Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Etsy v2 this weekend! eep!

I'm such a geek. I'm all excited about the imminent release of v2 of Etsy. The screen images of store-fronts look great. And there's some very cool new stuff in the pipelines - a real-time craft fair?!? It's an amazing site. I signed up there way back in July last year, when there were only a few thousand users. Now, I think, it's more like 30,000. I've updated my shop banner for the new format, using a different spangly-sort of font this time.

More kimono fabric arrived in the post this week from KimoYes. I was worrying about whether I'd like the fabric as much as the first lot. Like a teeny, insignificant version of "but could I love another child as much as I love my first-born?" (to which the answer is of course, yes! absolutely!) This batch has some beauties in it. The flowery ones are my favourites (no surprises there, huh?) It's a bit hard to imagine cutting them into tiny pieces. But that's what I'm going to do :-)
I'd love to have a new batch of flowers ready for when Etsy relaunches... fingers crossed!

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Phew, what a week!

This has been a l-o-n-g week. Last weekend, my twin brother and I celebrated one of those big birthdays. You know, the one that starts with a 4, ends with a 0? Many many cocktails and much hilarity ensued. We stayed up much later than was wise, given my last 6 or so years of child-induced sleep deprivation. But it was so much fun.
Helen and I finally made it back to Playcentre on Wednesday, she's pretty much recovered from the chickenpox.
And then last night, my fantastic friends threw a surprise birthday party for me. It was a perfect evening, absolutely still, a starry sky, and we sat outside and enjoyed lots of lovely wine and talking and laughing. It was just wonderful. I am so, so lucky.

On the crafting front, after these two blogs mentioned my kanzashi tutorials I've put some more thought into it and come up with another video and photo set (Threading 1-9). There's also a few more tips on flower assembly over on Craftster.

There's also a how *not* to do it video, which was the first attempt, where things didn't look so good. YouTube clipped off the last 2 seconds, which was me saying "or not!" Har!

Nothing like doing something over (5 times) to get it just right, huh? :-)

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Double petal flower pin

I love that pink and white fabric combination from yesterday's flower.
Today I decided to try something new. Bi-colour petals, using the same pink and white fabric.

It isn't too difficult to do.
Cut your fabric squares for the outside colour ever so slightly bigger than the inside squares.

Fold your first triangle using the outer fabric, and hold it down with the side of your hand (this is how I did it, anyway!)

Now fold your inner fabric into a triangle and lay it on top so it sits inside the outer one by about 2mm or so. Those inner petals will stand out highest, otherwise.

Then just carry on as normal. Lovely!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

My first Whiplash entry

WhipupI've been an avid reader of Whipup.net for the last 6 months or so. I signed up way back when the first Whiplash competition took place, thinking I'd enter something myself. I've admired so many gorgeous things produced for the Whiplash competitions, and I've been inspired by so much of what I've read and seen on Whipup. Well, accessories are my thing at the moment, so I've decided to join in this round.
If you read back to one of my posts last month, you'll see I already posted a tutorial (video and pics) about folding fabric petals tsumami kanzashi-style. So I won't be doing another tutorial, they're fun but also time consuming, and difficult to do with only 1 pair of hands. So instead, I'm going for the skill category, with this little flower. Normally, I like the simplicity of just 5 petals on my flowers, but sometimes, as with a two-colour flower, you have to go with an even number. So here she is, a 6-petal soft pink and white flower pin. I've made other flowers in this colour combination before, but using a pink button centre, polyester chiffon and a different style of folding for the petals. I love the softness of pink and white together. This flower is a bit more special, as it's made from vintage kimono fabric, a silver-coloured metal filigree and glass pearl centre.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Hiapo and Sashiko

This weekend I got some lovely books from the library.
The first one is a book entitled Hiapo, Past and present in Niuean barkcloth. I grew up knowing this as tapa, but as you'd expect, different Pacific islands have different names for it (masi, siapo, hiapo, aute, kapa, ngatu). I love it so much. The colours and patterns are just beautiful. We have a large Tongan cloth (ngatu) hanging over our bed, and a smaller, redder one with turtles and fish, in our dining room.

The next book is The Ultimate Sashiko Sourcebook, about this modern Japanese style of running stitch embroidery, for quilting and decoration. This book has me itching to find some needles and thread and get started. I'm imagining some wall panels done in cream and brown because...

what really struck me as cool about these books was the similarities in the patterns.
Check it out, flower & leaf sashiko motifs, and detail from a hiapo cloth (dating from 1885):

And since Helen came down with Chickenpox yesterday, I now find myself looking for things to do with my time, that would have otherwise been filled with Playcentre stuff. Maybe Itchy Girl will need a recuperative nap and I might get some crafting done - fingers crossed!

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

More buttony goodness

I'm feeling a bit sad. Jen will be going back to school tomorrow, and I'm going to miss having her around. I've even been having daydreams about home-schooling. Then I remember about Helen (ah yes, Helen) and the picture doesn't seem quite so rosy. Tonight I was looking at Helen squirming around in my lap and wondered to myself how on earth she turned out the way she did. I actually asked her "where *did* you come from, Helen?" and she told me "um, from the zoo. No actually, from the wild". Out of the mouths of babes!

In crafty news, I can't leave the buttons alone. While I was attaching a kanzashi flower to a hairpin tonight for an etsy customer, I decided to see how easy it would be to glue buttons to hairpins. Pretty easy! and fun :-)

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Last day of the holidays

Sad to say, the holidays are nearly over. Helen will be back at Playcentre tomorrow morning, and Jen and I will get to spend some unexpected quality time together because Jen has the chicken pox. She's been pretty miserable with them since last Monday, covered in spots and itching like crazy. So no school for her for the next couple of days at least. It's meant our last week of the holidays didn't exactly go as planned. Instead of having friends over to play, going for picnics at the park with the Playcentre families, going to the library, art gallery, shops etc we've been cooped up inside (thanks to the weather, also, which turned foul right after we turned off our night-store heaters. Needless to say, they're back on again.)

The only crafting I've got done this last week was putting together a few more button brooches. Goodness knows what I'll do with them. But never mind, because I love them anyway!

Otherwise, I've washed every item of dress-up clothing from Playcentre, and have a pile of them to mend and some to alter so they are a better fit for little people.

Feeling a lack of craftiness niggle today, I signed up for a dishcloth swap on Swap-bot. The deadline is way off in the middle of next month, and it's only for 1 dishcloth. Just the right sort of little project to keep me busy once the girls are asleep. And a great excuse to look through my Barbara Walker knitting treasury book again.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

I've been blogged!

My etsy store has been blogged on the Craft Revolution site! Cool!

Earlier in the week I was playing with the buttons with the girls - sorting and grouping, counting, talking about colours etc - they're very educational! I decided to look up buttony things on the web and found some gorgeous brooches made by Magpie. I couldn't resist making one of my own:

Last night I finished a scarf that I've been dreaming up in my head for about a year, since I saw this gorgeous Chan Luu one via the crochet discussion board on Craftster.

Now that I've figured out crocheting (is that a word?) the motifs together as one piece of work, rather than heaps of individual shapes stitched together later, I'm thinking of finding some finer wool and attempting something closer to the Chan Luu one. Maybe I can get it done in less than a year this time!