Sunday, June 26, 2011

What keeps me busy.

In my "spare time" when I'm not working my day job, I have done many craft shows. One summer show in particular that I have done for the past three years is part of our local 4th of July celebration and it draws thousands of people.

It seems as though every year the 4th of July weekend is the hottest weekend of the summer and after three years of running my booth in the 100+ degree heat, I've observed and learned something very valuable: The people come for the food, they come for the music, and they come for the social scene, but they do not come to buy crafts. Hardly any of the people walking up and down the street are carrying purchases! So, I will not be attending this fair as a vendor again.

After making this decision many weeks ago, I was feeling sort of relieved that I had no summer shows planned and I could work on personal projects... maybe some Christmas presents. I could also get ahead on my stock for the fall shows I might want to do.

But then I was approached by someone offering me a great opportunity. It took me some time to come to a decision because there were some conflicts to work out and some questions I needed answered, but in the end I committed myself to being a vendor at a Farmers' Market a few towns away from where I live. The market runs every Friday evening for 12 weeks throughout the summer and I've signed up for nine of those weeks. I've been asked to feature my items that are made from recycled and up-cycled materials.

Yes, I know I've only given you a peek at the many items I make and sell, but be patient and I'll share them all with you eventually. For now, here is another peek: my earrings made from recycled aluminum cans.

A coffee flavored Monster drink.

I've had much fun creating these earrings. Some are more subtle and you would never guess they were made from an aluminum drink can.

A Coors Light can.

Others are more obvious and sort of kitschy.

Pepsi, of course.

Sometimes I spy an unusual can that I just have to have. A co-worker's son & his friend were drinking from root beer cans when I made my (somewhat creepy) request for the cans when they were finished with them.

There's a photo of this can at the end of the post.

Using different areas of a can will create earrings that look very different. Both the pairs below are made from the same can, one pair with more yellow than the other.

They are from an iced tea can I begged off a superior of mine at work.

Some cans are just so easy to be creative with!

These are from Arizona drinks.

Sometimes I like to make the two earrings a bit different; or maybe I do it because I can't find two areas of the can to match. Anyway, I like the funky look.

Here's a peek at that root beer can and a couple of others I've yet to create with. I must confess, I picked the red Tilt can out of someone's recycling bin while walking on the streets of Baltimore! This gives true meaning to the old saying, "One man's trash is another man's treasure!" 


Sunday, June 12, 2011

Creating what I love.

Ever since I was a very young girl I've loved purses. My best friend and I both did. We had bags of all shapes and sizes. Canvas ones, leather ones, big ones, small ones; we both even had one made of wood. I still have my wood one. It looked like a little treasure chest.

It's only natural that I'd eventually start creating my own. Recently, I've been combining my sewing talents with my love of purses and my interest in recycling and up-cycling.

Here's what I've been up to:

I've designed these shoulder bags using the pockets from from cargo pants, jeans, and dress pants. Some of the body and lining fabrics have also been reclaimed from curtains, table cloths, and clothing. 

This is just a sampling of what I've been up to. Watch for future posts featuring more of my purse creations.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

The Adventures of Margaret

A few Fridays ago we took a trip to Connecticut for the weekend. As always, we had a lovely time visiting with our good friends Chuck and Carol, but our main purpose for the trip was a baby shower for one of our nieces.

I knit Margaret to go along with the other gifts we had bought her. I finished the last few stitches on the drive to Connecticut, so Margaret and I only had a short time to get to know each other before she began her new life in her new home.

On Saturday morning, we headed into Carol's garden for a bit of a photo shoot.

While in the garden, Margaret met a couple of new friends.

She had quite an adventure for her first day out!

Take care Margaret! Enjoy your new life!

The Reveal

It's a nice sunny day and the pup and I are ready to finish up our chair project.

We've gathered our fabric and our tools. The fabric was chosen to go in a room with an "adventure" theme. Do you like it?

I've had so much fun with this project! I had never done anything like this before so really didn't know what I was doing, but I did a great job... if I do say so myself. I was even able to find that thin breathable fabric for the underside of the seat like you find on the bottom of upholstered chairs. I salvaged this this fabric from a dust ruffle "base". You know, that thin white fabric that goes between the mattress and the box spring and holds the ruffle. It was perfect and looks just like a brand new chair bottom!

And the reassembly begins.

A few bits of hardware and we're almost finished.

Don't they look great? The pup thinks so.

I think the chairs have passed his comfy test!

I wish I could keep them; they would look great in my craft room. But alas, off they go to their new owner.


Stay tuned for my next post that may actally have some knitting content.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

The continuing saga of the chairs...

A coat of paint has been added to one of the chairs. You can really see the improvement.


I had some help from a little white pup. 

Oh no! It looks like the pup got brown paint all over himself.

Silly pup, the paint is for the chairs.

Although not photoed, the other chair did get its first coat of paint. Next, I'll apply another coat of paint and staple some fresh new fabric to the cushions. (Not sure if I should let the pup help with that task. What do you think?)

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

It was all about spinning last night at knit nite!

Although I've tried my hand at teaching myself to spin through YouTube videos in the past, I wasn't very successful and I still had so many questions. No matter how many times I shouted directed my questions at the computer screen, I never got an answer. "Am I over spinning?" "Did I draft this too much?" "Why do I have so many slubs in the yarn?"... No answer. I needed to be taught in person.

Tuesday night I was lucky enough to have an immensely patient friend, Will, who sat with me and coached me along with learning this new craft. He answered all my questions which I am ashamed to say, I asked with quite a snappy tone as though it was his fault I wasn't spinning like a pro right away. Actually, I fired off my questions in that manner because I was well rehearsed from my past spinning attempts.

Will was great about making corrections to things I was doing wrong, but mostly he assured me that my spinning wasn't "wrong", it just needed practice. I guess because I have been knitting and crocheting for so long, the concept of practice is somewhat foreign to me. But, by the end of the evening I was seeing an improvement. Thanks Will!