Tuesday, March 24, 2009

I am in love!

Dear Kelly,

I stumbled across this Etsy shop today (maybe it was on an Etsy Storque post?) and have fallen in love with this Lion Kitty from penguinandfish:

Unfortunately, I don't think he'll ever be in my budget.


I can't stop embroidering!

Dear Kelly,

A month or so ago I was invited to embroider jeans at Madewell for their Denim After Dark event. (This was on the same night that Jenny Hart did the very same thing in Austin!) I figured that I could do anything for two hours for the amount of money they paid me, but I also figured that I wouldn't ever want to embroider again. This would have been quite justified because, really, have you ever embroidered jeans? It's hard to get through something that thick and for two hours, to boot.

The strange thing is I had so much fun that I can't stop embroidering!

The even stranger thing is that I'm finishing what I start!

So far I've been using Sublime Stitching patterns. I also recently bought some cute ones from Pimp Stitch. Right now I'm practicing going freehand because I'm going back to Madewell next month.

I have embroidered little hats for a friend who recently had a baby girl:

I embroidered these napkins I had lying around and sent them to my mom:

I embroidered two sets of these cocktail napkins I found on clearance at Target:

I did these Rs freehand - they came out remarkably consistent:

And at a DC Craft Mafia meeting on Saturday, I rocked out these little images on flour sack towels:

Since I am lucky enough to work from home, I've found that conference calls where I don't need to take notes are the perfect time to embroider! Family Movie Night is another good time.

I'm actually crafting and enjoying myself - it's a crafty miracle!


P.S. Should we share the exciting news?

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Yudu video from Handmade Detroit

Dear Shayne,

A couple of months ago, you posted about Yudu, a possible successor to the Gocco. Since then, I've seen more and more press about it, including this awesome video tutorial from Handmade Detroit.

From the comments on that post, it looks like they are now selling Yudu at Joann's (and have been offering discounts!), although it's currently sold out on their site -- wonder if they have them in stores. Have you seen it there?

Watching the video, the Yudu looks like it's more difficult (and messier) to use than the Gocco, but way easier than figuring out all of the ins and outs of screen printing from scratch.

Speaking of Gocco, I realized a few weeks ago that the savegocco.com link wasn't working anymore. So I went searching and found the Save Gocco blog, which has updates on the status of savegocco.com (they're working on it) and Gocco itself (yes, Riso has stopped making supplies and it looks like they have just about run out at this point). There is some potential good news in this post. Maybe. Only time will tell.


Sunday, March 15, 2009

Handmade Nation

Dear Shayne,

This week, I got an opportunity to see Handmade Nation, the documentary by Faythe Levine about the "rise of DIY and the new wave of art, craft and design." It's pretty great -- nice to put faces with the names of many crafters that I am familiar with through blogs, books, CRAFT, etc.

The opening sequence of the film is fantastic -- it's stop animation and took 26 hours to film. You can read more about the "making of" at the Handmade Nation blog right here. And here's the finished sequence:

The only bummer is that they oversold the screening so about a third of the people attending had to stand. Including me. Which meant that I paid the same amount of dough ($13.50!) as the people who got a seat. The film began at 7:30 and I was there at 7:10, so it's not as though I was sneaking in at the last minute to see it. Ugh.

Back to the good stuff, though -- after the film, they had a little "panel discussion" with four panelists:
- Lisa Congdon: artist and co-owner of Rare Device
- Derek Fagerstrom: co-owner of The Curiosity Shoppe
- Natalie Zee Drieu: Senior Editor of Craft
- Stephanie Syjuco: founder/maker extraordinaire behind anti-factory and one of the artists featured in the film

And after the panel, they had a mini craft show where makers were selling their wares, which was a nice bonus -- I think every movie should be immediately followed by the selling of crafts, don't you?

I also have the book Handmade Nation:

The intro to the book is not to be missed -- it's a terrific hand drawn timeline of the "New Wave of Craft" from 1994-2007. You can actually see it by flipping through the book here at Amazon (it's right after the Table of Contents).

I read it sometime last year, but it was neat to look through it again after seeing the film, as I got to read more about the people and get a closer look at the things they're making. It's like a program for the movie, which is great when a movie has so much information.

One of my favorite things that happened at the screening was that Stephanie Syjuco was selling some of her beautiful clothes after the film and a woman walked up to her wearing something that Stephanie had made and sold several years before. When she saw that sweater, her jaw dropped and she said, "I remember making that!" She seemed so happy to see it again. It was a very cool experience that, you know, doesn't happen when I walk into Target with a t-shirt that I bought there three years ago. Just sayin'.

Overall, it was a great experience -- I don't know if/when it will be showing in your area, but I would recommend seeing it when you can. Keep an eye on the Handmade Nation blog for dates. If you'd like to see photos of the event I went to, there are a few posted here on the Craft blog.


Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Sublime Stitching patterns: Time to buy!

Dear Shayne,

I'm sure you're also on the Sublime Stitching mailing list, but if you're not, heads up: I got an email a couple of weeks ago saying there's going to be a price increase on patterns in "mid-March." Since we're heading towards mid-March right now, it's a good time to scoop up patterns at the current low price ($3.50-$4.50).

Meanwhile, even after the price increase, Jenny Hart's awesome patterns will still be a bargain at $5/each. Honestly. What can you get for $5 anymore? Nothing as cool as these embroidery patterns, that's for sure.

Oh, and they're also discontinuing a few patterns, so if you've ever had your eye on Bowling Betties, Gothic Grandeur, Mod Fashion, or Word Balloons, now is the time to grab 'em!

I've been wanting Vital Organs and Tattoo Alphabet for awhile now. Might finally be time to break down and order 'em! It's like I would be losing money if I didn't, right? ;)


Awesome letterpress: Carrot & Stick

Dear Shayne,

I mentioned Carrot & Stick Press awhile back when I was talking about my awesome crafty cousin and his cool business cards.

I was out last weekend with my friend Hollie and I stumbled across some of their cards for sale at a darling boutique (Lola of North Beach -- such a cute little shop.)

Look how great they are:
Letterpress skull cards. Yeah!
(Of course I had to buy them!)

I even like the back -- more skulls + the handsome logo is also part of the letterpress design:
Letterpress skull cards: backside
(Click through to see bigger more letterpress-eriffic photos.)

I've always been fascinated by letterpress, although I cannot commit to adding yet another crafty hobby to my repertoire. Instead, I'll buy cards from talented folks like these who know what they're doing!


Sunday, March 08, 2009

Engagement party invites

Dear Shayne,

I have a feeling most of the crafts I post between now and July are going to be wedding related. I hope you don't get bored with red and white!

The latest wedding-y item is invitations to our engagement party next month -- we're having a little get-together at a pizza place in Michigan. Here's the invite:
Engagement party invites

Of course I made the envelopes -- that's what you see in the background. That paper reminds me of the interior of security envelopes. It was one of the few red and white papers I could find -- I guess that's not a popular color combo right now (of course).

Since we're having it at a pizza place, I cut up red and white plaid tablecloth-y fabric -- you know, like you find at Italian restaurants? Right? A few people have said "Oh! It's a picnic!" when they saw it, so I guess I failed there, but I like it anyway:
Cut fabric for the invites

And the little "celebrate" label was made using a stamp + red ink + clear embossing powder. Then I cut them all out by hand and glued them to the front of the card.

Because, of course, I'm nuts.
Celebrate labels

Oh, well. I'm only planning on getting married once, so I figure why not go all out? Yeah. I'll probably burn out on this sometime next month and end up sending out post-it notes for our wedding invitations. Tune in to see!


Tuesday, March 03, 2009

I <3 Coraline

Dear Shayne,

Have you seen Coraline? I saw it a few weeks ago and boy-oh-boy does a movie like that get the creative juices flowing. I really feel like I need to see it again (several times!) to appreciate all of the crafty goodness within.

After the movie, I said to Bill, "I'm so used to Computer Generated Imagery, I kept having to remind myself that everything was real..." He said, "Wait. That wasn't CGI?" Hee hee. Exactly! Everything in that movie is handmade. Wow.

If you have not already seen them, you should watch the videos at the Coraline site -- particularly where they are making their crafty stuff. The miniature knitter is astounding:

(By the way -- that's a Blog First for us. We've never embedded a video before. Go, us: embracing technology of the 21st century!)

I love this photo, showing the cherry blossoms made from pink popcorn. Nothing hammers home the "real"-ness of the set like seeing a full grown man huddled in the tiny forest:

Of course, the fact that it was in 3D was also pretty slick.

Have you seen it? If so, what did you think? (If not, get to the theatre, girlfriend!)


PS - Still photo from the Coraline site.