Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Mo Money, Mo Problems?

I did it. I went to a bead shop, talked to the owner, and gave her a ton of my inventory. To sell. That's right. In a shop. My jewelry. That I made. On my living room floor. 

I've been talking about (or being talked to about) selling my jewelry for years. My friend has a wonderful online shop called Homegrown Judaica where a bunch of my pieces are featured. But, selling in a brick-and-mortar shop is another level, at least in my eyes. 

I love online shops, but I love real shops more. (Sorry, online shops! See, I even called them "real" shops.) I love being able to examine things a little before I buy them and experience the whole "shopping" experience - especially bead shops. I love being surrounded by all-sorts-of-potential creative materials just waiting to be made into something fabulous.

Who knows if I'll actually sell anything!? But, for now, I'm excited that it's possible for me to go into this shop next week and see my little red half-moon earrings in the display case.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Hey Baby, Drop It To the Floor

While many of my friends having babies are living in the Northeast, where hats are de rigueur, the baby-having has started spreading to warmer climes. A few months ago, when my friends in Atlanta had a baby, I knew I couldn't send a baby hat - the poor thing would never get to wear it. I found an adorable pattern (reminiscent of the felt birds that kicked off this blog) for a felt bunny

Sometimes I get to see the babies wearing the hats I've made, which is totally surreal. This may be admitting something weird, but I actually don't always imagine actual babies using the items I make. So, imagine my surprise when I was in Atlanta a couple of weeks ago and saw this baby playing with the bunny!

I had been told by the mom that the baby loves the bunny - its shape is perfect for her to hold. What mom hadn't shared with me is that it is perfect for her to hold on to while she - wait for it - teeths on it. It hadn't occurred to me that she would put the bunny in her mouth. Oy. 

Here's hoping that felt is non-toxic.  

Thursday, July 7, 2011

One-Minute Creativity

For something close to three years, a friend of mine has, subtly and not-so-subtly, been trying to get me to try meditation. I've been reluctant to start primarily because I haven't felt that I had the time. I imagined sitting, for at least 5 minutes, and while the idea was appealing, the finding of the actual 5 minutes felt virtually impossible.

My friend really wants to help me, so today she sent me a video produced by this guy

What I experienced by following the simple (yet totally intimidating, but still do it!) instructions in the video shocked me. And, it inspired me to think a little differently about creativity.

As you may have noticed (or maybe not, that's okay), I haven't posted on the blog for almost two months. Nothing particularly bad has been going on that's kept me away from it (also, nothing particularly good, just sayin'). I've just been busy, haven't been creating much of anything that I want to show off, and haven't managed to find (or make) a minute to type up a post. I've been beating myself up about not crafting and not posting, which is really time-consuming, ha ha ha. But, after watching the video, I thought, "A minute isn't really that much time." 

Often, I think of the phrase owned by one of my favorite companies, The Paper Source. "Do something creative every day."

Talk about intimidating.

But. Maybe.

I'm not going to set a resolution to do something creative every day. I'm not even going to set a resolution to do a one-moment meditation every day. But, I will make an effort to cut myself some slack. It might even help me be more creative.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Does Your Chain Hang Low?

I'm excited to be part of a new online community for Jewish artists and people who love them (oh, and who love art, and Jewish art, too!). Homegrown Judaica is sort of an Etsy for Jewish artists. The artists featured on the site create Jewish art (ketubot, tallitot, Jewishly-themed visual art) as well as, well, just arts and crafts (photographs, jewelry, needlework).

I'm selling some of my handmade jewelry on the site, which is the first time I've made a concerted effort to sell. (I'm not counting the actually-really-successful "shows" I've done in the library at my office for my co-workers, which are probably completely illegal.)

I'm looking forward to this experiment - seeing how people respond to my jewelry, if the price is right, and what kind of response the site gets in general. If you're a Jewish artist and would like to feature our work on the site, there's information on how to do that there. Check me out!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Chan Luu, and Chan Luu, too

Apparently now I'm channeling world cultures. Tribal chic is taking the world by storm. Didn't you know? 

I found out on Rue La La, one of my favorite browsing (not shopping) subscription services. My inbox is flooded with these things. I don't always read them, but certain details catch my eye. Like finding out how much Rue La La is charging for Chan Luu bracelets.

Faithful readers will remember my affectionate nickname for the first wrap bracelet I made (F you, Chan Luu!). My friend Linda really, really wanted one of these bracelets, so we took a fun girly trip to Lexington a few weeks ago to buy the materials at the bead shop where I learned how to make them (Sweetbeads). 

Linda's bracelet is hott, as you can see. The best part? We're bartering. So, in exchange, I will be receiving an absolutely beautiful handmade shawl. 

Stay tuned for adventures in baby toys.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

She's Crafty, and She's Just My Type

It's so great to have artsy-craftsy friends. They're inspirational and motivating. They keep me on my toes and value the time and effort that goes into handmade items.  

So many people who follow this blog are fellow crafters, artists, and artisans. Two are my friends Lindsey and Benjy. Lindsey is a jewelry artist. Benjy is a music promoter (sort of - hopefully he'll correct me). They are sweet people, in all the ways "sweet" can be connoted.

Lindsey asked me to make her a custom hat and scarf; Benjy snapped the photo for your enjoyment. I, of course, wanted to put Lindsey's hat and scarf on this blog, and she had the lovely idea of putting it on her business's blog. Lindsey is living every artist's dream and making a full-time go of it with her business ripegoods, so click on over and see the beautiful work she's creating.

Lucky for Lindsey, snow is predicted (still!) in Boston this weekend, so she'll have a few more days to wear her hat and scarf.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Club Can't Even Handle Me Right Now

A couple Fridays ago, I got one of the best e-mails I've gotten in a long time. I was getting ready to go to a conference, and the e-mail was from the conference organizers. It said: "Please feel free to bring creative projects you may be working on currently... We invite you to select and bring a project with you that helps support creative thinking during our discussions and activities."

I was so excited, but I was already away from home and my collection of creative projects. (I'm not making it up - that part of the e-mail was bold in the original). Thankfully, I was with my Mom, and she has a huge collection of her own of stuff to make creative projects.  (With love, some might call this collection a "hoard.") I was able to find a couple of small skeins of yarn that, I swear, are older than I am. Knitting needles were not a problem - Mom has quite a few extras. Mom also provided great inspiration with the simplest idea: "Why don't you make felt bowls?"

Why don't I!? Because I don't have a clue how to knit in the round.

I also didn't have a clue how to knit stripes, and as you can see, I was able to figure that out. I still haven't figured out how to knit in the round (project for March, seriously), but I found a pattern online (awesome use of free wireless in the conference hotel!) and adapted it to be able to knit it on straight needles and stitch it up. Since you can't get a sense of the dimensions from the picture (and since a picture of the bowls from farther away wouldn't let you see the fun stripes!), the bowls are 3 1/2 inches in diameter.  

The felting was a fun Saturday evening for me and the hubby. They are very lightly felted (I was using a washing machine and kind of scared of causing a lot of irreparable damage, so only ran them through, like, um, 5 times), but I've been told that better results can be achieved through hand felting. 

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Ice, Ice Baby

A few weeks ago, when the snowfall in Boston only reached Shaquille O'Neal's nether regions, my friend Leah and I took a class to learn how to make "designer wrap bracelets."

I affectionately call this bracelet my "f. u. Chan Luu" bracelet. Thanks, Chan Luu, for designing something that people like me will want to learn to replicate. Thanks for charging upwards of $150 for the real thing. Thanks for having more patience than I've ever, even in the more patient years of my life, had. Thanks for giving me arthritis.

The bracelet is really nice, and actually a little addictive to make. I've gotten a lot of compliments, which must mean that it's "real" jewelry (kind of like how the bags I make are "real" bags because people say that they're nice before they find out that I made them). I might make one for you if you pay me for the labor, and foot the bill for my physical therapy, too.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Where My Stitches At?

Just before Thanksgiving, I joined a new gym. I go often (so much that I don't blog anymore, apparently!). The gym has made it easy for me to go - it's a five minute walk from my apartment and they have yoga classes.

I started practicing yoga in college, if falling asleep as soon as we lay down counts as practicing. I managed to learn something, though, as I actually taught a room of 100 people downward dog just after college. It was very cool, and I felt very good at the yoga thing.

For the past few years, I've been practicing yoga regularly, not falling asleep anymore and continuing to feel very good at it. Until I joined this new gym.

For the first couple weeks, I was convinced the instructors were teaching some sort of yoga torture ("toes pose" cannot be a real pose, right?). But, I actually started to get better at it. The instructors grew on me. Especially one, who said to me, while I was in three-legged dog (which involves being upside down with one leg in the air), "Oh, look, your toenail polish matches your pants! How cute!"

Seriously, that moment was one of the best I've had in a while.

I like matchy-matchy, and I really like my nail polish color. At Thanksgiving, my sister gave me the chance to make something that matches my nail polish.

She had bought me two little skeins of yarn. She got them at Big Lots for $1 each, which I loved. One was the same color as my nail polish, and one was another of my faves - green! Each had little specks of the other, and I spent a week trying to think of something I could make that used both of them.

Infinity scarves are way in, which, of course, I learned from my mother-in-law. Someone she works with gave her one last winter and she gave it to me, because she didn't know what to do with it, but mostly because I was quite reluctant to give it back to her once she let me borrow it.

*Photo credit to my husband, who thought this picture wouldn't make it to the web. But it's good, so here it is. Also, I totally stole this post's title from a fabulous knit and crochet site called Ravelry.