Monday, July 30, 2012

Saying Yes!

I've noted that I have gotten older. I am not as young as a lot of people mistake me to be. I am in fact 31 not 24 or 25. I just like to enjoy life and play young like I am still 24 or 25. Lately I've noticed that I haven't been playing as much as I used to and I miss that. Going out and doing something a little impulsive, not fretting about the fact that I have work the next day or how my body aches.

Part of the reasons I have gotten (as I see it) more dull is due to marriage (comfort and security), house and bills such as car payments, gym memberships etc. The thoughts of having children are now weighing heavily and I most certainly do not want kids to dictate who I am in life. I think that before that last straw is placed on my freedom I must live more. By that I mean saying yes to as many life experiences as I can squeeze in. I want to make many more memories before I am tied down a bit more permanently with a child in tow. It almost feels like that 30 before 30 syndrome all over again where I feel the need to do as much as I can before I am responsible for another living being.

My upcoming trip to NYC is what made me have these silly deep thoughts. I was invited to this party which could be an amazing life experience even though it isn't quite my scene, but I've always wanted to go to one of these types of overdressed Gothic Lolita Alternative NYC parties. I was battling with the idea this morning and now I feel committed to going. Along with that I need to figure out what to wear. I have a hair appointment Thursday and I plan to get the below style. I've missed having some blunt bangs to make my make up more streamlined so I'll be going back to that. Also this clean bob will give me no angst in the morning in terms of styling it.

I was hoping to pack a light suitcase but I think I'll have to take my favorite Vivienne Westwood shoes for the party. I also need to play some dressup for some outfit ideas. With longer blunt bangs I won't get as much play in eye shadow so I'll need to think of my eyeliner and false lashes and how to really push that.

Now to make my list of things to conquer when I head to New York!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Narrator Bob

A couple weeks ago while I was up at the Lake house I took some time to just figure out the Narrator Bob fair isle mits from Moonrise Kingdom. it was tough since I didn't have any good clear pictures but after a good bit of testing I think I finally got it nailed down.

I just used some scrap acrylic yarn from baby toy amigurami's to test it out. It took me about two tries to get it where I wanted the pattern and then a final two in a full mitt version to get the sizing and spacing on the pattern worked out.

This was one of the tests in final yarn. I have it all charted out now I just need to finish up the written instructions and I can post the PDF on Etsy for sale! I plan to add in a gusset thumb hole as well. With all the crazy from Craft Wars and festivals I'm still working and making things for the fall shows.

In August I am going to be traveling a lot so I am going to take it easy on meetings unless they are for Independents day. I am really looking forward to my trip to NYC in about a week to see the Impossible conversations, Prada and Schiaparelli at the Met and seeing friends of mine!

Do you have any trips planned in your near future?
How about projects that are longstanding that are coming to completion?

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


Welcome to another Instragram photo laden post. I promise it won't be boring. In fact a bit fascinating. If you follow me on twitter, tumblr or perhaps Facebook some of these pictures may seem familiar. I tell people that with Instagram I can now take pictures to fill my void of status updates on Facebook. I'm not big on facebook, I use it mostly to keep in touch but not to do anything of substance with it aside from my Fashion Design page for Torn Angel.

Ahem let's get on with this post shall we?
Below we have two water colors I was tooling around with, not very impressive but exercises into some things I was thinking about. What was I thinking about? Bruises and wounds per usual.

I took the first swirls and played with embroidery on the paper to outline the colors and I like it well enough but I need to dig deeper and be more bold with my coloring. In terms of medium I do really like this mixture and will continue to explore it.

For the second water color I took a cue from some student work that I saw during their portfolio evaluation. It is amazing what the kiddos can teach us even when we are supposed to be their teachers. I think in art it is always a give and take because sometimes the fresh perspective of a student can bring new inspiration to us art vets. In this case it was playing with the already present lines and colors in the water color and highlighting areas by outlining the pattern. It was fun, not so much my style but gives me some ideas to go along with the embroidery work and working with a larger scale painting and thinner threads.

I just had to share this pretty new necklace I got when I worked the Columbus Food Truck and Cart Fest. It was the vendor's first show and her store is called Poor Sparrow. I love the simple aesthetic she uses and her prices are so affordable! I hope that I see her at Independents Day as a Vendor but only the Jury can decide. I'm also wearing my summer staple which has been an Alison Rose Cat Tank.

While I was in Pittsburgh for a Wedding last weekend the Hubby and I finally got to go check out the Mattress Factory Museum. It was full of surprises and amazing experiences. The above photo was in the corner of their parking lot. It looked like a graveyard of weeping angels to me from Dr. Who, such as below.

This was another fascinating room of mirrors black lights and neon circles. The photo really doesn't even come close to capturing the feeling when you are standing alone in this room. Like I said before most of the charm in the Mattress Factory is experiencing the art for yourself and interacting with it.

Lastly I just had to include this picture to show everyone I am not afraid to sparkle, I am just not a fan of glitter. Give me sequins any day of the week and I am happy to wear them. I had a nice little recap of my Craft Wars viewing party by Jackie Mantey of the Columbus Alive right here.  I also did a Guest Post on Nikki McGonigal's Blog on my Candlestick lights from my episode of Craft Wars, right here!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Brown Paper Packages

A couple weeks ago I got a few packages in the mail that I was anxiously awaiting. One from Etsy for some bead weaving supplies and the other from Jo handbags, off of a Lucky Breaks deal.

The first little package was beading threads from the seller GotBeadsNY who was very informative and had great communication. I highly suggest her for beading supplies because of followup on the order and genuine conversations we had through the messages. I've had many good etsy experiences but few so great that I need to spread the word about the seller (seriously this is not an endorsement she was just that excellent!).

She had a huge variety of colors for this Superlon beading thread and the spools were enormous compared to the ones that I had gotten previously from another vendor. I'm very excited for when my calender frees up and I have more time to play on my beading loom as well as some off the loom bead weaving.

The larger package was my gorgeous new clutch from Jo. Originally $112 but with the Lucky Breaks I got it on sale for 40% off. Well worth it even if it wasn't on sale. It is called the Dakota Clutch and the color is espresso.

I love all the little details that this bag had even with it being a tiny clutch, to the size of a long wallet at 7.75" x 3.75" x 1.25".

This little ruffled edge on the pocket was an unexpected embellishment. With how polished and clean the outside looked I never would of expected this little touch of feminine.

It comes with this sturdy chain to wear it cross body which is exactly why I got it. I am trying really hard when I got on vacation to not carry my entire life with me especially when I am planning an entire day of city walking. I really do not need to carry knitting, my 3DS, all my 3DS games, 4 tubes of lipstick, compact , sketch book, kindle fire, etc.... all in my purse. Especially if I am out of town visiting someplace I would hope that it is exciting enough that I would not have to revert to my boredom fighters.

Lastly I wasn't so keen on the hardware online but I thought I would get this purse anyways. In the end I love how simple it was and inventive. The clasp slightly twists the leather so that it hugs around the pin to keep it closed. On the wire wrapping it was all finished and not a single piece of wire was hanging out anywhere to poke me.
Overall I would certainly recommend Jo handbags for rustic fine leather goods. I hope to get something else from them in the future.

Have you gotten anything great craft or fashion wise in the mail lately? It not maybe you need to treat yourself to something nice!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Craft Wars Episode #4 - Alter or Falter

Hello Friends! So the other night was a little bit exciting eh?
My one hour of craft nightmare on national TV courtesy of TLC's Craft Wars has finally passed.

It was an amazing experience but even better was all the love and support I received from friends worldwide and locally over the show. The theater was sold out with over 120 people in attendance, the overflow they let sit in the lobby bar and put it on the bar TV's. We raised a good amount of money for the Mid Ohio Food Bank and had a great time heckling the entire time.

Now get ready for a doozy of a post. Next week I'll re-cap about things I learned from being on TV, and how surreal it is with the social media that we have today.

For now the Episode.......
We started with the usual pop craft. Our theme was to make a keepsake box using locks and keys. Very cute concept but honestly someone could play with it for days arranging the keys and colors and items from the craft closet. There was so much in there it was hard to keep track of and you only have that one hour to make it. The locks and keys were a huge mix they included things that I hoped I didn't have to deal with which were heavy heavy duty padlocks. It was really tough to work on something for a child when it weighs so much. Also waiting for glue to dry or potentially paint is a fiasco so I totally feel for the all the pop crafters using so much felt. Spray paint would of been my first choice if I had better colors to choose from in the wood shop. I went for the fabric paint purely on color choice and it was a brand I thought I knew and used extensively when I used to teach high school kids summer workshop at CCAD. It obviously failed us miserably with our lace stencil and hopes of a pretty hill. We moved on hurriedly and unfortunately felt was the quick fix *whomp whomp*
I was very adamant about having the inside of our box lined so that when

While working on our own craft furiously we had no idea what was going on with the other crafters so watching the show was the first time I got to see how they were working and what their pressures were. It was also surprising the things I don't remember saying and the things I do remember. Such a whirlwind.

The Judging on the Pop Craft was per usual a bit rough. Also going first did not help the feeling of anxiety. I was evidently torn apart for my lack of color but what could I do? The top was doused with rhinestones but you couldn't see it so well in the show. It might show up better on the still photos when they get posted.  In the end I still moved onto round 2, the Master Craft!

Now this half was really tricky.
We were asked to make a large scale craft to be included in someone's wedding. We had to use the materials given to us.
  • Old Jeans
  • Baby blankets
  • Candlesticks
  • Wedding invitations
Very random and not easy to work with. The baby blankets were like the ones they use to cover a newborn baby at the hospital. not very big and not a good material. I had high hopes of making a lacy looking snowflake out of the blankets that just kept looking like a really bad kid's craft, thank god they didn't show that.

The jeans were just that, old in every variety and state of wear you could think of. There were a lot of children sizes and acid wash (I'd like to think that was a throwback to 90210). To work with them well, it was denim so no big mystery. I do it all the time when I have worn out jeans and I don't want to waste the fabric. I was a little sad I didn't bring my own sewing machine on set because she would of been MUCH faster the the Singer machines we had on set. I kind of wanted to scream at the machines for being so slow (I probably should have).

The Wedding invites were the only paper product supplied to us and you would of thought they were super versatile but it was a bit hard to work around the graphics already printed on them. Also the colors of the invitations with the jeans and baby blankets kind of dictated what this wedding projects color scheme would be. TONS OF BLUE! with splashes of pink.

Finally the famed Candlesticks. Those were not even on my radar at all! I think about halfway in I started to play with them and thought it would be fun if I could get the light fixtures to work with them. Lo and behold they fit into the candlesticks perfectly! Then it was all about incorporating them into the overall look.

This entire time I was barely paying attention to what Andrea was doing b/c I was so engulfed in my own project. The helper's we had on set were also fantastic. I was blessed with two men who were not only cute but also both skilled at wood working. My frame went up with hardly any help from me. I drew out the plans, told them the measurements and I bored holes for stringing up the garland afterwards.

It was a very long day since everything is shot at once but watching the show it went quick as a bunny. During the final Judging it was nerve wrecking and I felt like I wanted to cry but only out of exhaustion. I very well would of just collapsed on the floor and laid face down if I didn't care about proper etiquette. Yes there were things I would of done if I had more time but we didn't and this is what I came up with, with my team and Bestie Claire. We worked damn hard and I'm still proud we got it all done. of course it was bland is colors we only had so much choice and well it's a photo booth for a wedding.  I would hope the guests would be the central point of the piece and not what was behind them. Photo booths are meant to enhance and add some levity for pictures.

Things I would of done if I could of hand more time. Clean up the garlands more, done some extra flower accessories on the ground around the bench. There was this large White flower cone I made which at the last second Claire told me looked weird so I hid it. I should of just kept it out to show I  had another piece for the photo  booth but woulda coulda shoulda's won't get me that 10K.

Was I disappointed? Not really. I was on flipping national TV for an hour. I got to go to LA to film this. I had fear reign of a ridiculous amount of craft supplies to make something I always wants to anyways (although I would done other materials and given myself a month to make it). How can someone complain about an amazing life experience such as that? It's just another thing off my large and lively bucket list.

Next up! Getting some celebrity to wear one of my designs on the red carpet for an event.  Ideally the Emmy's or Cannes Film Festival (just saying).

If you would like to see pictures from my DIY wedding last August here is the link from my Feature on Rock N' Roll Bride!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Tonight I'll be on TV!

Finally my episode of Craft Wars will be on TV tonight. I'm filled with anxiety and mirth over what I'll be watching in a theater amongst friends and family as they watch the same time as me what will be playing nationwide! There is WiFi so I hope to also be Live Tweeting as I watch but we shall see how I keep up.

Anne Evans of Columbus Underground did a great write up about it here!

There are things I don't even remember saying in the Promo Video and I am sure there will be many more things when we watch the episode, such as "That's AWESOME" ~sigh~

My assistant on the show and local Bestie Claire and I are hosting a Viewing Party at the Gateway Film Center on OSU campus tonight. It will be open to the public asking for donations for the Mid-Ohio Food Bank. Doors open at 9:30pm and show starts at 10pm eastern.

We've even made some special buttons for the event!


Monday, July 16, 2012

My 1 hour skirt

If you remember a couple weeks ago I picked up some amazing vintage fabric over at Wholly Craft. I finally had the time to turn it into a skirt. Super easy and took only one hour. (please excuse the mess, my guest room has also turned into my sewing room and craft, and well general junk magazine stash room)

The fabric had a high stretch content on the weft and it was a polyester 120" wide (60" when folded).  I measured out my length for the skirt and then cut it across.

After unfolding it this was the width and my waistband. Luckily with the stretch on this fabric and thickness I was able to use the waistband without elastic.  I just needed to account for the stretch so I made it 2" smaller then my waist measurement. It was perfect.

To bring the fabric into a more manageable length I used my ruffler foot to assist me in the gathering.

I had it set to ruffle every 6 stitches.

After everything was ruffles it was about half the width but still not enough to comfortably set it into the waistband. At this point the seams were also sewn up so that they could be included into the ruffled gathers without it looking awkward.

With a contrasting thread I put in a basting stitch and then pulled the last of the gathering to make it fit into the waistband.

With everything pinned into place it was time to sew the skirt and waistband to each other.

With this type of polyester fabric there were no problems with everything unraveling so I didn't feel the need to serge the fabric and the waistband I had picked was a simple fold over straight style in two pieces. I didn't need side seams but I wanted them to be in there for extra support against the fabric stretching too much.

Carefully sewing the skirt and waistband together I find it easier if the flat waistband is on the bottom and the gathered skirt is on top so you can watch that nothing gets twisted or overly gathered in places.

Sewing with a stretch style waistband you also have to remember to use a stretch stitch and not a straight stitch or else the stitches will break when you stretch it to put it on.

You must be very careful to not sew over pins or sew them in and forget to take them out. It is an easy mistake to make when dealing with so much fabric.

The finished skirt before the hem. I decided to do an easy 1/2" top stitch hem and not worry about the stretch since there was so much fabric for the skirt I had no worries about torn stitches in the hem.

Ta Da! All done and ready to wear out.  

What have you been sewing lately? Is there a super fast and easy project that you are proud of?  Just because it's fast doesn't mean it isn't good or well crafted as long as you get the results that you wanted.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Craft wars Episode 3

Last night was another anxiety filled round of Craft Wars. I know it feels like that is all that is going on my blog right now but I have many things in the works. Just that darn kitchen impeding my studio space and starting up my Hell month of having triple jobs keeps me off the blog more then I would like.  Bear with me and we will still have a good time with DIY demos, tutorials and OTD's on the way!

Last night was my first time being involved in a livetweet! Which was an experience all on it's own. I thought I would be good on my phone and kindle fire but the responses were blowing up the entire time so i had to break out the laptop. Commercial breaks were like a well needed breather.
Once again three very different crafters from all sorts of backgrounds were pitted against each other in a toy and pet themed craft off.

Of course the Cute Asian girl Amy Ng with her foxy scarf was my favorite of the show. There was the castle builder Brad, which I thought would be some tough as nails competition and then the glitter loving Pam.

Their first challenge was to construct a toy box using toys. Very cute and clever for a challenge. The judges were ruthless in their critiques on construction and misuse of materials. Amy was pretty much a shoe in with her clever little box turning it into a monster game to feed the toys to. Robby the Robot was getting some tough love from the elements when he toppled over and I thought for sure that Pam would be a goner and not have the time for repairs. Whilst Brad just kept plugging along proud of his work.

Personally when I think of toy box I think of a chest or that rad Euro Techno group ToyBox which is probably what would of been going through my head if I had this challenge.

Anyways! The winners were Robby the Robot box and Amy's Monster Box. The Judges were harsh in their critiques how they worried about Kids getting into the glitter and the clean up afterwards on poor robo Robby. While Amy did not escape scorn either for using felt everywhere because let's face it kids are sticky and fabric on toys unless it's a stuffed animal are not a good combination. Another problem is that you can't just stick a felt box in the wash to get it clean. I was not too surprised about Brad going home with his tent box. It was a cute idea but not very well executed and I think he should of stayed with materials her knows better and castle it up! I was sad to see him go of course because knowing that the master craft was huge he could of made an amazing Cat Castle that my three lovelies would of pounced on. Here is the last Video from TLC


The Master Craft was creating a pet house out of pet toys. Pam and Amy did not disappoint in size and both of them had strong beginnings. I was surprised by how much more work they had to do in their last hour. The fabric that Amy used for her bottom floor wall paper was super cute but her second floor was lacking in decor and the use of her materials was too literal. I would of taken the food bowls and made decorative mirrors on the inside and used the stuffed toy dog bones to create the flooring in the upper cat area instead of just a cat bed. This is supposed to be luxury right? What cat wouldn't love an entire squishy furry floor for them to knead and roll on?  Pam's aesthetic wasn't my taste but the craftmanship was there for sure. I think Glitter all over the walls was a bit much because just like the kids the animals will get that on them one way or another. From experience I know what it is like to clean up some glitter/sparkle poop out of the litter box.

At the end of the this episode I got to see my promo commercial! But I was on the phone having a quick festival recap meeting for Friday's Food Truck and Cart Fest.

What would you do differently if given these challenges?

Friday, July 06, 2012

Moonrise Kingdom - Fair isle

If you haven't seen Moonrise Kingdom and you are a Wes Anderson fan there is something wrong with you. This was a fantastic movie with a lot of innocent charm and quirk that he is so good at. Well the innocent part is new at least. I won't get into details about the movie itself because I think that people just need to go see it for themselves. There is also no good way to explain Wes Anderson movies.

The crafty part of me is obsessed with the narrator and his costume, namely the fingerless gloves. They have this great black and white fair isle pattern that I am itching to duplicate as my new spin for fall craft shows. It'll be a good exercise on charting out my own fair isle and punch card patterns via graph paper.

This is about as good as I can find Looks like a partial heart with some patterning. I love the way the thumb has a contrast row. I think that will have to be a woven in addition to this pattern.
Luckily Lisa Solomon and my friend Claire posted this handy little website on twitter to print your own graph paper so I can get working on this immediately.
Graph Paper HO! (ignore the PDF download just click on the option of paper you want)

Do you have any craft endeavors planned for this weekend?

Thursday, July 05, 2012

Craft Wars Episode #2

Did you get a chance to see the latest Craft Wars?
I know it was a super busy day being the night before the Fourth of July holiday and at least in my neck of the woods we were out and about to see Red White and Boom on our bikes.

Thankfully a friend has it DVR'd so we saw it the day after. The line up for competition was certainly a mixed bag with a strongly proclaimed crafter, a welding artist and Vintage re-vamp decorator.

It was great to see a guy involved on the show and another younger person that I felt I could connect with. It also helped to break up some of the misconceptions of what and who a crafter is.

The pressure of the Pop Craft was definitely felt as they were asked to make a bird house that was functional and meant to be outside. I felt like the Judges comments were pretty dead one.  I did not really agree with keeping that woman Michaela, I think the competition would of been much more intense with Mandi versus Kevin.  Kevin had a great a innovative birdhouse design but the foam core was a very poor choice.  I completely understand why he did it, with only an hour of time you feel the pressure about trying to get the wood cut and still have time to put it all together.

If I was doing that challenge I most likely would of taken apart the junk drawer itself to use as wood for my birdhouse or tried to get a ready made box and cover it with the wood. I would of also used the rubber brands stretched out as covering for the roof of my house to give it some color and a little bit of shingle feel while water proofing the top. My house would of been for a magpie, covered in just the shiny bits like the keys, bottle cap tops, coins with several different perches around it.

The Master Craft of making patio furniture was a lot of work to put into just 5 hours. I'm not even entirely sure what I would of done in that time. The bar seemed to be necessary with bar stools seemed simple enough. Kevin definitely played up his welding skills which I thought were fantastic. I was very skeptic of the boogie board chaise he was putting together but the finished project turned out pretty well. I think my favorite thing of his was the deflated beach ball tray. I thought that was clever and a great little addition. I was also very fond of the way he got everything to coordinate together such as the drop lights, the stool covers and that amazing skimmer board bar top. His whole project just felt complete. Aside for the missing storage the judges pointed out. I think the storage would of been an easily forgivable things considering how good it all looked. Personally I don't worry about storage because you can always find some milk crates someplace and cover them in or if they are behind the bar no one is going to see them but you.

As for Michaela's I just didn't really like much of what I saw was going on. I felt that wave table was a bit of an eyesore and all her pieces seemed to be mismatched from each other. There were some cute ideas and concepts but the execution just wasn't all there.

I applaud Kevin for his Victory but still wish I could of seen more of Mandi's Skillz.
She had a great blog post about her defeat on her blog here!

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Ups and Downs

Polyps #1 by Jonah Jacobs

The past week has been a little bit of a roller coaster! Being able to finally announce my participation on the new TLC show Craft Wars. I've been juggling a flood of e.mail from friends, day job, organizing craft vendors for two upcoming festivals, teaching my Pattern class at CCAD, and prepping for my College Preview High School Class also at CCAD. My best friend called and asked me how I find the time to do all of this as I was sitting in a gallery doing some volunteer work for Ohio Art League. I told her I just do. My day job is so unfulfilling that I need to fill the rest of my life doing things I love to counterbalance it all. The above art was one of the pieces that was on display at the Columbus Metro Library exhibit I was volunteering at for artist pick up. I loved all the colors in it and how it reminded me of a deep sea surface covered in barnacles. It reminded me that I need to get back to making art myself and finish up some projects I have been holding off to the side.

I sat down this weekend and took another long look at this Overshot weaving pattern and finally decided to just dive in and get it started. I have my warp threads measured out over a month ago it was time to just try it all out. I was hesitant because I haven't been able to go to my weaving classes regularly with my teaching schedule conflicting this summer and it is a format I have never tried before. I'm one of those people that also hates to waste anything so I feel like if I mess up that I will have wasted some decent wool yarn and a lot of my time.

 I got about half of it threaded in the heddles yesterday and I hope to finished the rest tonight and give it a test run. I've also been obsessed once again in finding a loom for myself to keep. I'm thinking even a rigid heddle is better then nothing. I've taken a gander at Inkle table looms as well but I have a feeling they are not my cup of tea.

In other news, not sure if it's because of the weather or just because I have been much more productive the good ole hands and elbows have needed braces as I work on knitting, tatting, embroidery or typing. I know several other ladies my age who are having the same problems being long time crafters in needle arts. It makes me a little scared that if it's this bad now how much worse will it get as I age? I could never imagine life without being able to craft and create. I think I would just down a bunch of pain pills and carry on.

Do you have any slightly embarrassing injuries to claim?
Tonight is another Episode of Craft Wars! I'm not sure I will get to watch it as it airs due to Red, White and BOOM! tonight but I'll be sure to find a way to catch up on it and blog ASAP!

Cheers and Enjoy the Holiday my Fellow Americans!