Thursday, June 28, 2007

New Stuff!

A new ferret!

Mr Beuller has been wanting a girlfriend for a long time now, and I finally got up the guts to ask my landlords if I could have another ferret..... And they said yes! I had a hard time not hugging her to death. They are most likely the best landlords I have ever had.... well i've only had one other, but they are the best I have heard of as well as had. I really lucked out.

I took Mr B to the store and he met 3 lovely ladies, just like a dating show, sniffed all their butts, not so much like a dating show, but I suppose it could be. And seemed to like this little lady the best. Oh here's another picture:

That's them sleeping together. They aren't totally married yet or anything, but seem to be getting along fairly well. He started to get cranky though because he was tired and she wasn't. He's 3 years old and she is about 3 months old, if that. So she has way more energy than he does. Plus he was a bit over stimulated from all the ferret fun and then showing her all over the house. He followed her around and then she followed him.

They both got a bath, which they both hated, then they spent about a half hour rolling round in towels and licking themselves dry. So cute.

So I got another ferret because mr b really did need a girlfriend. Even when I'm home I'm working on stuff and I've read that unless I want to adopt him out, I better get him a buddy or he will get depressed and self destructive (like biting his tail so he looses fur) or just get lethargic and sad. He's been doing the later a whole lot and I have been pretty worried about him. Then when Jason came to visit, he even commented on how he didn't look so great and seemed depressed. And then he offered to help pay. So I asked my landlords today and they were just like "sure, what's one more going to do?" Sweet!

Oh yeah! her name is Sloane, like ferris beuller's girls name in the movie.

So I went ahead and tried my hand at silk screening by masking it off with glue. I just used an embroidery hoop to stretch it.

This was the first one:

I like the logo for the first one, the "crochet+knit+sew=craftleftovers" but it was too detailed, so I cut it back to just the craft leftovers and the ball of yarn and spool of thread.

So yep, anyone want a hand printed craft leftovers patch?

Monday, June 25, 2007

Long time no post

Sorry about the absence in posting lately. I can't even really remember where I left off. I guess when class ended and the junk mail project.

Lately Craft Leftovers has really been consuming my life. I've also been working 6 days a week! yuck! Well it has been fun though. Nothing too bad happening at work, just normal, which is nice.

I cat sat for two different people this past weekend and Jason came into town too. It was so nice.

I also just loaded up the etsy shop with kits and a couple new items, like heatable lavender pillows!

I also redid the banner for Craft Leftovers.

I had a stressful situation today ordering yarn for Craft Leftover kits. The lady was a little, well, not so good with the social interaction.

I don't really have too much more to talk about. But hopefully neat-o stuff soon. I'll be back later this week with a couple of works in progress.

Oh so I'm going to have to frog the shawl because I don't have enough yarn. Blah.

Talk to you soon.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Schoooool OUT for the SUMMER!

Oh yes, I am totally singing the title right now. I'm so glad I'm not starting those two classes this Friday after all!

So final project for this class, well it's actually just a start, but that's what my prof wanted, something to keep us all going over the summer.

Junk Mail.... A Year of Junk Mail, to be exact.

Well, that's what it's going to be. I've been collecting it since March and will continue until next March, so a year total. All the while I will be transforming this annoying useless junk mail into decorative and utilitarian works. At the end of it all I'm planning on an instillation, maybe with related workshops.

What is shown is (top left working clockwise) origami mobile (the first attempt), handmade paper, quilling, close up of the quilling. I will also be using sculptural elements and anything else I can think of.

The crit went well I think and after the visiting artist said that I need studio assistance to help "refine" these materials under my guidance, I had a couple of volunteers, so that's cool. Help in the studio is always welcome. My prof said she thought this would be a great senior show/project and I like that idea too. A year of junk mail lands nicely 1 month before I would have that show, so that worked out after all.

In other news the new Craft Leftover project is up:
Nice little picnic napkins. They are double sided too. My friend Andrea gave me this idea. She's a pretty creative lady.

Also pertaining to Craft Leftovers: I've decided to start posting about other diy projects/artists/ideas that carry the Craft Leftovers aesthetic during the week. There is just so much out there, I can't possibly write all the patterns I want to, nor should I have to.

And even more exciting, for me anyway, I've decided to add another element to the Craft Leftovers Store, Reclaimed Leftovers! Okay, so this was kind of a break through for me, and I've thought about it long and hard and it's kind of like the posting about the other diy projects. There are so many materials out there, and in my apartment for that matter, that I feel like I should offer those up too. Kind of helping leftover materials find a good home. It will start out with things like buttons, zippers, trim, small stuff, but I'm hoping to move it into vintage fabrics and yarn as well. Things will be pretty cheap by nature and most of the time less than current prices. The first bits of reclaimed materials will go into the shop this week! I will also be adding kits and other items too. I'll post here to let you all know when it actually happens.

And with that I'm going to go. I'm getting tired and I still need to clean a bit. My out of town friend from Chicago is coming in on the train tomorrow morning and I don't want it to be immediately apparent that I live in filth most of the time!

Have a good week!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

WIP Wednesday!

Wow, thanks for all the super nice comments to my last post, it totally helped to make me feel better last week. I think I'll be out of the woods when this class is over.

Okay, I think it was in the air, hormones or something.... I started, not just one new project, but two!

I did an exhaust dye with a new type of yarn I'm pretty excited about. It's from Hemp4Knitting and it's the HempWol. 50%wool and 50% hemp. It was cream and turned a really pretty tanish grey.... hemp color! Go figure! I do love it. It's kind of heathered too. Anyway, I'm trying out a pattern from the Knitted Vintage Socks book Jason picked me up for... oh was it Chirstmas? And I'm just now starting a pattern from it? Shame on me. Anyway, it's the lady's stockings pattern with the little color work up the side. I'm going to use the walnut dyed superwash merino (I have a little left over from the samples I made). I'm done with the cuff and about to the point where I work my first set of decreases! Oh so exciting, my first pair of knee highs!

The second project that has been eating up the time I would normally give to blogging and other things is a shawl. My very first shawl. I got the pattern here. And a friend of mine gave me her corrections and notes. Thank goodness too because that lady is as vague as I am when it comes to writing patterns. It's coming along fabulously. I'm already past the third set of increases. So it's all more of the same from here. I don't even have to carry the pattern with me. I'm making it with some yarn that I got at the Salvation Army about a year and a half ago. You really can't beat 50 cents a skein for "good quality afghan wool" I think it's Sears brand if that gives you an idea of how old it must be. It does seem of good quality though and I"m happy to not have to buy yarn from KnitPicks for it... and I am so tempted because they are having a huge sale right now until Friday!

This shawl is especially cool because of the shaping, it fits to your shoulders so it won't slide down. It just stays put. It's so neat! I can't wait to try it out in this fall!

I stopped by Micheal's today to pick up some clay for making little models to cast paper off of and found this:::::::::

Why all the sales! Don't they know I'm trying to save! I did only get three so I'm feeling okay. They were only $1 ea and there was 4 yds on each spool instead of 4 feet, which is the standard length for Micheal's dollar bin ribbon.

I'm also working on a junk mail project for my final project for this class I'm in. I did a ton of research last night and this morning and am finally ready to start making stuff. Tonight is my play night. Literally. I'm just going to play with cutting paper, doing some papier maché, sculpting with paper pulp, etc. Then tomorrow and the next I'm going to get down to making "art." Sometimes I hate that word. Sometimes I love it though. I think I'm just burnt out on having to think about what I'm making. I've had three pretty intense projects in a row and I need a break. I sure am glad I'm getting one.

I did a learn a lot of neat stuff doing research though. Like direct marketing pretty much didn't really exist until the movable type press was invented over in Europe and not in the us until the typewriter! And Sears and Montgomery Ward were the first to pioneer bulk mailing service through the postal service. I also learned about how many trees are ground up every year for unsolicited mail and how much of it goes straight into the landfill (about 34% of our landfills is just paper waste!) and how much money ea city wastes each year in hauling it to the landfill.

And speaking of all that I better hop to my play time, it's already 9:18!

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Horray and Rah, all at the same time.

Just to warn you... this

Things have been so up and down lately I'm going batty. I have good news, then bad, then good, then more bad, then a metal break down (literally). Now I'm better again, but still exhausted and kind of wound a little tight.

First issue of business. The yarn took super long to dry (I should have remember it takes like 3 days). It's dry tonight, but I can't take pictures until tomorrow morning when it's light out. Dang it. But doesn't it look beautiful? I sure think so.

The only issue is that the color is all off, not so great for selling, but it doesn't matter so much for blogging. The colors all have a reddish tint that isn't shown so well in the pictures with a flash.

So the good news that I received on Friday is:

:::::::: drum roll please :::::::::

<span class=BlogHer '07 I'm Speaking" title="BlogHer '07, July 27-29">

I've been invited to speak at the BlogHer Conference in Chicago! I'm going to be a panel member speaking on The Art of Craft. It will be a day two seminar. Exciting right! I get into the whole thing for free too! It would normally be way out of my price range. There are a whole bunch of really great seminars and such that I get to go to. Small business stuff, politics stuff, art stuff, craft stuff. Plus, there are cocktail parties just about every night with fancy little appetizers, sweet, i love fancy food.

Then I got the bad news. I can't get into the classes I need this summer, the class is closed and the prof won't allow any more students. And even worse, the only other time the class is offered is during all the hours I'm working (a schedule that has been locked in for over a month) and it would just be too much to try to work everyday and then go to class everyday too. I kind of flipped. You see, since I can't take these classes now, I have to take them later... like I have to take another semester of classes.... like I have to postpone being with my guy even longer. He's being great, totally supportive, taking it really well, giving me the whole "you know you need to graduate, it wouldn't be good to give up now, it's only one more semester, it will be fine, you will be okay." He's really wonderful like that. I'm starting to get a little bit more used to the idea of staying here longer and making a list of "Pros" instead of just seeing the "cons." Like I get to be close to Chicago for another year. And maybe I will rearrange my apartment because I will be here for another year after all. And you know what, he's right, I will be fine, and even better, I'm sure I'll be just great. Fabulous even.

Okay, so more good news. I went to this neat-o antique place today with my friend Susie and found: ta-dah! Buttons!

These are my favs (although I'm finding new ones that I didn't see before all the time):

I see some really great kits for pencil clutches in the near future.

And with all of my external stress gone, I've taken the time to clean, like realllllly clean my studio:

It's still cluttered, but I have a small place and that is unavoidable. Now everything does have a place and it's all thanks to my new shelving unit! I picked it up from lowes today. I got those two bins at the bottom too. One has felted sweaters and sweaters to be recycled for the yarn in it and the other is clothing to be recycled for the buttons, zippers, and fabric. (I do still have some in my other closet, but this gives me hope that I will get it down to one bin... eventually). The shelves are adjustable too, so I put the bottom taller for the bins and the next a little lower for bolts of fabric. Above that is separate little bins: one for loose buttons, one for buttons on their cards, one for pastels and charcoal, one for silk screening supplies, one from block printing supplies, etc... the list really does go on and on. I also now have a safe spot for my surger so it doesn't get banged around. The paper display is now full of paper and sketchbooks towards the bottom and fabric sorted by color at the top. The yarn to dye and yarn that has been dyed is on the top shelf (so mr b won't get at it) and on the very top, that crazy looking contraption is actually a table top loom! Yea! and I have a place in my studio for all of my resource books (I have another shelf for pattern and art books). I also have a clean work space for the first time in I don't know how long because everything has a place. It is so great feeling

I kind of like this little rack too: The little notebook was actually my grandma's sewing and knitting notes. I'm still kind of emotional (I seriously think it must be that time of the month) and I started crying. To she her tally marks for counting off row and here instructions for a "v-neck" sweater made me reminisce severely. Then there was a list of materials for a doll she made. She was amazing. She made these porcelain dolls, fired them and everything. Painted them too, little rosy cheeks. Then made all of their clothing. Like traditional Victorian wardrobes outfitted down to the details, even little pantaloons. I always loved to watch her sew and crochet. She was a crocheter too. My grandma always said she didn't know how to knit, but seriously, why did she have over 15 sets of knitting needles (pictured here as well)? Maybe she got them from my great grandma. I think it was actually my great grandma that knit the little pin cushion in there. She made my sister and me little plastic canvas sewing kits with those pin cushions and all the other little sewing notions that little girls need.

Ah, i miss that woman. It's kind of cool to think that there are 4 generations of crocheters. Maybe more.

So things really are looking up, but I'm still needing some r&r. It will be good to have two months off of school. I have taken classes in the off season for 3 years straight and I am getting burnt out. Hopefully I will return in the fall with a renewed spirit.

Plus, it will be good to have those two month off to prepare for the Renegade Craft Fair! I submitted my app yesterday morning. I hope I get in! I have some volunteers to help me prepare too. In exchange for dinner and knitting/crochet lessons of course. I'm trying to get the shops stocked up so I can focus on making items and kits for that. I will know on July 7th. Keep your fingers crossed for me. This could totally get Craft Leftovers up and really running. I'm making up some super special kits for the BlogHer thing too. I figure, you can throw away a business card, but would you really throw away a kit? I don't think so. You would give it to a friend instead. I'm going to spread the word about Craft Leftovers like a virus! Mwah hahahah.

And on that note, I'm done. Have a great week everyone!

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Get your dye on! Naturally!

I've spent most of the day dyeing and you know what that means? More yarn will be in the shop tomorrow night (if it's dry by then, which I think it will be). It will be up by midnight central time.

This is what the yarn looked like when I pitched it into the pot, neat-o.

I have been working on the endangered series again and I'm hoping to get another 1/3 done tonight (there are 33 panels all together in the one piece).

I almost have my quilt blocks finished for my partner, but I just realized that they are 12 x 12 instead of 12 1/2 by 12 1/2. That may not sound like much, but it is if you are piecing those blocks to other ones.

After I get that finished I think I'm going to make some more kits to put in the store, we will see how that actually goes though, it might not get done today.

Oh I have some really great news, but I want to wait until it is official and know all the details before I tell all.

Well, I need to get the late dinner into my belly and maybe go to the grocery store so I'll see all you cats later. Have a good week.