well I'm sure.

Have a good day!

Friday, March 09, 2007

Ah, the spring... well break anyway.

I'm officially on Spring break, and it's actually going to be a break too! I'm not going anywhere, don't really have any homework, and I don't have any major projects due when I get back. It's going to be so nice. My friend Jill is coming to visit during the first half of break and then Jason is going to visit the second half! I'm spending this weekend cleaning like mad trying to make up for the lack of cleaning that has been going on around here since last semester! I just sorted the laundry and I have something like 10 loads worth. I've only been doing necessary loads this semester, so it will be nice to have everything clean and put away.

I've been knitting like a fiend again and finished another pair of socks this past week.
I also finished and turned in my tapestry for my weaving class on Thursday. It's inspired by the Anatolian weaving tradition. It's a "tree of life" motif.
It hasn't been blocked so its a little wonky. I'll fix it when I get it back.

Oh yeah, so the socks pictured above, they are this week's craft leftover pattern, you should go check it out. They knit up pretty quick and just about any fingering weight yarn can be used.

So goals for this break:
1. Clean clean clean
2. Learn how to silk screen
3. Dye more yarn (as soon as I get it, I honestly thought it would have been here by today)
4. Sleep sleep sleep
5. Finish some commissions I haven't had time for.
6. Read read read
7. Get rid of everything that I'm not crazy about that is taking up space in my apartment

I'll check back with you at the end of break and let you know how it's gone. In fact, I think I'm going to take a week off blogging, I'll post lots of pictures next weekend. If I do get that yarn, and it does get dyed before then, I will post an update to let you know that it's going in the shop.

Have a great week!

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Miss match, moch poge

The sewing rebellion was well underway in the picture above. It was great. I will post more about it later.

Okay so for whatever reason I can't move or delete any photos, so they are kind of mixed up. Above is one of the Craft Leftover Kits that is going out with the mail tomorrow. The picture of the other side is below.

These are shots of the gallery opening at Pleasant Street. It was a pretty good time. A lot of good stuff there. The central figure facing everyone is reciting some really amazing poetry. I think is was titled "it's like..."

Here is my piece. I really loved the shadows, but couldn't get them with the flash, so it's a little blurry. I don't have a tripod.

Okay, so this is Oak Park from the train platform.

This is the storefront window of a shop in Oak Park. I really wish they would have been open!

This is Elbern from the train, it was kind of an interesting sunrise, the windows tinted everything green.

On the way back I finished my second sock! Now where did I put that first one? Oh and look how close I was to not making it, that's all the yarn I had left! I did get a pair out of one skein.
So I would have deleted, then turned, and re-uploaded this one, but blogger won't let me. Oh well. It was a really interesting performance piece. All the little bags were filled with milk, and people were invited to prick the pins and let the milk drain out.
This is the other image of the kit I mentioned above.
And here is me next to the piece I had in the show.
And now I need to go finish my tapestry. Hopefully it will be all done by tomorrow. Have a good week!

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Field trip!

I always love going into Chicago, but it's even better when I get to learn stuff and meet/hang out with new people. While doing research for my Modernist Groups art history class I came across this artist run group in Chicago called Mess Hall. They sound pretty great and really on the same page as I'm feeling right now. The Mess Hall hosts free workshops, exhibits, music, has a small library to browse and a give and take kind of feel to it. In their words "Mess Hall runs on the generosity of those who use it. This allows us to provide everything for free - from food and drinks to workshops and events. Please bring things to share with others."So tomorrow I'm heading up there to check it out in person with my friend Deanna. There's a brunch kind of deal so I made some cookies to share. I figured if I made them vegan than everyone would be able to eat them.
These people sound really super nice. I'm very excited.

In other news:
1. Craft Leftover kits are up in the store and there is a new pattern posted.
2. I love yarn on the spool, it makes me really super happy.
3. Sister D mentioned the Craft Leftover book fundraiser on CraftyPod Blog and made the whole thing sound really great! Thank you so much! She is one super crafty lady and to have her moral support is so, well, supportive!
4. I've been dyeing way more sock yarn than I can reasonably knit up, so I'm going to start selling it in my etsy shop. I'll let you know the day and time it will be going up. It will be soon though. I'm hoping by this time next week.
And on that note I'm going to go clean my craft room a bit! Have a good week!