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Creative Humors

The challenge of creative people, I think, is staying inspired.  And for those of us who may be of not only the sanguine humor, but the choleric as well, well—getting out and just finding good old fashion humor is a darned good thing, too.  Thus, I tore myself from the depths of my studio this weekend, re-communed with friends, and dove head long into a whole new craft that I am sure I must create stash for.

Supplies and Inspiration. Ready to go.
My first felted rug in progress. The wool is all laid out ready for the felting to begin!

I confess, I have a thing for rugs.  I love looking at them, shopping for them, walking on them, and napping on them in front of the fire.  And I really want to make them.  I love a myriad of the techniques, though I excel at none.  But  joy, indeed.  Last summer I stomped a weekend away making felt rugs with Nicole Chazaud Telaar of Festive Fibers.  This weekend my friends and I landed at Wool and Goods for adventures in hooking.  Not only could you not hope to meet a more welcoming group of women, but great company and skill to draw from, as well.  Everyone was so generous with their time and knowledge, which is an attribute that never fails to impress me among artisans.

Suitably inspired and renewed now, after a great escapism weekend outing, I’m armed with gorgeous wools, proper tools, and enthusiasm to fuel my way.  My kitchen and front hall are in desperate need of some carpeted personality.  Primitive?  Painterly?  Persian?  Who’s to say.  As is my modus operandi, I’ll start with an idea that will quickly take on a life of its own and take me where it wants to go.  I’m not typically the leader in my creative pursuits.  Usually, I’m being dragged along by some wild creative tangent.  But I enjoy the surprise and anticipation of what will happen next and day dreaming of where my fibers will lead me.

Worms in Waiting
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Identity Disorder

If you’ve been paying attention, you may have noticed that my work has taken a turn lately.  Normally, I think of myself as a bohemian drama queen, all the way.  Drapey, flowy (sp?–spell check isn’t helping me out here),  kilim, rich colors—I’m a dark golden girl, though not naturally.  Nonetheless, my artistic personality disorder seems to think I’m French — at least that is how I’m thinking of it– all shabby chic and romantic and ingenue.  Hmmmm.

A bevy of my new pieces are light and airy and pastel.  I’m dreaming of, well,  you dream for me…  Who knew there was this side of me?!?!

It’s vintage, the colors are to die for, and new life to old things is always a good thing.  I’m considering venturing into tutorials.  Stay tuned…

Upcycled Garden Rose Brooch
Vintage Tea Towel Pillow
Blush Vintage Tea Towel Pilow
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A Gift Guide for Spammers

It’s official!  It is my One Month Anniversary of Blogging.  I am happy to report that I have developed a vast and varied network of devoted spammers among my followers.  I never knew I could be so popular!  I’m truly touched.  In consideration of these fine folks, whom I assume must have mothers, spouses, girlfriends, and kids just like the rest of us, I’ve put together  a little Gift Guide just for them.  During this frantic holiday season–the season of giving–, I’m happy to make even their lives a bit easier.  Happy December!

A Gift Guide for Spammers

An elegant clutch.
Chenille Boudoir Bag: A number of my spamming devotees spend a good deal of time in the boudoir. This one's for you.
Mini Hardcover Book Making Kit: Spammers seem to have a great interest in researching, editing, and writing the perfect article. This lovely kit by Sue Bleiweiss could let them take the whole thing a bit farther. Great stocking stuffer, too.
Leather Cell Phone Case: Spammers are very very busy people. They can look fashionable on the go sporting this. Better yet, pick one up for the whole family and chat in style. Now that's a Family Plan. By Manitoba Gifts.
Heirloom Crib Quilt: Exhausted at the end of a long day of spamming, these hardworkers can bring this treasure home to tuck their little ones in for a long winter's nap.
Heirloom Crib Quilt: Exhausted at the end of a long day of spamming, these hardworkers can bring this treasure home to tuck their little ones in for a long winter's nap.

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A New IndieArtisans Collection for the Holidays has unveiled its newest collection, Handmade for the Holidays.  I’m thrilled to be a part of this talented group of artisans, and you will find a diverse collection of gifts to suit everyone on your shopping list.  Below is a little teaser sampler of the beautiful work you will find.  Ceramic Pear Wine Tags by Joy Elizabeth Ceramics and an original framed Sleigh piece by Artrussell.  Take a little break from the shopping madness and browse from your couch, mug of cocoa in hand.

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Sparkly Girl has Heart, too.

Lest anyone think me too shallow, it’s not just all about the bling.  I’m having fun finding the perfect adornments to create the personality of each new set of gloves.  I’m finding, too, that I am loving the challenge of styling the perfect photograph.  When I started this crazy little venture I expected I’d have to fine tune and define my work as an artisan.  Little did I know that I’d need to define myself as a photographer and stylist, as well.  What exactly is my point of view and how do I communicate that?  It’s not enough to be able to take a sharp, clear photograph.  It goes further.  How do all my photographs work together?  Is there visual cohesiveness?  Does the audience understand and care about my narrative?  Do I know who my audience is?  I’ve spent the better part of the past week, rearranging my online shops, swapping around photos, and taking new pics to swap out with old.  There’s still much to be done and I have much to learn, but while you can’t judge a book by its cover , a picture really is worth a thousand words.

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Girl’s Got Sparkle!

I don’t usually work with patterns.  I sit with my yarn and needles and, if I’m lucky, a general idea, and I wait to see what happens.  Frequently, disaster is the only descendant of my creative gestations.  Sometimes, success manages to reveal itself.  While simple, these fingerless gloves took some doing to get the fit and shape right.  My intention is for this to serve as the basis for a more technically challenging second generation of glove.  But for now, it gives me a great excuse to rummage through my stash of assorted collected adornments.  And shiny is good.  And shiny is fun.

Sparkling Coffee Girl (but only after drinking the coffee)

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Holiday Open House at Root and Sprout, Nov 20th 10:am-5:pm

For those of you who might be in the Birmingham, MI area, this weekend Root and Sprout kicks off the holiday season with an open house/trunk show to benefit Detroit’s Variety Children Charities.  I love the spirit of the whole thing.  Root and Sprout is dedicated to ecofriendly and organic gifts for babies and 20% of the sales from this show are going to Detroit’s Variety.  If you can make it, it is a wonderful way to support  small business, handmade,  and needy children at the same time.  What could be better?  While I won’t be there, my Mitered Pixie Chullos will be, along with the Heirloom Cabled Bunting.  It should all make for a wonderful day, and I’m delighted to be included.

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Letting Go

Let’s face it.  The whole point of making something and then making it available for sale is to, well, sell it.  How novel!  I’m lucky that that part of my business plan seems to be working.  It’s just that lately, I’m sending off pieces of my work that I had grown rather fond of.  And it goes beyond the particular beauty of a fabric or stitch pattern or even the overall success of the end product.  Each piece is a marker for me capturing a little slice of my life.  When I look at a bag or a sweater or a bunting that I’ve made, I can vividly tell you what book I was listening to while I worked, what the weather was, and what home improvement project I was avidly avoiding—“Sorry, honey.  I’m on deadline.”  Frequently even, I find my materials and supplies when we’re out on long weekends or visiting friends.  Looking at a picture of one of my baby bonnets, I fondly remember the impromptu getaway complete with charming  b&b, great little breakfast place,  and the fab fiber festival where I found the yarn–a beautiful handspun hand-dyed little number the color of marigold sunsets.  Hmmm.  It is true.  A picture is worth a thousand words, but also thousands of scents, sounds, and emotions.  And, hopefully, my little bits of this and that that find their way out into the world, will go on to find their places in someone else’s photo and become part of their stories, too.

Knit with yarn found while on a long weekend getaway.

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To Topstitch or Not to Topstitch?

That is the question I threw out to the FB gang the other night.  Sometimes I think topstitching adds a nice professional finish, but other times I think it just makes the thing look cheap.  The project that had thrown me into such philosophical woes was my Petite Reversible Market Tote.  Would it be more polished with the right color stitching neatly wending its way about the edges or would the whole thing just get fussy?  In the end, I decided on a compromise.  Neat rows of stitching on the top handle reinforcement areas and let the rest of the bag stand on its own.  I’ve just listed it here and here, if you’d like to take a peek.

Petite Reversible Market Tote
Reversible Petite Market Tote
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It’s a Bloggin’ New Day

I recently read somewhere that over 10,000 new blogs are created every day (If I could remember where I found this choice little tidbit, I’d happily give credit.)  (Credit goes to the lovely Rachel Biel!).  So, what do I think I can bring to this mode of forum?  Honestly, I’m not exactly sure.  Much like venturing into a new technique in the studio, this is a whole new craft I will need to approach, attempt, likely screw up a few times, and perhaps achieve a modicum of success at.  We shall see.

Let’s start with this:  Indie Artisans has launched its November collection, “Giving Thanks”.  I’m thrilled to have my work included among that of many other talented artists.  I encourage you to go check them out.