Thursday, February 23, 2012

Nourishing Your Creativity

I just wanted to share this entry from the Etsy Blog - 365 Projects - Creating Every Day For A Year. It is so important to stay active (in many ways) and keep thinking. Keep doing. Keep making. It's easy to get lazy - hi, I work two jobs! I'm tired! But for my health and sanity and tingly warm fuzzy feelings about myself, I need to DO and I need to DO things outside of what I do at work. Doing it every day is a lofty goal when that isn't what you do for money, but it's worth a try. I find that even committing to just one thing a week keeps me feeling really accomplished a proud of myself.


*** Erin

Saturday, February 4, 2012

The Sewing Studio

Two weekends ago (I know, I'm super late with this. Last week threw me a curve ball.) I took a beginner sewing class at The Sewing Studio. I have been wanting to do this for a long time, but have put it off because, honestly, taking a sewing class isn't cheap. However, I found an amazing Groupon deal for a $35 class - the normal price is $75 for a two hour beginner's course. I snatched it up and, thanks to my wonderful instructor, succeeded in creating the ugliest zippered bag in creation!

I have to say, I really underestimated the attention and detail that goes into using a sewing machine. I am good with my hands and generally take to new skills and crafts with ease, which is why I didn't think any of going to my 10 AM Sunday class after getting a little crazy the previous evening. Whoops! My hands and I? Great. Machinery and I? Not as much. I forgot a key point about my brain and its workings in this plan - I need time to get used to machinery of pretty much any kind. Therefore, this sewing class was really overwhelming to dive into with my baby hangover.

But I managed! After a few more lessons I feel like I will be a lot more comfortable.

We worked on Janome machines.

I kept forgetting to put the stupid foot down....

First stitch!

I think the zipper is what made the class so difficult. Having my bag actually function, zipping and unzipping, was a huge relief and accomplishment.

My bag!

*** Erin

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Chunky Cowl

Last year, Merav Lahr taught me how to knit. My first project was never properly completed, as is the case with most first knitting projects, I'm told.

My second project got off to a good start, but by the time I found my stride the seasons were changing and it was too warm to carry knitting around with me all the time. I just put it down and never picked it back up. 

Now, also thanks to Merav, I have completed my first project! A chunky cowl. you can find the pattern on her blog. It only took me 4 days to finish it and I think I'm going to do about 5 more. I love it! So does my sister, who finally got the scarf she was promised a year ago.

Go make one!

*** Erin

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Matthew Kavan Brooks Print

Special thanks to Miss Moss for this gem. I have this beautiful print coming to me. I just love it.

You can get this and many others by this artist, Matthew Kavan Brooks, in prints, stretched canvas, clothing, even ipod cases. There about a million more artists to discover there, too. Check it out - Society 6.

Also please read Miss Moss's blog. It is a stock pile of never ending inspiration and beatiful things to look at. She's on Pinterest, too.


*** Erin

Monday, January 2, 2012

Post Holidays Gift Reveal

I have been dying to post pics of my Christmas projects, but obviously I had to keep them to myself until they were all received and opened. I choose a new project (or two in this case) every year to give to loved ones as gifts. A few years ago it was sock creatures (which I learned how to make from the Stupid Sock Creatures book on this website.) Last year I mounted some of the prints taken with my Holga to plywood squares that I stained and used textured paper to frame them. This year, I embroidered socks, among other things, with vulgar words and phrases (hi, have we met?) and made jewelry.

Socks for Mom and Dad - Mrs. McBitch (as called by some of her adoring students) and Morry the Moron.

Dad is golf ready

I know this word is a bit taboo and often used in very nasty ways, but I believe in a loving use of it. Any word can be awful if you choose to make it that way and the same rule applies for making any word wonderful. These are for my roommate, Mikey, and he loves them. He wore them Christmas night to Follies - his third time seeing it. Clearly, I'm right on the money with these babies. :)

Also for Mikey. We have a very open and loving relationship. He also got some dress socks that have "Eat Shit" written in a lovely pink.

This went to J-Griff (Jennifer Griffin) who I studied abroad with in Paris.

When Mom was here for Thanksgiving she mentioned that wanted a chunky black necklace, so I made her a full set! 

The earrings might be a bit too much for her, but I'm very happy with how the other two pieces turned out. I used a polyester bead cord on the necklace and bracelet instead of the silk I had been using and, though I'm not sure if it will hold up as well, it was much much easier to knot and adjust as needed.

For the gifts that I didn't make, I shopped 100% small business and 100% local. My Dad got an at home beer brewing kit from Brooklyn Brew Shop that was a big hit. My sister, Caitlin, got a necklace with a tiny pocket knife from the $hanna Na$h booth at Artists and Fleas and a beautiful pair of rosewood earrings from a booth at The {New New} Holiday Handmade Calvacade. I have misplaced the business card from this purchase (idiot!), but I'll update with the proper information when I find it. 

Not to worry, Caitlin got socks, too and she will get her big handmade gift for her Birthday in a few months. :)

Whether you are particularly crafty or not, even the smallest item that you have made yourself speaks volumes about your affection for someone. They feel great receiving the gift, and you feel extremely proud to have made it and have it be a success. If jewelry or needlework, etc. is too daunting, just remember that the mix tape became a cliche for a reason - it's an awesome thing to put together for someone and anyone can do it!

Happy post holiday season and a very happy start to 2012!

*** Erin