Monday, August 29, 2011

Fabric Design Dabbling

I am so excited to share my latest artistic medium. Fabric.


I recently found Spoonflower, the website which lets you sell and buy fabric designed by individual artists and crafters.
Since I make hand carved stamps, I thought it would be really fun to use images of some of those stamps to create fabric designs. I am beyond pleased with the results!
A select few of my designs are currently for sale through spoonflower, with more to become available in the future.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Crochet


My view of crochet as a craft has evolved over the coarse of my life.
I've had quite a long relationship with the skill, as I was taught at a very young age by my great-grandmother who gave me somewhat forced lessons.
I used to see it as a dated craft (something that great-grandmothers do), something that couldn't achieve the polished look of knitting. This, I'm sure, was partially due to my materials (cheap acrylic yarns) and from my lack of skill (I truly only learned very basic skills as a child, then taught myself more advanced stitches later)
Now, as I take my skill and imagination to new places with crochet I am always delighted at the utter versatility of this craft. The sculptural possibilities. The ease of creating what I imagine.

For example:
I had a vision of fiddlehead ferns. I had to make them! Crochet seemed like an obvious choice. And, after a few experiments and a bit of tweaking I came to these beauties:

Just as life is what we make it, so are the skills that we learn. I feel like my understanding with crochet is applicable to any craft. As our skills grow, our imagination can be put into tangible items, and any craft can be taken to amazing levels of beauty and versatility!

To take a look at some of my older crochet work check this out: Humble Beginnings

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Nail Craft



I've taken my crafting to a new medium as of last week. My finger nails!
I began by painting my entire nail with Opi's 'Stranger Tides'.
Next I used a make up sponge to apply Opi's 'Mermaids Tears' about half way up my nails. Then I used Opi's 'Don't Mess With Opi', and applied this with a make up sponge just to the tip of my nails.
I used a technique similar to what is featured in this video:
After that I added Milani's 'Diamond Dazzle' to the top third of my nails.
The last thing I did was put a top coat on to keep my hard work looking good for at least a few days.
I call this look Mermaid Scales :-)

I love how it turned out! I'm planning to use these same techniques again with a different color pallette

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Idea Book


I made my very first book a few days ago. And, here it is! I've had the idea to make an Idea journal for months, so that's what this book is.


 

I really wanted it to have a completely 'handmade' feel. So, I made 3 new stamps to use on it, including a lined paper stamp (I hand stamped each lined page!)
Now I've got a special place to jot down any idea that pops into my head. It is sure to be full of writing soon!

Make your own Aromatherapy Candle

Here's a fun and simple way to make your very own Bee's Wax Aromatherapy Candle at home.


What you'll need:
Bee's Wax Beads, about 1 cup's worth
Braided Candle Wick
Essential Oils of your choice 
1 Small Glass Jar
1 Slightly Larger Glass Jar
2 Small Sticks (Chopsticks will work fine)

Note: Check your local healthfood store and arts & crafts store for all supplies listed.

Step 1:
Cut the candle wick. Measure by lowering it into the jar that will be used for your final candle and cut, leaving a few inches extra.

Step 2:
Fill a small sauce pan with water and heat to medium heat (just before boiling).

Step 3:
Fill the "slightly larger glass jar" with the bee's wax beads, and place this inside of the heated water.
As the beads begin to melt stir them with one of the sticks.


Step 4:
Once the wax has fully melted dip the wick into the wax to coat it. Set this aside on a ceramic or plastic dish.

Step5:
Add your essential oils to the wax. Use as much or as little of each as you'd like. (I used about 1/4 tsp Citronella, and 1/8 tsp both Lemon and Lime. This made a mildly scented Citronella type candle.) Stir the oils around in the wax.


Step 6:
Using your second stick, wrap the wick around it until the stick sits on top of the jar and the end of the wick is flush with the bottom of the jar.


Step 7;
Pour in the wax, being careful not to overfill.


Step 8:
Set aside to harden. It should be fully hardened within an hour or two.
Once the candle has fully hardened you can cut the wick to about 1/2 above the candle.

Now you've made a wonderfully scented Bee's Wax Candle!
 
Use your imagination with oil combinations, the sky's the liimit! Though, for your first one, I would recommend going with a simple combinaion that you know you'll enjoy. Aromatherapy books are great resources for ideas one creating oil combinations.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Garden!

About 2 Months Ago
 I am delighted to show off my flourishing garden in these self explanatory photos! 
I realize that this is what happens when one plants, waters, weeds and cares for a patch of soil (with lots of help from Mr. Sunshine!), but it still amazes me to see it occur for me!
I'm not exactly the most experienced gardener, so to see so much green, and producing plants (I harvested my first cucumber 2 days ago!) is beyond exciting!

Today
I've got tomatoes, cucumbers, eggplant, various beans, a blueberry bush, pattypan squash, strawberrys, a few unidentified inhabitants and borage.

I happen to adore Borage! She and I have a special kinship.
A few years back I had a garden at the home I lived in then. There was huge Borage plant living there. I loved to sit beside it and watching the bees buzz around those tiny periwinkle blossoms.
I wholeheartedly believe that if bees appreciate something it's worth paying attention to! And, I get the feeling that the bees love Borage.
My Lovely Borage

Monday, May 30, 2011

Tree Stump Pillowettes


I've got a thing for tree stumps. I have for quite some time. There's just something about them, especially is there's moss attached to their side! So, when I decided making mini tree stump shaped pillows was in order, I just had to add a bit of mossy goodness to these little guys.
The moss is actually hand dyed cotton scrim, which I hand stitch into place. I've had this stuff for years. I've held onto the dark green, waiting for the moment to use it as moss. It really made a perfect accent to these stumps, if I do say so myself!




I added a bit of fragrant herbs (a lavendar, chamomile & mint mixture) to the stuffing to make them extra special.
I really like them & wanted to share!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Ideas


I've been spending some of my time recently brainstorming ideas of what to make with my beloved stamps. I'll be honest though, my form of brainstorming usually comes as bursts of ideas, no formal Idea Sessions here. Sometimes one, & sometimes a few at a time, depending on my level of creative energy in that moment. 
I've got a few in the works, and will be sharing them here shortly.
But I wanted to take a moment to show off these cuties I've recently created.
Iron-On Patches
I'm really excited about the possibilities with these! I've been tempted to add a patch to everything I can get my hands on (I have refrained as of yet, save a few of my son's worn jeans). 
These patches are very similar to the ones used on the knitted hats I made some time back.

These Enchanting Patches will be available in my Etsy shop very soon. So, check back in case you, yourself, feel the need to adhere a little image of nature to a few of your own clothes!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Food Swap


This post is WAY overdue, but I still want to share the lovely goodies I swapped a few weeks ago at the East Bay Food Swap!
I got apple butter, banana bread, canned pears, lemon curd, homemade Kombucha, Basil Liqueur, and a few other yummy treats! My favorite item of all is that beauty in the front of the photo, a strawberry and white chocolate pastry (So delicious!).
I had a great time at this event, and will definitely keep an eye out for the next one!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Food Swap


  When I first found out about this event I was hooked! It's SO up my alley. I adore handmade stuff (as is evident from my little blog here), I Love buying and eatting local, and I can't wait to be surprised by what my local food makers/growers have to share!
  I've got to admit, I'm not certain of what my contribution will be yet. I have a few ideas but haven't committed to any particular one just yet. It's gotta be great. From being a frequent Farmers Market shopper of several local markets I know the caliber of what the East Bay has to offer. So, I definitely wanna bring something up to par with my fellow swappers.
  By the way, out of my excitment to be a part of this event, I jumped at the chance to create a flier to promote the swap (pictured above). And, I must say, I love how it turned out!


Visit EBCASwaps.blogspot.com to learn more

Monday, January 24, 2011

Super Stamps

Bullet Bill
I have a sweet little boy who's got an obsession with Super Mario.  So, this stamp series has been in my mind for quite some time. 
I've finally got the first few done and plan on adding additional characters and items as the inspiration strikes. My personal favorite is Bullet Bill. There's just something about his sleek lines and simple coloring.
Fire Flower

Mushroom