Wednesday, September 19, 2012

My Hats on The Big C!

A while back I rented some of my hats to the producers of the Showtime series, The Big C. These are screen shots from their website. The ep. is 7, How Bazaar. This opportunity came about through Elm City Handmade. It was nothing I ever thought about doing but I thought, why not? We thought that the program would be airing in Sept. which is why I just went looking for it. But it may have run in the spring. We don't have Showtime so I really don't know. If you're a fan of the show, could you let me know? It's probably just as well that I didn't know what they had in mind but it only looks like my hats are getting run over! Except for one squished styrofoam stand and one hat that needed to be washed because they dropped it in a puddle, everything came home intact. Would I do it again? Yes!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Experiments in Color

I'm working on expanding my use of color by doing some small acrylic sketches.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Oh, Yeah! Polymer Clay is Fun!

Last week I taught a bunch of polymer classes. It's been while because I've been busy with paintings and fiber projects. There was a point at which I kinda burned out on the clay and drifted away to felting sweaters and making hats. I'm not thinking of getting back into the big vessel projects that I used to do. Nope, I'm having too much fun making jewelry! Some of it is for myself and some will end up in my Etsy shop. I just read an excellent book,The Blood of Flowers. ( protagonist is a young woman living in Iran during the 1600's. She and her mother leave their small village after the death of her father. Taken in by her father's half brother, they work as servants. Her talent at designing carpets and her determination to make a better life for herself and her mother kept me reading well past bedtime. The book inspired the paisley pin and pendant. As a funny side note, I learned that the Farsi word for a European trader was farangi, which the writers of Star Trek Next Generation changed to Ferengi. And I thought they just made that up!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

New Painting

< Two 8"x10" paintings for the Summer Greene opening. I'm currently working on a 16"x20" of my three Japanese kokeshi dolls.

My Heroes, Kaffe Fassett and Sophie Digard

I'm in love with the work of Kaffee Fassett and Sophie Digard and see them as kindred spirits when it comes to pattern and color. Sure, Kaffee's color is more intense and they work at different scales, but they both hit my design sweet tooth the same way. Small gauge crochet is wonderful, just look at Irish crochet. Sophie takes that scale and makes it work in sophisticated colorways. I would love to own a Digard scarf but it isn't going to fit in my budget and I enjoy crocheting laceweight wool so I'm starting on my own version. I expect that my colorway will be a bit closer to Kaffee's. I'm going to try to harmonize the colors with smaller joining motifs and a border as Sophie does. I'm using a single strand of Persian needlepoint wool and a #7 steel hook. Persian wool comes in so many subtle colors and if you want to, you can felt it. When I get a decent sample done I'll post pictures.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The Dr. At The Jubilee Concert

I love Annie Lennox but I just couldn't resist making this. I can't be the only one who immediately thought this!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

New Work

Here are the first scarves made from the silk neckties I took apart and a new hat style, the necktie newsboy. I got a number of men's tweed jackets at a bag sale and the cap is cut from one sleeve. You can see the cuff buttons are still in place.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Free Labels For Craft Projects.

Anybody want these labels from the ties I'm using? I've seen pictures of a jacket covered completely in labels or you could use them in collages. Email me at if you want them.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Maker's Euphoria

Here's a quick picture of my newest upcycling material, gorgeous silk neckties. I'm in a wonderful makers euphoria these days,loads of ideas and fingers just itching to get going on them. One of my goals has been to design things that will sell all year. Nobody wants to try on a wool hat when it's 95 and humid. So I've turned to an old friend, silk neckties. The colors and patterns, especially the paisleys, are so beautiful! I'm especially happy to have sourced these at a local thrift store, Stars & Stripes. The shop helps vets and their families. I could have gotten them from an ebay seller but Stars & Stripes was able to match the price for me. When I walked in they had just received a big donation of Pillsbury pizza dough, the kind in the cardboard tube that you crack open on the counter. Problem was, they have limited storage space so they were trying to reach the food bank at St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Shop across town but getting no answer. My friend works there and I usually stop in on Mondays so I offered to take some over. Some of the packages had been jostled on the ride to S & S and had popped open and had to be discarded. So I couldn't help thinking on the ride over to SVP that if anybody rear ended my car the explosion of dough would be pretty amazing! It all worked out fine. They were happy to have it and my "rear air bag" did not go off.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Tribal Belly Dance Cuff

This was one of those times I used a bunch of thrifted materials that I'd bought even thought I had no idea of what to do with them. It started with a package of leather bracelet blanks. I've been having fun drawing henna patterns on them with permanent pigment markers and decided to do an all out tribal style cuff. The color is acrylic paint mixed with textile medium. I sealed it with mink oil. Then I went wild adding bells, beads, pearl buttons and upcycled parts from old jewelry. This thing is so fun to wear! The idea was to put it in my etsy shop but I really want to keep it. Since it's Monday I stopped in at St. Vincent de Paul Thrift shop. I got six tweed blazers for a buck each. Not sure what I'm going to make from them but the fabric is very nice.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Stitch Loves Kare Pan

My son asked me to make curry buns yesterday. I made the chicken curry from scratch but I cheated and used some frozen bread dough. On Mondays I stop in at a local thrift store, that's where I found this Stitch bobble head. I'm not a big fan of Disney products, especially not the endless parade of princesses. But Lilo and Stitch are cool.

Friday, January 27, 2012

The Latest Mossy Mushroom Hat And Back To School

A couple of times a year I'll make one of these freeform crocheted mossy mushroom hats. It's about my favorite thing to crochet but not something I can crank out in a hurry or would want to do day in and day out. I need to take breaks so the design stays fresh. So I've started a collection of scrumbbles and add on pieces so I'll be ready for the next one. I once made a capelet in this style and I think it's time to do another. I want to really let myself go wild on it and then put a big price tag on it. If nothing else it will be a great piece to wear in the booth with my mushroom crown. I just signed up for an adult ed Japanese class at the local high school and I'm wondering who else will be taking it. I asked my son, the aspiring mangaka who is talking about living there, if he wanted to take it but he said no. He's probably worried that the guys from the Yu-Gi-Oh duel club will show up. My son put away his duel disk when he was 11. These guys are in high school and walk around with a duel disk strapped to one arm. Not exactly the right plan for social success, but God bless them, they seem happy. My Dad was in the army during the Korean War and had R&R in Japan several times. He came back talking about building a traditional Japanese house. It would appeal to him, he's a woodworker. Somehow that idea didn't pan out. We ended up with a ranch house. But I'm sure he inspired my interest in Japan.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Sunday Morning

Connecticut is having a weird winter this year. First there was the autumn snow storm that knocked out the power to homes that had been in the dark for over a week following tropical storm Irene. Then the weather warmed up and it felt like spring. I can't remember ever driving around in the middle of January with the window open. OK, it was just after I'd worked out at the gym. Yesterday winter returned and gave us something like eight inches of snow. This morning the sun is out, the sky is clear and that snow looks marvelous. I'm hoping that the proper winter weather will clear my head. I've been feeling really scattered. My etsy shop hasn't gotten much of my attention even though I have plenty of new hats that I could list. I got derailed by computer and camera trouble but those issues have been fixed. If I'm honest with myself, what I really need to do is a clutter purge and cleaning of the whole house. How can I think straight in this environment? Why is it so much easier to make messes than to clean them up? But no, I just muddled along amid the wreckage. I found a bunch of hat patterns at the Goodwill, 4 for a dollar. I've always just drafted my own pattern but I thought maybe I could learn something from them. What I've learned so far is that they suck. I knew they'd need to be adapted to use with the felted sweaters if only because I don't have unlimited yardage to cut big pieces. Beyond that, the seams are too wide and they just don't work that well. The only one I really liked was a vintage 40's pattern for the glengarry cap. Oh, well. I still have some kids hats to try. If nothing else, they'll give me standard sizing. On a happier note, I'm finishing a custom order for a mossy mushroom hat. The basic structure is done so it's on to the fum part, adding mushrooms, berries and vines.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Greetings From The Laptop

Happy New Year! 2011 ended with the demise of my old mac so now I'm using a pc laptop. What a pain trying to figure out how to edit photos on this thing! I still can't figure out how to do the simplest thing - crop the image. Anyhow, this is my new winter hat and mitts, and a funky glengarry cap from a vintage pattern. Two ends of the spectrum here - I just winged the hat. It started when I was playing around piecing together the white scraps from cutting out a bunch of mushroom stems. I let the rest evolve from other bits and a piece of zipper that was lying around. It doesn't really have a front or back, I wear it both ways. I made the matching mitts because I needed them. I can't stand gloves and mittens are just too clumsy, especially if they're made from sweater felt. They're more like oven mitts. The glengarry cap is straight from the pattern. I'm loving these two fabrics together. The teal plaid was a scarf and the green striped trim was a fabric remnant. There's still fabric left so I'll use them together again.