Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Ringing in the New Year with Eco-friendly style!

Eco Friendly goods, eco-friendly art, and amazing cupcakes! What better way to ring in the new year? Come to Green Spaces Colorado at 1368 26th Street On Jan 1st from 3:30 in to the night! It'll be First Friday down in the Santa Fe district so you can swing by this show and stay around downtown for some fun times! See you there!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Christmas, A Little Late but Still Sweet.

After a few days of delay we had a big Christmas with the boys family. Lots of gifts around the tree and the whole she-bang. I almost finished the Sweater in time, with just the front pocket not done. After a big meal we all got out computers out and had a mini LAN-esque party...
That's right, all of us are avid WOW players so we got together and all made new characters together and played as a group. This is what family together time looks like in their household! (And yes those are all Macs, this is a Mac house just like mine...)

Thursday, December 24, 2009

White Christmas

We has it... Happy Politically-correct Non-denominational Mid-December Celebrations people!

Monday, December 21, 2009

The Gadget Lover makes Christmas Cookies

At some point in the distant past my Grandmother must have received a cookie press from some relative, and a family tradition was born. A delectable shortbread like cookie known as "Spritz" shaped by extruding it from a tube like adhesive from a caulk gun. A perfect blend of handyman skills and fine baking!

The cookies are a simple recipe, I use butter but my mother swears by margarine for optimal stability during handling. Note - if you use margarine it must be the full fat variety, even a high percent will make gummy cookies.
Cream together 1 cup butter and 2/3 sugar. Add 1 egg (the original recipe called for 3 egg yolks, but with new views on cholesterol and the larger modern egg this is the best substitution). 1 tsp flavoring (almond or vanilla, even a few cubes of melted chocolate works).
2 1/2 cups flour, start mixing with a machine but finish with your hands, not quite in a kneading motion but close. You want a fairly firm dough.
The press is a simple mechanism. We own several as my mother always grabs them at estate sales so we have spare parts. Each comes with little metal dies that make different shapes. Some make better looking and better baking cookies, the little dog ends up looking more like a fat horse. Some shapes are just traditional in the family. Most of our batch was made with the single star shaped hole, made into wreath-like circles.
The dough is put into the tube and the ratcheting handle squeezes it out. A cold cookie sheet is important for getting the dough to stick so it pulls off the press neatly. One also must be careful not to squeeze out too much as really big cookies don't cook well.

Here's our pile of cooking happiness. The trees were dyed green, one could flavor them also if you desired. Mom and I like to add lots of sprinkles sparkles and red hots (the little cinnamon dots) but there are a few scrooge-y purist in the family who prefer them totally plain, we even keep them in a seperate tin to avoid contamination by goodness... ^.^

There you are, what better thing to do on a cold snowy December afternoon... too bad it was clear sunny and almost 60! Winter in Colorado is a fickle thing.

Friday, December 18, 2009

I'm getting in the Holiday Spirit

Well that Holiday is sneaking up. We're making cookies, we're puzzling over what to get the teenagers on our list, we're drinking eggnog in the traditional manner (with rum that is). So I decided to waste some time on Etsy and make a blog post, whet better thing to do during the busy Christmas season?

First, a reminder that I really have to keep working on my Christmas knitting! (just one more quest, I promise, I'm almost a level 71...) This awesome art yarn from AuthenticFiction has all the best. Merino? check. Felt flowers? check. Sparkles? check. It's a Christmas party in a skein...

how about some art as a reminder that red and green weren't pulled out of no where. They are seasonal colors because of the bright reds that are left over from fall in berries and leaves. These red maples from TwoDogGardens remind me of Christmas in Tokyo last year, with bright red maple still hanging on.

Now red and green doesn't have to be just a seasonal thing. These earrings from MarjorieWells could accessorize a holiday outfit, and be worn the rest of the year too! Peridot is a favorite gem of mine so I know I have plenty of clothes to match this green...

Not all of us can pull off a plaid skirt... (I know I can't) but all of us can carry a cute little bag made from a plaid skirt! SandBagsDesigns created an upcycled tote in Christmas colors so you can put some green and red in any outfit.

How about something a little bit crafty? Like some sweet little crocheted flowers ready to be stuck/sewed on to your next project? CraneCrochet makes some awesome little items, perfect for adding some flair to an item. Also perfect if you are like me and have not yet figured out crochet patterns :p

You're running out of time to order things online for the Holidays, but you can still pick up some sweet stuff for year round, or just get a jump on next year ^.^

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Another Awesome Local Indie Craft Fair

Start the new year off with some eco-friendly fun! (And free Shoppe cupcakes to the first 100 people. Their cupcakes are really good!!)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Holiday Handmade Awesomeness!

This weekends show was super! I had a very nice space (check out that pottery display, that was built in to the wall!) and hung out my finest. I sold lots of stuff, I'm awefully short on yarn now, and I sold the Rocket teapot and all four rocket cups. (Now someone else can worry about them breaking...)
There were tons of people! People lined up out side more than an hour ahead of the start time trying to nab swag bags full of awesome stuff.
And the 60 crafters were laid out in three, count them three, rooms of awesome handmade goodness. Big thanks to Fancy Tiger and the Denver Handmade Alliance for putting together such a great show!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Holiday Handmade this weekend!

Be there or be square!
Tonight Friday December 4th 6pm-9pm
Tomorrow Saturday December 5th 10am-4pm

Get there early for free swag bags!

It's being held in a Church just a block from Fancy Tiger,
32 Lincoln
just off of Ellsworth and Broadway

Come check out the crafty awesomeness!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

I'm Thankful for "Shop Local"!

Shopping season is upon us, but don't go hit the malls! Those tired predictable gifts are feeding a boring economy. Support Handmade! I used the "Shop Local" feature on Etsy to bring up pages of people making awesome stuff in my own backyard. Here's some of my favorite picks in the colors of the season. Be sure you check out what's being made in your backyard!

Check out this sweet yarn creation from BeckyPotter! A warm fuzzy for these cold Colorado winters. An exciting design and nice colors you could wearthis in many ways and with many ensambles - casual to formal. Not to mention, nothing is more stylish than handmade!

How about some original Art for the food lover in your life? Bonus, it's technically christmas colors, but no one will notice that if you hang it year round! Sharonschock has a number of cute little original paintings just waiting to find a wall of their own. Art is classy, fun and will last a lifetime, a perfect gift!

Here's something to write down all those holiday memories in! Derrick from Disconsolator makes high quality beautiful hand bound books, in many colorful fabrics and styles. He'll even do custom work for you - how great is that?

How about something Eco-friendly? (I can hardly get through a blog post without one) Kimwhitecreations made this lovely sparkly cup cozy so you can say no to the cardboard sleeve in style. Extra points if you bring your own cup. Warm beverages and cute stuff... What a great way to celebrate the season!

Remember, when you shop handmade it allows us crafters to have a good holiday season too! No matter howmany gifts I give this season it's a great joy to know that some stranger is getting my goods with love. Cheers to all, and don't run up your credit cards too high...

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Holiday Handmade... Coming up!

I'm getting ready for the Holiday Handmade show sponsored by Fancy Tiger! It's the first Friday and Saturday in December. Plan to be there to see all the fabulous goods from Denver's Indie Crafters. I'll be working hard this week to bring up my inventory.

Friday, November 20, 2009

More buttons!!

Mom is my hero. Once again hit the estate sale jackpot. 4 jars of buttons and a shoebox of 'em still on the cards. Woot! Now I can be destracted from actually sewing by the rainbow pile of buttons waiting to be sorted and paired up... Some of those on cards will be for sale in my etsy shop soon - I like to spread the joy around!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Crafting is an International Language

Today I took the bus to my parents to pick up some yarn for a delivery order, a good excuse to get some knitting in too! While knitting on the bus some people came and sat down across the aisle, and we began to chat. It was a Father and Daughter from Libya, the father was here to study at DU. He began to ask me (at his daughter's bequest) about the names for what I was doing and where the supplies could be bought. It seems his daughter crocheted at home and wanted to continue here. I learned that crochet is the same in Arabic (as well as most romance languages) and yarn is "lana" (which is wool in Spanish). Since the moors brought the skill to Europe they got to make up the words!
People all over the world engage in handicrafts, so this woman so far from home saw me knitting just like her mother had done and we found common ground in talking about yarn. It feels good to know that these universal skills can be away to understand people from very different cultures. (And considering I always look for the LYS when I travel, I'd say we're not really all that different!) Crafting really is a universal language.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Knitting Chart

I had some request for the Chart used to make my Metallica scarf (still a WIP ). Here's the "ninja star" with my lines in green to clean up the original pattern. I will post the main logo chart as well... when I find it >.< Click for a larger image (trademark Metallica not for profit blah blah blah)
Here's what I have so far, long enough that I have to fold it over for the picture but still short of a nice scarf length. I will do another repeat of the logo and cap it with a third ninja star. I promise I will not continue to knit until I've used up all 16 oz. of each color... douple knitting takes soooo long!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Christmas Knitting

Started my Christmas Knitting this week, a little late I know. (Most people say to start Christmas knitting on January 1st). To make up for the lack of time I'm using Brown Sheep Burly Spun, a ball of it is 8oz. and only 132 yards! This is after only 1.75 skeins, two days of knitting in classes. I think it will be done on time...

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Autumn Harvest

As winter begins to settle in we are bringing in the last of summer's harvest and packing things away for the winter. This is my favorite time of year to cook up lots of yummies for now and to preserve the food for later. Thanksgiving can't come soon enough!

Naturally we start with Dessert first. Doesn't everyone? Look at these fabulous little treats, cute and seasonal. And Lollidreams description makes my mouth water. You deserve a little treat every now and again, so make it a really good treat!

And for serving up the goods? Colorful beaded utensils like these from BrightSpotDesign are useful and *sparkly* which is always good. No worries about having matching flat wear, these will go with anything.

What about serving up those luscious foods? Pass this lovely bowl, heaped high with your favorite seasonal creation. DancingDolphinPotter has created this wonderful handthrown bowl for fall. The stonewear is perfect for durability and to hold warmth, home made food deserves home made containers!

Last but not least we have an entirely unedible item, but this yarn from TheUrchiness has all the lovely tones of fresh fall foods! Perhaps it could be made into culinary knits, placemats? Tea cozy? Pumpkin cover? This handspun wool in fabulous varigated colors would be great for wearables too of course, or you can just sit around and stroke the fluffy softness...

The goodness of fall is all around, and these great handmade goods just make it better. Be sure to support these and other crafters this Autumn.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Cups by the Dozen (Almost)

Nine cups in shades of brown, all ready to be filled with steaming hot coffee!
The kiln goddess blessed me with some lovely shades and the perfect amount of creep for this special commission. I'm starting to feel like my kitchen needs more hand made goods, I'm jealous of the lovely woman who will soon have these gracing her cabinets If you too wish to own some lovely vessels custom designed and unique... just drop me a line!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Happy Birthday to Meeeee

What did I do for my 24th? Made a fabulous cake with coconut icing!
I then went out and danced the night away at the Mercury Cafe... just like I do every Sunday night. Who could ask for more?

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Metallica Scarf Update... almost there!

A knitting oddessy! I'm ready to start the second ninja star, a little behind schedual. With school canceled on Thursday I missed out on several hours of knitting, I don't really sit home and knit there are too many distractions. After blocking it should be longer and the pattern will stretch a little to look more like the original image. I guess for DK your swatch has to be DK. (who'da thunk it?) Still planning to start Christmas knitting on the first, but I will be finishing this soon...

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Winter Hello!

Snow all day yesterday, all day today... and it's still going! School was canceled and I didn't get to wear my Halloween costume *sad face* but I didn't have to slog through the snow either. I'm hoping to perhaps get the first snowboard trip of the season this weekend. And I won't be riding that bike for a while. (Note that this picture was taken on our balcony... the covered balcony!)

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Red Means Stop... No Really!

Especially if you see a Blue Volvo crossing with the green...
Everyone is OK ('cept the tree) but there are two wrecked cars and my shoulders are veeery sore.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Craft Disaster or just Un-hygenic?

This was a recent find at a church sale, and why did my mother buy it? To prevent it from falling in to hands of someone who might actually *make* it. (shudder) I beg of you people, sanitary bathrooms do not have fru-fru toilet covers (also known as germ breeding grounds). And far more important, if you have the time and yarn laying around to make things like shag rugs with matching curtain ties and TP roll covers, well there are better things to do with your life.

Here is a short list of things you could do with a crochet hook and pounds of acrylic yarn...
1. Make blankets or cloths for charities that serve the homeless, children, shelter animals etc..
2. Make everyone you know a tea cozy. Great Winter gifts for everyone on your list, and slightly more likely to be used than a tissuebox cover.
3. go yarn bombing, is knit-fitti useful? Maybe not, but at least the evidence of your craft obbsession isn't cluttering up your bathroom.
4. Make a life sized stuffed animal. At least it makes for a conversation piece. And your heirs might actually want it.
5. Crochet a car cover. Just as rediculous as a tank cover, but it's outside for everyone to see how nuts you are...

So in review, if you find your self getting the urge to make matching bath mats, check the list and see if there isn't anything else for you to do with that yarn!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Pumpkins on Try Handmade

Check out his fall feature on a wonderful website - Try Handmade. A number of awesome pumpkin themed items from fabulous handcrafters. If you haven't seen Try Handmade you should check it out anyway, great articles by some very cool people.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Metallica Scarf Update...

About one once of each color, so two ounces total and here's what I have... I just started on the "M". I'm going to try and finish it for my birthday Nov. 1st so I can do Christmas knits after that. Good thing no one on my gift list will mind late presents!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Back in the Studio

And hard at work already! I got a commission over the summer to make a set of eight matching cups... whew! I've never done a set of eight and it is a very different mindset from creating OOAK pieces. They're off to be fired so I'm praying to the kiln goddess for kindness.
"Wait" you say "there are nine cups there, I thought it was a set of eight?" Well I don't trust the Kiln Goddess that much...