I have been wanting to try out some shibori designs and mix up a vat of indigo for sometime. I decided to test out some different tying techniques on cotton napkins. It took several tries to get the indigo dark enough but resulted in a new little set of six unique napkins and a new table runner! I threw in a few wooden beads for fun overnight and stung them on a natural leather cord to wear. Hummmm what to dye next…
I think our kids school district is trying out a year-round calendar unknowingly through snow days… we have surpassed the alloted days, so every day from here on out will be tacked on in June. Oh joy! While my kids are happy to be out of school, I am eager to jump back in.
I tried to get into this class at Hollanders last fall but it sold out too quickly. This past weekend I had another shot, Barbara Brown did an excellent job teaching us how to make these gorgeous leather wrap journals. See those paper signatures all those pages were torn by hand and using a paper knife… not my favorite part, but I love the sewing! I thought this design would be a great use for some of my buttons and beads. Beyond that I just always feel a boost of creative energy whenever I take a class, it helps me beat the winter blues…
A few other folks in the class let me take some photos of their work, I am always amazed to take part in classes with such talented people. It wasn’t too long ago I just longed for this kind of experience but failed to follow through, paralyzed by insecurities, scheduling, and fear of costs. Have you taken a workshop in something you are interested in lately? It was an investment worth while, here I’ll give you my top 3 reasons.
- It builds your resume and confidence in your craft. Taking classes often leads me down new paths. I have gained confidence in my artwork and exploring creatively.
- It is a source of entertainment. There are a ton of classes/workshops out there to fit every budget. I got on my computer and searched for classes in my area and online. I am excited to start this clayer class next month, I get to participate from my own studio!
- It is cheaper and more effective than therapy! It is hard to stay in a funk when you are learning something new that you are interested in. It typically gives me a jolt of productivity as well (who couldn’t use a few tons of that!)
Cheers to learning!
Yay, finally our new table is done! So proud of my husband, didn’t he do an awesome job! I have been waiting for a table for a long time, one large enough to meet the needs of our family and entertaining. It fills the space beautifully and we will have plenty of room to have another whole family over without extending.
A good friend of ours was taking down a family barn and salvaged the wood for us. I love the character of the different woods, wormholes, knots and cracks. I absolutely love bowties/butterfly joints, so he kind of accentuated the cracks and added three inlays in walnut. Aren’t they precious, am I gushing too much? I still want to find some good chairs, but wanted to see the table first in the space (any good suggestions or store links for chairs?) He is making a split bench as well, so I can put the two together to fill the length of one side or fit on each end.
It was worth the wait, to have such a personal table, we’re DIYers…woohoo, so excited, who wants to come over to party!
We scored some OLD barnwood floor boards from a friend whose family was tearing down a barn. My husband is making a reclaimed wood table for our dining room, this week he took the wood to an Amish sawmill nearby to be plained. Just seeing the boards in the space makes me excited, I am sure there will be lots of drawings and numbers scribbled on papers for the next few weeks. We prepare for projects so differently, I can’t wait to see how he designs this! Even more so to have enough room to sit around it with family and friends.
I have been making, making for this upcoming market. Last year I made my first batch of pumpkins, eager to make more, I was having a hard time on the wheel closing up the tops without collapsing them (they are hollow on the inside) but finally I found my groove. Throw on the wheel, wait about 10hrs for them to firm up a bit then carve. They are slightly larger this year, but man they are just so cute! As I was carrying them upstairs from my studio to work on them by A, when I totally tipped the board and one splatted on the ground. Amazingly it added the best character, I thought it was a goner, it just goes to show you we’re all redeemable!
And fyi, I have totally been sucked into these two sites craft gwaker and poppytalk. Not that I have the time to actually be online or need to pin more ideas to my pinterest but check them out, so fun!
I wrote this yesterday to post today… All are trimmed and slightly altered. I really am loving the square shapes and my new stamps that I made a while back. I am trying to not fall in love with too many… but I wanted to share a few of my favorites!
This has been one of my new projects – making lamp bases. I have been experimenting with shapes and sizes, learning to wire, and now to pair them with the right shades (I think that is the hardest part!) I have had fun using my different textures and glazing each uniquely. Just a few for now but I plan on making more, I don’t think I have a good photo of it but the square lamp was my favorite.
In experimenting with shades I revisited one of my favorite projects – sunprints! I found a product called inkodye which produces photo-chemical ink which can be brushed on fabric and exposed in the sun to develop a gorgeous cyan blue color. Any surface brushed with the chemical turns blue, even skin which I found out the hard way! At least I didn’t get any on my face, can you imagine blue war paint for several days. Like most photo sensitive materials, the ink must be washed in water to stop over exposure. What do you think?
I learned a little bit about ferns too, since I like to research about the plants I use. I always thought ferns lived in wooded wetlands but it seems they are specialists in marginal habitats, remote mountain elevations, to dry desert rock faces, to bodies of water or in open fields, often succeeding in places where various environmental factors limit the success of flowering plants. This weekend my best friend came up for her first visit after moving, and I could sense the adversity of being uprooted. I think she is stronger than she realizes and I know that shortly she will return to thriving (in any environment) just like that resilient fern. I love you friend, ‘May the Lord bless you and protect you. May the Lord smile on you and be gracious to you. May the Lord show you his favor and give you his peace.’ Numbers 6:24-26
I treated myself to little guy for easter from this shop, I also love her hearts and polar bears. Who can resist a bunny made from origami and bare porcelain? I may be turning into a pin girl, I made a few of my own for my etsy shop. I’ll have to keep it on the high shelf so the kids don’t swipe it…
I picked up a few ancient bound readers digest books from our library. They had been donated and our sweet librarians said they would be put in the book sale but they didn’t think anyone would buy them. I fell in love with the vibrant print covers immediately but limited myself to taking only 4, what would I do with a collection of these? So my mind has been kind of wheeling with ideas, it turns out there are lots of great things you can make out of the book pages, including these sweet little envelopes. I have a template for them that I trace on the paper, fold and adhere with a little strip of washi tape. This is one of those craft supplies that you see and then start to SEE all over the place and then finally you just can’t take the cuteness anymore… I broke down and bought some tape last month! Washi comes from wa meaning Japanese and shi meaning paper. There are dozens of different prints and it is slightly translucent, which is fun to layer. Really fun, maybe after reading this you will really start to SEE them too…