Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Tiny little things...

I've been busy making tiny little things lately...
 Stitch markers from some of the beads I made in the summer time...

 Beads that were going to be stitch markers but they're too big, so now they are for jewellery...

                             Tiny pendants that I thought would make a great Mother/Daughters set, 
                                   but that everyone tells me should be a necklace and earrings...

And my absolute favourite so far...little pinecone "pendants" that I'm totally going to use for gift tags this year.

I'm terribly neglecting my Christmas/Solstice making, but now that my last show of the year is over, I can get down to business.

What are you making now?  Are you working on gifts?

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Meet some Makers...

Today I'm sharing a list of makers put together by Ann Tudor.  Ann is a glass worker (I want to say lampwork?) and has decided that she wants to support small business and individual makers this upcoming holiday season, and has shared her list on her blog here.  I thought it would be fun to share the same list, with pictures.

I'm going to start with Ann herself.  She's on InstagramFacebook
and you can shop directly from her online store 
She makes these amazing ice cube martini picks, 
but I kind of want a bowl full of the cubes to put a candle in.  Wouldn't that sparkle

Julianna Puccini is on Instagram and on etsy
and has delightful yarn that would be perfect for gift giving as it is, or for working up a special gift.

Karen Robinson is on Instagram and on etsy and has a website
and also has delicious yarny goodness for making or for gifting (hint: I want some yarn, OK?)

Jessy is on Instagram and on etsy
and has organic, artisanal skin care products.  

Allison Locicero is on instagram, has a website, with a shop

and has some beautiful patterns available for purchase (this entrelac scarf pattern is FREE)

Rhonda Bennett has an etsy shop
with tie dyed shirts and beaded jewellery

Gaye Glasspie is on instagram, Facebook, has a blog, and is on etsy
and has some delightful chunky knits.


Amy Crook is on Instagram, has a website, and is on etsy

and has "cards and art for the geeky fan".  She has a whole Sherlock section!

 Catherine Fritsch is on Instagram, and has a website with a shop 

with some sweet looking sleepwear, accessories, and lingerie.
And Anne was lovely enough to include me.

Just in case you missed it on the sidebar...here's my etsy shop, and you can also find me on Instagram and facebook.

 Feel free to link up your info in the comments if you have a shop or a small biz.

Thursday, 29 October 2015

In which my local yarn store blows me away...

Yesterday, I was at my lys (local yarn store) looking for multiple colours of yarn for an upcoming project.
 I was looking for dk, and they suggested three different brands that each had their own colourways.

I chose 6 balls from one brand and had them laid out on the counter, but since I had initially walked in looking for "bright" colours, I moved over to another brand and started to try to put a set together.

The owner saw me struggling to make colour choices so she asked me if I have a favourite painting...
...and then proceeded to pull this painting up onto the monitor.

These are the yarns that were already on the counter at that point.
Clockwise from top left we have sky, clouds, grass/umbrella, shadows, flowers, and the darker portions of the sky.   Well will you just look at that!  Needless to say, I stopped looking and just bought these six.

The subconscious at work.  The funny thing is, I haven't seen the painting in months.

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

One finished object, one WIP

I've finished my first successful stranded knitting project and I couldn't be more thrilled.
 The pattern is Baby Snowflake by The Cozy Knitter and is absolutely lovely.

 I learned a couple new techniques...and now I want to put the delightful "latvian braid" on everything.
 And the back is just as lovely as the front.   
Note, the super bright colour!

In progress:
So many buttons.  My stockpile is quite low so I'm hustling to get a bunch finished in time for people to add to their Christmas gifts and other cold weather knits.  
Pictured, these are the same as this pendant, which I have had several requests to turn into buttons.
Won't it make an adorable large button?

Joining my friends today at:

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Not your grandma's yarn bowl...

I've been working on a fun series of yarn bowls.  
They're shapes I've been wanting to try for a while now.
All geometric.

All different sizes.

So far, all white.
Because some of my customers live in modern "abodes".
And some knitters are men...who want something a little less fussy.

Inside view of the one above.

Works in progress:
There will be several more coming.

And I'm thinking some will double as candle bowls...with patterns punched in them.
I can't wait to get back into the studio (I've been too ill to work in clay).

Linking up with:

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Work in Progress

I'm pretty excited that this piece is working out, and feel the need to share it.
Our local "Center for the Arts" is having a college exposition, and since I am enrolled in the Open Studio at the college, I qualify as a student.  I've had this little number simmering in the back of my brain since I made a fabric version a year and a half ago.
 It's a 60-sided figure, and was a little trickier to put together than I expected.  If you've worked with clay before, you know that pieces have to go together wet.  Which means it's a little bendy, and sloppy.
I still have to put a hole in it somewhere (so that it doesn't explode).  I'm thinking of glazing it black, and putting a hole large enough to fit a flower stem, and displaying it as a vase.  Kind of a symbol of war and peace).  I think that would be appropriate given the current social climate, don't you?

Linking up today with:
Frontier Dreams for Keep Calm Craft On - incidentally...if you go over and check out her "October sponsors" post, you will find a discount code for my etsy shop.  Hurry hurry.

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

What I've been working on - Shawl Pins

My new shawl pins are finished and I couldn't be happier with them.

I'm not sure if I shared the "work in progress" picture, but these were started months and months ago.

The flower is my favourite...

And the leaf is my favourite...

 ...and these clean and simple rings are my other favourites. :)
I made them in shawl size, and scarf size...mostly because my shawl is still (!) not finished and I wanted to wear one straight away.   

The wooden portion took us a really long time to get right.  
We had many (many!) failed attempts before I was happy with the results.

I have another batch ready to glaze...I'm just trying to decide if I want them in one solid colour like the first batch, or if I fancy them up a bit with some double dipping.  
Any input would be greatly appreciated.

Joining my friends today at:

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Yarn Along

It's been a while since I joined yarn along...not because I'm not knitting, but because I'm knitting so slowly that I hardly have a new thing to show.

I did have time to whip up this little darling for my baby niece in time for her first birthday.
The pattern is by Linda of Mamma4earth on etsy and is amazing.

The book, obviously, is The Ugly Duckling (that's actually a swan) and is - and has always been- my favourite kids' story.  We had to go to 3 different stores to find it, which makes me very very sad.
It was lost in a sea of Trademarked character books which will remain nameless.  Such a shame.

Joining with Ginny at Small things, for Yarn Along.  Hop on over.

Monday, 21 September 2015

How They're Made - Button Edition

I frequently get asked how I make my ceramic buttons, so I thought I would take a few moments and show the process from start to finish for one particular button.

First I roll out a small ball of clay into a rather thin slab, and stamp it with the design for that particular button.  This one is a rubber stamp, but usually I use a clay stamp that I have previously made.

I cut the stamped slab into the shape I am currently working on...so these ones are squares.
(sometimes I cut out the individual hears you can see in this pattern, sometimes it is a larger square that includes four of the hearts).

When they are "exactly dry enough", I trim off the edges,

pierce in the holes, and then make the holes bigger with a drill bit,

and then smooth all of the edges and back, being careful not to destroy the stamped image in the process.

Then they go through the first round in the kiln...once I have enough other items to fill the whole kiln
(you need the mass for it to heat up properly).

I paint on the underglaze,

wash it back off again,

glaze them, and then they are ready for the second run through the kiln.
I glaze mine on all sides for a nice smooth finish everywhere that won't snag on your knitting, or sewing, or be scratchy on your skin, but it involves a rather intricate process of wiring and balancing the buttons.
I firmly believe the result is worth the effort.
The whole process takes about 4 to 6 weeks, depending on how many pieces are ready for their kiln run. 

Ta-Da...the finished product.  
Some I keep to admire or for inspiration for further projects.  
Some I sew onto my hats, mittens, gloves, bags, whatever.
I'll be honest...some I just string onto a cord and where as a necklace.  That's kinda my favourite.
And of course, some are in my etsy shop so other people can enjoy them too.

I hope you enjoyed my little behind the scenes look at the making of such a humble little object.

Joining my friends over at:
do hop on over for a peek!