Thursday, May 31, 2007

Stuff in the shop

Just thought I would post "hello" to let you know there is new travel tissue holder available, 2 made ($5 ea) and 2 kits ($2 ea). I also dropped the price of the kits and added shipping separately so if you order multiple things your cost will be less! Now why didn't I think of that before! Better yet, why didn't any of you holler at me about it!

I've also made a bunch of new catnip pillows and I'll add as many as I can tonight.

Have a good one!

Wednesday, May 30, 2007


Well, I've been tagged by Leathal Zine! I will list 7 random facts, but I'm not going to tag anyone because it seems like everyone I would has been! I love the way this is spreading like wildfire!

1. I have a ferret named Ferret Beuler, but I always call him Mr B or Mr Beuler, but never by he full name or just his last. He is the littlest little guy I have ever seen.
2. I write to-do lists everyday. They are always over ambitious, but the times that I do get everything done I feel really accomplished.
3. I love gardening, I love plants, I had a great huge garden that was abundant to say the least, but I have killed almost every house plant I have ever owned. So far, my cactus is the only one that has been able to put up with my lack of watering habits. I guess my green thumb needs a little help from the great outdoors.
4. My favorite snack, which is so bad, is tortias covered with chedder cheese, peppers, salsa, and sour cream.
5. I have a favorite chair, and it is the ugliest chair I have ever seen.
6. Even though most likely no one will see my sketch book, I get self conscious about what I write and draw in it. Something that I have been trying to overcome this year.
7. More so than finishing and wearing anything I make, I really enjoy the act of making.

If I were to tag people it would be:
Emily of Apron Wings
Amy of Angry Chicken
Sister D of The Crafty Pod
Wendy of Knit and Tonic
Keri of Knitty Gritty Thoughts
Lisa of Lisa Congdon Art+Craft
Franklin of The Panopticon
There are so many more, but really need to get back to it.

I don't know what it is about this week, but I am having a complete lack of motivation issue. If it were up to me I would sit around all day doing nothing, not even reading a book. I think, maybe, I'm just exhausted.

Oh well. I have more to do before the day is done.

I did tie off all of my hanks of sock yarn... so maybe, just maybe I will get the yarn dyed by Friday night and have it in the shop on monday.

Have a good night folks, I'll post again soon, thanks for all of the nice comments and emails too, it helped brighten up this lack of luster day!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

New in the shop!

Okay, so while I was away, I spent a lot of time making stuff. And I am in the process of putting it all into the shop. So far I've added some more reusable tea bags, crocheted head wraps (one is a kiddo size, it fits me, but i have a pretty small head), and some Sun Tea Spot Coasters in sets of 4! I'm going to add some kits today for the sun tea spot coaster set too, maybe some other things as well, I'm not sure what the day will hold quite yet. Well, other than paying bills and that sort of thing. Oh! I am going to send out the package of samples to the sampler today! It has to be post marked by the 1st and I would rather not cut it any closer than I am. The last thing is finished and the tags just need to be tied on. I'm also going to prep yarn today for dyeing tomorrow, so if everything works out and I don't botch another batch, there will be more yarn in that shop next week! (lettuce dyeing didn't go so well the second time around)

I'm going to hop to it, so I'll see you cats later, I'll post more pictures and updates later this week.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Sampler Samples

Okay so they are all ready to go and I'm dropping the box off at the post tomorrow. How exciting right. This might lead to some good things, I'm not sure what exactly, but some free publicity can't hurt. Here is a picture of everything:
And I've also been working on some little painting collages, what do you think:
I found this nice little frame at Salvation Army the other day and then I bought some paints from the clearance bin at walmart. I was just having fun playing with it. Sometimes it's nice just to play with paints and not worry if it has some kind of higher meaning. That's kind of been the goal of my vacation, just relaxing, having fun, no worries, no stressful activities. It's been a good break. And I still have a couple days left of it.

I'm also going to work more on the second in the endangered species series tonight, this is the start I got on it last week, I'm hoping to have it finished by next friday, we will see how it goes:
There's about 30+ pieces so getting done in a week plus dyeing yarn is going to be a whole lot of work. But... good news, I think I might have help. Some classmates of mine said that in exchange for dinner and fiber arts lessons they will give me hard labor. So I might get some help preping the yarn at least. They are going to help me put together kits and pick out and cut fabric combos for the different items I'll be selling. So woot to that. Maybe once I graduate and move to Iowa I will be able to get a supply of interns from the art department at the local university. That would be pretty sweet. I didn't think that I might have something to offer workers other than money. But now that I think about it, I would totally work in someone's studio to learn how to say: throw pots, work with metals, book arts, etc.

Here is a little preview of this week's Craft Leftovers pattern:

Hopefully the pattern makes some kind of sense. I'm really worried that even with my best intentions I have a whole lot of errors. It's inevitable when you are just one person making, writing, and testing all of the patterns. I know that I assume things. So if you notice any, if you've made something from Craft Leftovers, send me an email or leave a comment. It's important to me. I really want to put quality patterns out there. I know how frustrating it is to be mislead by poor pattern writing. I don't want to be a poor pattern writer.

Well, that's all for now, I better get on that pattern I just previewed. I have it written up to the last step and just need to finish it and then type it up.

Have a good night!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

New stuff

First off, I really want to say thanks to everyone who commented and sent emails. Another "wow" for all of the sweetness and encouragement. It was really great to hear.

I wanted to post a quick update. Mainly there are now more reusable tea bags in both sizes in the shop and I added this:

It's a variety pack! You get one of each size, for the tea pot or sun tea pitcher and the tea cup!

Also, things are well underway for getting the Sampler together. It's my first one, so i'm a little anxious that everything goes well. I'm sending in 20 kits and 30 items from the Craft Leftover front and 50 yarn samples for Green Prairie Fibers.

Which bring me to another new thing. Samples are now available for Green Prairie Fibers, just send me an etsy message or email me and i will send one to you.

Once I'm all finished (I just have the tissue holders to make and then kits for the pencil clutch and tissue holders to put together and I will be finished) I'll post some pictures.

I also just started planning for the Renegade Craft Fair... and holy moly! I have so much to make. I'm going to get started this week. Try to get as much as I can cut so that way I can work on sewing it up while at Jason's. The list is ridiculous. Really. Like 720+ items and kits. If I can pull it off, it would be really great. I'm going to make 4 times as much as I need to break even, so that way, with that much variety, I will have a better chance of breaking even.

I guess, for me, this is the make or break kind of thing. I really want to make the Craft Leftover project my full time job and how well this goes off at the Renegade will be a good indicator as to if I should continue to try to pursue it full or part time. So go buy some tea bags and such because all that money will go towards application fees and getting me an ez tent, which are the two largest outright costs (except the kits which are still for the first print of the book).

Oh and on the front of full time, I just received a repeat wholesale order for the catnip pillows!

Well that short update turned into a long rant, so I'll go now and post pictures of the finished Sampler before I send it off. Have a good day!

Sunday, May 13, 2007


Okay, so that's where to start today's post, seriously, just wow. I'm still pretty stunned after Friday and Saturday. First. Chicago... wow... um.. it was bizarre and abstract to say the least. Looptopia started out pretty good. You know, crowds of people mulling around, looking at things, enjoying themselves, ooooing and aaaahing and saying art is bizarre, but kind of enjoying the bizarreness at the same time. I planted myself in an overstuffed border's chair at borders on the second floor on Lake and Clark and did a good amount of people watching from afar, which was way more exciting than anything Chicago had to offer. Interesting.

Then I went uptown a bit to I think the Lincoln park area... i don't know, it was the wellington stop on the brown line if that tells you anything... to where Brett W. was having a solo show. That was great. I got a coat, with a ridiculously large collar (i might have to alter it a bit, but I haven't decided yet). It has great buttons and really deep pockets! Perfect! And to

... There was this great scarf as I was checking out. Everything was 50% off during the opening so it was $11 for both! Good thing too because I neglected to bring a coat and it was freezing!

I came back to the loop and saw some stuff up close and a lot of it just looked like over funded extravagance, but that's okay. it's all good.

Then to my shift at the third shift worker celebration. (excuse the blurry pics, i didn't have a tripod with me).

Everything was fine, groups of people milling by, asking polite questions like "what are you doing and why?" and were content to be pointed to the signage that explained things, then nods of approval and smile... then midnight hit. Unknown to us, Chicago had failed us. From 12am - 5am.... valid hours of looptopia... there were no events planned, little food available, and definitely no place warm to sit and relax and maybe fall asleep until the trains ran again at 6:30.... so there were a few others, but we were one of the few to have an ongoing active exhibit until 5:30.... and holy crap. wow... bad planning.
Like I said, starting at midnight... until about 2 or so... people started getting aggressive... not bad, more like the air was charged with annoyance. It was colder than people thought it would be, most everything was shut down, and they were wandering around til the last train came (about 1:30) or the cta started running again at 4:30ish I think. We were protested by an angry misguided youth who thought we were trying to bring awareness to sweat shop conditions.... which we weren't... it was interesting, he gathered a crowd with his yelling and protesting, all of which was spurred because we wouldn't let him come in... we wouldn't let anyone come in. wow.

It was interesting the reactions we got... a lot of negative "your stupid" and later in the night "holy sh**, their f***ing sewing at 4!" which was responded by her friend "oh, it's an art space, their artists".. "oh... art-ists" ... like that excuses anything... oh the dada's final cop out... "it's just art"...

Anyway, a lot of window tapping, window banging, pulling at the door, yelling, trying to get us to respond. we finally, around 1am, decided not to respond to potentially aggressive individuals, which helped them to move on faster because they thought we couldn't hear them, which was in itself interesting. We all felt like gerbils in an aquarium. Or as I put it, pandas in the zoo... like any movement we made that resembled acknowledgment of what was going on outside brought camera flashes and more flailing of limbs to get another reaction. wow.

The best was the two reallllly drunk guys around 4 or so. They were saying stupid things about I don't even know what, but I remember it being crude for some reason or another. We were doing our normal, ignore them and maybe they will go away routine, when one of the girls looks back at us and says... "haha, his fly is totally down" and the other girl goes "he's not wearing any underwear!" and so Carole looks at him and goes "your fly's down" and does a zipper motion.. and we all start laughing in a way only sleep deprived people can.. and he was like "what?" and so she repeats herself a few more times and then points to his crotch and then does the zipper motion... we were all laughing so hard... he was trying so hard to be smooth and really he was just exposing himself in a way only a drunk 20 year old can at 4 am in downtown chicago... wow... thank goodness that door was locked. But wait no, at around 2 or 3 it stopped working... that was a little worrisome to say the least. But things calmed down and we figured after being sleep deprived, surrounded by scissors, we could defend ourselves with a blind stupor. Thankfully it never came to that point. Although one sad woman did come in and we had to make her leave.

oh and we got tagged too. hehe, that was more in the spirit of random art making in the street than aggressive.

So 5:30 came and I went on my way to the train station.

Then class... that's right I had class and a 20 min intro speech to give at 9:30... I was planning on sleeping in the car from 8:00-9, but there were all these business people mulling around and I was honestly a little worried they would call the cops on the girl sleeping in the back of the only car that was older than 2007 in the parking lot, so I knit in the car and then went in around 8:45 and then went inside to knit in a chair in the lounge but couldn't help but slumping into sleep... for 15 mins... I made my way to the main lounge and my prof was there and then up to the class.

She wanted me to go first, I thought because I was so out of it and she knew i would only get worse. But then she told the class she wanted me to go first because I had a significant body of work and she wanted to give me the time I needed to talk about it all and that she wanted to show everyone an example of how an artist should be working... I'm glad I was so tired or I would have been a lot more self conscious. In my state though it was more like, blushing and meh and moving on.

I talked about the weaving piece first: (I've decided to show them all here pretty much how they were shown to the class)

I showed them a couple of details and then for the next 40 mins there was a q&a about it's meaning and about my own spirituality and then testimonials from them and reactions to and identifying with the piece... So at 40 mins I said that it was interesting how much discussion was being generated, but that there were other people to show work and I felt that it was time to move on to other people.

Then my prof said, normally that would be true, but I really want people to see your full body of work... and proceed to have me talk and answer questions about my other work for the next hour and 10 mins..... it was exhausting. I talked about the blog and the Craft Leftover project, and the "Freedom of Movement, Freedom of Thought" piece I did for the Pleasant street reception, and the color studies that came out of the smaller bits being created from Craft Leftovers which gets rid of the larger bits, and the endangered species pieces and how they are about the importance of diversity in the ecosystem.

We didn't even get to the newest collaboration with brett or the sewing rebellion, or the junk mail project. It was really great really, it made me feel really good about giving artist talks in the future, I'm excited about my work and it's hard not to talk about it because I love it so much... there is a but in there, but i'm not going to put it in such a public place.

And I somehow managed to get though it with only stepping out and falling asleep in the hall once. I got home and tried to stay up until 8... but fell asleep at 6 until 9, tried to stay up until10, fell asleep at 9:15, then woke back up around 10 and went to sleep in bed until 10 am! I think I needed it.

I'm still groggy after so much sleep, but am feeling no worse for the wear kind of deal.

I'm going to be working on the next in the weaving series and stuff for the Craft Leftovers shop and the sampler this week. I'll post some pictures in a couple of days.

If you have read all of that, to this point... another wow for you, precious reader. Thank you for your time.

Friday, May 11, 2007

The Day is Upon Me

Seriously time is just going too fast. It's May, soon it will be June, before I know it December!

I got really sick on Saturday, like bad.... like it wasn't good in anyway. But I'm better now, and I'm totally behind schedule. I had everything planned out. Like if I do such and such every day, than everything will get done on time. Well I didn't get such and such done on Saturday, so now i'm getting such and such done today and not this and that. So it goes.

Bad news is: No craft leftover project this week
+++I'm not going to be able to use the 16 harness loom over the summer because it is not assembled. It makes me sad, but is understandable.

Good news: there will be two next week
+++I still get to use the 4 harness and am going to do another wire/paper/fire piece. A reconstruction of my identity now that I have purged it so to speak.
+++I have a commission to finish for a friend... anniversary present kind of thing. I guess her husband is really into endangered spiecies of plants and things so she wants one of my panel pieces.
+++I am going to collaborate with the artist Brett W. (mentioned in the last post when I knew how to spell his name). I sent him a picture of the liner I was working on and he really loved it. So now we are going to start collaborating on those. He will do the outsides and I will do the liners. We are hoping to get into a show with them later on. He's going to drop off a few (I think he mentioned before like 12! eagads! where will I put those!) so I can start working on them.

+++I'm going to participate in a performance piece tonight for the looptopia event that's happening in Chicago. Here is the blurb:

"As part of Looptopia, the Open Studio Program presents Carole Frances
Lung's overnight performance commemorating Chicago's history of
garment production and recognizing the sleepless night shift worker.
In the Page Brothers storefront at 179 N. State Street, two laborers
will create uniforms while another supervises in two-hour shifts
beginning at 5 pm and working until dawn. They will perform all the
steps of creating a garment, from cutting out the pieces to
merchandising the garments modeled from real people in the store front
windows. The laborers are participants from the Synchronized Sewing
Squad, a volunteer community from Chicago of unskilled and skilled
textile workers who perform garment production in public space."

+++Oh and I start class tomorrow in Naperville which should be really good, if I don't fall asleep!
+++I'm about to finish my first sweater vest!
+++I contacted the Sampler about my two stores (Green Prairie Fibers and the Craft Leftover Shop (kristin roach originals currently)) and they gave me the thumbs up so I'm going to start cracking on that. It needs to be sent in by June 1st! Which is just around the corner! I want to get post cards printed up for Green Prairie Fibers because it will just be yarn swatches, so I was thinking about attaching them to the post card and having an image of the dyestuff (walnut leaves or something) faded as the background with text over that and then images of the yarn on the front.... so anyone know where I could get that done cheap and quick? like 50 - 100? under $50?

Well, I'm off to work, then Chicago, then Naperville, and maybe home. I need to pack sack lunches for like 2 days worth of meals!

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Finished!... Almost!

Okay, well, two things. One is finished, the other is almost.

First up is the weaving project. I finished, in time, and everything was perfect, and than it was not... for whatever reason at some point between Sunday night and this morning I switched times and thought that our final critique started at 11 (normal class time) instead of 10. I'm just hoping that my project kicked so much butt that it won't affect (or is it effect?) my grade too much and I will still get an A. I got 100% on my first project, so i'm hoping for the same on this one. So here are a few pictures:

You can see more of it before being burnt and while being burnt here.

And then there is the other project, you might remember when I started cleaning out that suitcase inside I got back in March. Well, it's clean now, and I starting making the lining for it:

The liner is actually an old vintage skirt that my friend in Indiana gave to me last time I visited. Thanks Deb! You rock to a super neat beat!

Here is the front image again that the artist Brett Whitacre painted:

I think I was stressing out too much about making the liner perfect, so now I'm just jumping in feet first and it's actually working out really well! Yea!

I think I am going to get some quilting batting so I can quilt the bottom and top sections of the suitcase. I'm also going to make some pockets with the elastic tops like they usually have in vintage suitcases. Oh to have a quilting machine, I could do some super cool things.

Oh and an update:
Here is the information on the performance piece I will be participating in Friday night/Saturday morning:

"Sleepless Labor
177 North State Street, Corner of State and Lake
8-12 labor practitioners will participate
Performance is 14 hours – the duration of Looptopia event

Commemorating Chicago's history of garment production and recognizing
the sleepless night shift worker, I propose a 14-hour performance that
will occupy a display or storefront window. Becoming a garment
production facility for three laborers, working a rotating three-hour
shift for 14 hours. The laborers are participants from the
Synchronized Sewing Squad, a volunteer community from Chicago of
unskilled and skilled textile workers who perform garment production
in public space. During the 14 hours of production the squad will
construct uniforms symbolic of the night shift worker. As each
garment is completed it will be displayed in the empty windows."

My shift will be from 11pm - 2am... then some sleep in the back room until the trains start running, then class at 9:30 in naperville... there will be some train sleeping going on that morning. I'm going to be getting around the area at 8pmish to check out everything that is going on before my shift. The whole looptopia chicago event is going to be really great. Lots of art, lots of shops, lots of food, all open for 24 hours! Woo! Hopefully my body will be able to handle all of the over stimulation. Art Chicago about did me in.

Oh I am making progress on my knit/crochet tank, but I will show you pictures once I hit the 8 inch mark, it's coming up soon though!

Thursday, May 03, 2007

A Good Day

Well, I swear it really was. For several reasons actually.

I woke up this morning and drearily checked my email only half awake.... wow there are a lot of emails this morning, maybe an order..... most likely not.... Inbox 11... click! 2 Orders! One from each store! Which means I had my very first yarn order! I really hope she likes it. And another kit sold too, which always makes me happy. It's like not only do people like what I make, but they actually want to make it themselves! I get so few comments on Craft Leftovers that sometimes it gets a little discouraging, but when kits sell, I know that I'm on the right track!

So good thing number one.

Then off to the post office, I really like the guy who works there, he so freaking nice and tell me all these great hints about sending packages and how to get the best rates and what forms to fill out for customs and thing.

Then to weaving.... finally, warps on and ready and time to start weaving.... my prof couldn't get over, she loves what I'm making and that I'm using wire warps. Here is an in progress shot:

What a mess right? It has taken well over 16 hours just to get it set up! 480 warp end of wire! eek! Thankfully the actual weaving will go faster than that. I think I may be able to finish tonight. I'll post more in progress shots of the actual weaving tomorrow.

For the weavers out there:
I'm using wire warps and wefts and inlaying every other row with shredded paper. 480 warp ends and an epi of 16 (8 for each side of the double weave). I'm doing a double woven tube to form a shirt. The sleeves will be added later towards the top at about the 12 inch mark. I'm using toilet paper as fillers around the shirt that will be pulled out later. I will snip the wire around the shirt and twist it so it stays put.

Then Monday night at 9:30 in the lagoon fire pit, I will ceremonially set fire to this self portrait (it is made to my dimensions and of shredded paper from my mom (my dna so to speak)). Then we will un-ceremonially cook smores over it if campus security hasn't kicked off the site.

Okay so good things 2 and 3.

Then while at work, I got a bug... a design a sweater vest with crochet and knitting bug.

Here is the swatch, the sketch, and the start:

I really think it's going to work nicely.

I'm starting with 2 inches of 2x2 rib, the alternating 1 inch of stockinette stitch and 1 inch of crochet. The decreases and increases will be worked every 4 rows of knit and every other crochet. It will be topped off with 2x2 rib, then knit straps that have a sc edging.

I'm trying to take detailed notes and will write the pattern up to share on Craft Leftovers. I'm not sure when it will get finished, but I'm hoping it will be a June pattern. We will see how it goes.

Oh and the pattern was a good excuse to get my hands on some inox size 1 us cir needles and a size d crochet hook... I figure it's a tank top and I'm not too crazy... right? right?! okay so maybe a bit, but it's going to be so cute it will be worth it!

I am also almost finished with my sweater vest and I will write up that patt as well, but I'm think that might be published more towards the fall... I love sweater vests!

so good things all over the place!

More weaving for me, you kiddos have a good night!