Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Just for Ewe - and eventually me!

It's been a while since I have had the time to make a post. I've simply been very busy between Independent's day Organization, moving into the new studio space and the Columbus Food Truck Fest. Now that two of those 3 things are pretty much done with I find myself picking up other things. These are important things that I hope will be the foundation for my life in the upcoming years. Re-applying for Grad school and working on a business plan for my own yarn store. If you remember in my "Craft Wars" episode I talked about wanting to open a yarn store. It was not a lie to sound meaningful on TV. It is something that I do really plan on doing.

There is this sweet little Yarn Shop up around the lake house called "Just for Ewe". It is a very inspiring place where the yarn is like waterfalls of color through out the store. Not that I want mine to look like that but it's fun to go in there.

They also have Sheep!

And an Alpaca!

The quaint little storefront is set back away from the road in the back lot next to the sheep and alpaca stable. In the front lot is a small craft gift and candy store.

The entire place is just dripping in colors and fibers

There was even a place for the boys to sit down and relax amidst it all.

I've been reading a ton of small business books and contacting potential vendors about price lists and working out the details in my head of going from pop-up to brick in mortar in two years time frame. I feel good that I am well prepared when people ask me the serious business questions that I can give them complete answers without hesitation. A few other business owners have told me I've been doing my research and off to a really good start. The problem is just making that final leap to start this. I have a handful of forms and documents that I need to send out with checks to get this party started.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

NYC Craft Swag

Finally after a bit a time and many meetings I've had the time for myself to work on this post about my crafty purchases in New York City from the beginning of this month.

These were my luscious purchases from Purl Soho. My hubby actually bought me my two half yard pieces of Liberty of London.
I got a good collection of crewel wool to add to my supplies and I was good enough to only buy myself two skeins of yarn both by Madelinetosh .

I went for Florals in Liberty because this is what they are known for. Amazing robust patterns with an array of colors, never looking tacky but so much details into every square inch. I also got this cute Japanese polka dot bias tape which I hope to use on a blouse I have plans to make.

I stayed mostly in blues and greens in my selection since I am still planning to work on bruises for my embroidery but I added in a few choice colors just for me to play with.

Here is a close up for the gorgeous yarns I got in Tomato and Robin's Egg blue. One day when I have my own yarn store I am going to make sure I carry this yarn company. It is just so beautiful and artful.

For yet another hobby that I love which is beading and making jewelry I got myself a new little tool that I thought I would try out and some copper Swarovski encrusted beads for a bracelet.

Of course I had to get some Crafty books while I was at Kino Kuniya and I picked up a Stumpwork embroidery book and fingerless glove book. Also the most recent Gap Press Haute Couture magazine. I've giving up mostly on getting all the pret-a-porter versions of this magazine because they never wow me as much as the Haute Couture does.

Through our many subway rides I came upon this quirky little women's room turned convenience store. I just had to take a picture and share. The men's side was not in good shape and seemed to be turned into a subway maintenance closet.

I love that we have started to finish each trip to NYC with Dim Sum in the City at the huge banquet hall Jing Fong. Got to spend time with one of my favorite people Juyon and see my friend Julie who I don't think I've seen since we were at Yonsei together in 1999 (yes I am old if you didn't know that already). With Hubby in tow of course.

Now the problem lies with what will I do with my fantastic little Liberty of London Fabrics and what to knit with my new yarns?!
Any and all suggestions are welcome!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Nerdy New York

One of the many interesting spots I visited while in NYC was Nintendo World. I don't usually make this a stop except that I wanted to make sure I got on the Nintendo WiFi to collect my extra street passes and get some Pokemon plushies for my niece and nephew as they are just old enough now to enjoy the wonders of playing pokemon on their Nintendo 3DS (yes this is sounding like total product placement, I won't be mad is NINTENDO picks this up and sends me fan service). Honestly I've never played Pokemon, what little I know of it is from the cartoons I might of watched intently here and there. What I do know is ZELDA!

It's tough when you are an interesting looking girl who is dressed nicely and into video games amid a store full of boys and their toys or mom waiting for the boys to finish playing games. I had of been approached by every worker in the store to ask me if I needed help and then start a conversation about what thing I was holding including my 3DS as I kept it open doing street pass and switching between games to gather weapons in Kid Icarus or Dark Notes in Theatrhythm. I was asked so many times to old the Master Shield from Zelda I finally gave in since they went out of their way to bring it to me. It was HEAVY, whomever made this was a skilled craftsman, the front was all hand painted and the dimensions are real for the woodwork on the tri-force and metal decoration.

This year marked the 25th anniversary for both The Legend of Zelda and Final Fantasy Series. Both of them have been strong in collector's items and the displays at Nintendo World were put together by many of the worker's from their personal collections. Seeing ye olde Nintendo Powers really takes me back to my NES days of up up down down left right left right select start.

The new displays at the store are really great. They were made my the employees who put their personal collections into the store. This was The Legend of Zelda's 25th anniversary so a special book came out in Japan which I also saw at KinoKuniya but it was about $70 bones. You can see it right here at Epona's feet. I totally also had that Legend of Zelda Nintendo Power from the late 80's.

Majora's Mask Link

Goron from Majora's Mask

Zelda four Swords links and signed golden Nintendo GBA system.
also little pixel pins made by a worker's girlfriends for the display.

Close up of the rad Epona and Link Statue.

Another great display depciting Kid Icarus and Metroid. Both classics that I loved and remember growing up playing.

I love the new Kid Icarus but the original will always have a soft spot in my heart. I used to play it so much I would get nightmares of the eggplant wizard chasing me down through a dungeon. The music was really great and quirky for the original as well.

They also re-vamped their console system display since I saw it two years ago. I would of gotten pictures of it but there was just too many people crowding around it. If you are a Nintendo fan of any capacity I would highly suggest making the trip to Nintendo world, if for nothing else the nostalgia. It's weird to think NES was my first console and my first love in gaming. The original gameboy I held onto until the Nintendo DS brick came out. I still have our NES and all the 47 games my brothers and I collected.

Are you a gamer? What was your first console/Game? What is classic to you?

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

My Version of Heaven

Is pretty much Purl Soho. What a fantastic store! How in the world I came out of there spending less then $100 is a miracle all on it's own. Part of it was due to me being there just as they were celebrating their 10 year anniversary so the entire store was 20% off. I was too lucky. It isn't a huge store but it is well organized and every single nook and crannie is filled with beautiful fibers. It reminded of the concept that Anthropologie stores go for, where you really need to look under each table and drawer to see what new things are hidden.

As soon as you walk in you are greeted by a wall of Liberty of London fabrics hooped into embroidery hoops decorating a wall. Then your eyes follow the rainbow cascade of yarns and fibers all long the left side.

The Right side of the store is full of notions, embroidery threads, buttons, bias binding tape just oodles of things once again color coded like a rainbow to make your mind blow.

 They had a humungous collection of wool felts that I could of easily spent my paycheck on but I persevered and only bought what I came there to do, Crewel Wool.

 It was very hard with all this charming yarn and my new rule in set that I must use two two skeins before I can buy a new once was very hard but I was good.

It gave me many great ideas of what to do with all the little waste yarn hearts and flowers I've been making. I think I will have to join up with a spinner to make some unique yarns of our own. I wish I had bought this yarn just as inspiration but alas the photo will have to do.

Seeing all the things from the Purlbee in person was nice to get a sense of how the photography can play tricks to make things look much better. Not that things were not still wonderful but it's good to see them in person, makes it realistic and more attainable. I call it the pinterest effect, where you see something think it's neat and store it away never to actually do it. This shattered that effect for me on a few projects.

As soon as the first person asked me if I needed I told immediately that I had come for one thing only and that was Appleton Crewel Wool. The brought out the swatch card from some secret compartment and I went to work making my list and checking against the crewel wool colors that had come in the week before to make sure I had no duplicates. It was a long process but well worth it. I can barely even begin to voice my excitement of trying out this new fiber into my art.

There were about 6 drawers such as this filled with crewel wool colors.

 Then there was the Liberty of London Wall. So much soft and pretty fabrics costing quite a pretty penny. A yard is about $25.00 or more. I've never been able to shut my eyes and throw down for some of this fabric. It is just too hard to decide what to make out of it. It's too pretty and expensive to just use it for a coin purse yet so expensive I shudder at the thought of trying to buy yardage for a skirt or dress. I know I have worked in other more expensive fabrics but for some reason Liberty of London just puts the fear in me.

On the way out I just had to do my classic "I'm an Asian Tourist" self portrait in front of the hoop wall. It was one of the last things we did in the city before we went to our airport for what would end up being a LONG and terrible trip with a bit of Silver lining. I'll discuss that another post when the idea of flying doesn't infuriate me.


Friday, August 10, 2012

Fame & Fortune!

No not really. Well maybe a little bit of fame. My friend Grace Dobush's sequel to her widely popular craft business book "Crafty SuperStar" has just been republished. It still has the same great content with a good number of additives and I am proud to be one of them!

I  chimed in on my experiences on Regretsy. Yes that was plural, I've been on Regretsy more then once and not ashamed of it at all. In fact let's take a gander back at those links here and here. It's nothing personal just bored people who love to flame. I'm not upset by them at all in fact it gave me some amazing traffic on my etsy site and resulted in a good number of sales. You can read more of my opinions and lemons to lemonade philosophy in the book!

It was super exciting for me to have a little Bio in at the end with a shout out back to my blog. I can easily say this year has been one of the best years of my life, Craft Wars to another publication credit. There was a good reason I wasn't able to get into Grad School. Let's hope the good things keep happening and I can bear the work that is coming up for festival organizing and personal art/fashion projects.

To help with all of that I finally started to move into my shared studio space with Stinky Bomb Soap maker Megan Green over at Junctionview Studios! I look forward to some long nights in silence getting some work done.

So the studio has been my excuse from doing blogging, among other things. I have a lot of catch up work to do and embroideries planned. I need to put my mind to the grindstone and since all the festivals are pretty well formed it's just a matter for me not getting distracted. My biggest distractions are starting new projects when the old ones need desperate attention. ONWARD!

Thursday, August 02, 2012

NYC -Bound!

I'm going to New York tomorrow! Just for a visit not moving there.
I go about once a year and usually it relates with seeing some sort of amazing art exhibit that I guilt my husband in one way or another to take me.

This year it is the Impossible Conversations with Prada and Schiaparelli at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I'm delighted that the museum is open till 9pm on Saturday night. I won't feel so rushed to get in there right away the way I did for Alexander McQueen or Tim Burton. I feel like this will be a much quieter exhibit and mature audience. I hope to take long appreciative time through this exhibit without being shoved and bustled. It also is not the last day of the exhibit like it was when I went to McQueen and that was a sheer madness.

Other things on my list include taking the hubby to High Line since the Statue of Liberty is under construction. I figured just going to Ellis Island won't be fun unless we can get into ye olde majestic lady for a peekaboo (yes I totally feel that last sentence maybe a little dirty and I'm ok with that).

The only place I feel a dire need to eat at is Kenka in St. Marks. Then several friends told me I must try Momofuku. K-town would be nice for some neng-myung and galbi and some China Town Dimsum is always a welcome meal.

As for shopping I have plans to hit up Uniqlo, Topshop, Muiji, Zara.
To feed my collections and craft I plan to hit up Purl Soho, Toy Tokyo and KinoKuniya.
People always ask if I will hit up any fabric stores. I answer is usually no, because I just wouldn't have the room and it would be unfair to friends and husband to wait hours for me as I waddle through the bliss of NYC fashion district. When I travel with the hubby I try to be very mindful to do things he would be interested in as well. At the least I can pick my shopping areas close to parks, a MAC store or other interesting visuals for him but Garment District is not so pretty unless you are digging the trims, fabric and tools.

I did get some pretties in the mail yesterday which will make my Purl Soho experience a lot less stressful! For one I can now make my swatch card and know what colors I need to pick so I don't do duplicates and also I've been waiting for this stuff for nearly a month. It was a bit of an ordeal but I have WUSHA'd my negative feelings away on this and am just happy to revel in the colors.

I may have told a friend earlier today that I wanted to "rub my face all over the pretty colors". 

To end this post how about a couple cuddly critters I saw over the weekend at the Ohio State Fair. They were both part of the amazing petting zoo that included Cavy's, Emu's, Baby Zebra, Baby Water buffalo, sheep, goats, alpaca, llama and a few more.

This little darling is a Highland Cow. I'd only seen them in Scotland before when my Mom and I were there year's ago for a Fashion Contest. This is just a babe so not nearly as shaggy as the parents. The full size ones reminded me of Bantha's from Star Wars!

Images from Alien Species Wiki

This Alpaca was my buddy, I spent a lot of time petting him (for lack of knowing the sex). He was like a pet whenever I stopped he would nudge my hand for more and when I scratched behind the ears you could see him close his eyes and just melt a little bit. I wish I could of brought him home for the fiber and as a boss new pet.

I hope you all have a great weekend where ever you are and whatever you do!  Make sure to have fun and stay positive! If you are in Columbus this weekend there are a few great things going on like Gallery hop in the Short North and the Summer Flea!


Wednesday, August 01, 2012

No War just Outfit of the day!

Today is normally the day I would talk about Craft Wars on TLC and it's new prime time at 8pm eastern but I will do that tomorrow, maybe........ I've watched both last week and this week but I can't even collect my thoughts very well because I have been so busy. I also need to pack for NYC and sort out some more of my plans.

Instead I celebrate the completion of our kitchen with an Outfit of the Day post. Nothing particular exciting except for wearing some snazzy Alexander Wang T shorts I picked up in Chicago months ago.
 Amidst the the new kitchen where we still have days of organizing and putting away of utensils.

I am wearing
RCVA shirt from Milk Bar
Vintage Gnome Necklace from the Upperdeck of Substance
Alexander T Wang Shorts from Chicago
BCBGeneration platform heels
Hello Kitty Glasses from (I also saw them all over Santee Alley in LA)
Pale legs courtesy of not enough sun.

This pictures shows the shoes off a bit better and I look kind of mean. I'm ok with looking a little mean. If you noticed the blonde hair it is just temporary till my hair cut and then once I have the bangs I'll know exactly where to put the color in to give myself maximum awesome. Since the show I realized I say the word "awesome" a heck of a lot, I can't help it, I tried, and I failed. I also realize I still need to write my incredible blog post on the things I learned from being on TV.

Just one more day till I am in NYC but my head already feels like it has gone on Vacay!
Do you have any travel plans this weekend? Andy cute digs that make you want to do an Outfit of the Day post for your blog?