A Day in the Life...

This post was supposed to be written quite a while ago when the whole "Occupy Oakland" thing was still going on, but as I have siad I was going through a transitional phase and didn't get time to post it. I just had a really cool day and finally remembered to bring my camera along for the ride, and I got some neat pictures!

You ever have one of those days when everything just kinda feels right and works out? This day was one of those days. It was a Saturday and I got up nice and early, did my usual morning routine except for the fact that my hair turned out unusually nice for a change. Must have been because it was dry and warm out (my hair goes all poofy when it's wet outside), and it probably helped that I was relatively awake when I did it. I was feeling pretty good so I decided to try my hand at putting on some makeup, including eyeliner, which usually makes me look like a retarded raccoon. But today was a good day! So I took pictures to document the fact that I am not a complete derp when it comes to getting purdied-up. I'm glad I did too because my feather extensions came out a couple days later, after an impressive 4 months. I've been thinking about getting some and learning to put them in myself so I can do them for friends too. Anywho...

I decided to walk to the Lakeshore Farmer's Market, which is one of the best in town, instead of driving there like a lazy bum. And I'm glad I did too, because I would have been sitting in traffic forever as a huge crowd of protesters marched on all the banks and made them close for the day. I can't say I really followed the whole "Occupy" movement, but I did agree with some things here and there, though in general I feel the whole thing was just a gobbledygook of angry hipsters with nothing better to do. But for the people who were really trying to change things, it was a good try. And hey, they convinced me to close my bank account and join a credit union. Occupy: 1, The Man: 0.

After scoping out the crowd of pretty people forming drum circles and deciding not to join in, I wandered by the newly revamped Kwik Way Drive-In and they were having a car show and I had a look around. My decidedly rockabilly look of the day garnered some attention, so I shyly decided to bugger off to the market and pick up breakfast.

After picking up what I needed I started to walk home when I saw the tightrope walkers that are in the park from time to time. This guy in the superhero costume (aka his undies) was coming back from the protest and asked if they would teach him. I had a great time watching this...

I love people, they are so interesting. But I'd had enough excitement for one morning so I returned home and put on the new Django Reinhardt record Dennis had just bought us and sat down to a breakfast of a ham and cheese croissant from the market, fresh orange juice, and a pink lady apple with Nutella. You really can't have a better morning than that.

And check out that awesome fabric covered in a mod transistor radio print that I made into a tablecloth! Oh yes, such a good day. I've had quite a few more like that which will be elaborated on very soon. Hope you all are having a wonderful day!


She's here... And already a big help!

Remember, like, oh I don't know, a couple years ago when I completed the Me Made May challenge? For those of you that weren't around, I wore nothing but clothing I made myself for a whole month, and I knitted a sweater during that time too, and I promised myself that if I completed the challenge and finished the sweater that I would buy myself a dressmaker's dummy. Well, not to soon after I completed the challenge I got a huge car repair bill that I'm still kind of recovering from, and the dummy fell by the wayside. But recently I have been wanting it more and more and Singer just came out with one that's about half the cost of the one I was looking at, so while dad got me my camera lens for Christmas, mom got me the dummy!

Ain't she a beaut! I have a bunch of custom projects that need doing from etsy and friends, but now all I want to do is sew a dress! But that will have to wait. I bought the dummy that does sizes from 10-16, and though I waver between a 14 and a 16 it seems a little small even on the largest settings, so I think I will have to add some extra batting in certain places (aka the bust line and butt) to make it more like me. So until I get some more free time (as always), she's been an excellent model for the new round of infinity scarves I just put in the shop, just in time for spring! Click on the pics to go to the listings and be sure to look in the store for more!


Adding color to the bedroom.

Dennis and I have been slowly but surely adding goodies to the house to make it more cozy and warm, but our tiny little bedroom was feeling a bit boring as of late so I decided to add some colorful touches. While we were in Portland a friend of mine told me to check out Bolt, a charming little fabric boutique she used to work at. So for one of the days Dennis and I separated and while he went to a game shop to play cards with his brother I went off in search of Bolt. The neighborhood it was in was absolutely amazing, and if we ever decide to move to Portland we are living. Right. There. Unfortunately I have no pictures, but all along Alberta Street there was one crafty shop after another. A yarn shop named Close Knit right nextdoor to Bolt, then a music store that had a wall of ukuleles and even a banjolele (WANT!), a co-op market, a little art store called Collage that had everything I love, an open sewing studio/machine shop called Modern Domestic, a place called Make House that had silk screening classes and such, the list goes on, all in a span of three blocks. Anywho, long story short it was magical and I had just enough fun money to get a couple treasures, including a couple yards of this amazing cotton voile:

I saw it and instantly fell in love with the plaid, and then I touched it and it was so silky-soft I knew it was what I needed to make pillowcases so I snagged a couple yards. I was in a boutique in Berkeley when I got the idea to make some, because they had some nice ones from India that I loved but they were a whopping $36 a piece! Sheesh. I think I ranted about pillow prices in this post, and I feel the same way about pillowcases. Seriously people, it took a yard of fabric and 10 minutes of sewing to make two pillowcases! I just used an existing case as a template, measured a 19 x 58 inch rectangle (which is from selvage to selvage), folded it in half, sewed up the sides and zig-zag stitched over the cut edges to keep them from fraying, and just left the soft selvage as the edging. I'm extremely happy with them!

So cozy, and they add so much warmth to the room. I'll show off a picture of the whole room once it's completely done, but I still have some more to do.
Also a couple weeks ago I found this on Pinterest and I knew I had to do a version of it in our room since I had a bunch of photos that didn't fit into some recent scrapbook pages and we had a huge blank wall above the bed. A few tack nails, some baker's twine, and two packages of tiny red clothespins later and voila!

Even Dennis had to admit this was pretty awesome. It's so nice having our favorite pictures up, and we can change them very easily as we get new ones. And thanks to my dad I have a fancy new camera lens to use this year (which is what I used to take these pictures). It's a 50mm with a 1.8 f-stop. Yummy depth of field, and I've been taking more pictures than ever now! Thanks Dad!


The Last A Fair to Remember Recap

The last A Fair to Remember was very fun. I only brought owl pincushions and my new owl plushies to the table, and I felt very prepared and happy. I had a great time hanging out with Errol and meeting the other vendors, but a Giants game that started in the afternoon on that day really cut down on our foot traffic and affected sales. Oh well, what can you do?

Great hipstery band.

Owls looking longingly for a new owner.

Errol in his lucky sale flannel.

I remember making these as a kid and I loved that she was selling them.

The bar nextdoor had Errol at hello.

He suddenly realized that this is a serious matter.

Until next spring...


Makin' Jam.

Oh yeah...

Fresh wild bird cherries in three colors (I guarantee you have these dwarf plum trees in your neighborhood) given to me by a dear friend, cooked down, strained, sugar added, cooked to soft ball stage, and canned properly. So much jam, so delicious. Everyone I know got a jar and we still have 2 left. Life is good.


New year, new outlook, new stuff.

Hi all!
The shop was updated a few days ago with some more owl pincushions and just a couple of hipster ones, some jewelry, soap, etc., and since it's the new year and I always try to do a purge of unnecessary items from the house, there's a ton of random supplies in there too, all new and all very inexpensive! Hope you find something you like!


It's all about the results.

Recently I've gone through quite a few changes job-wise and I realized the other day that I haven't even shared what's been going on with me, and what has been causing some of my absence on here. Where should I start...

Well, I finally couldn't hack my commute out to the toy store in San Francisco anymore, and Dennis and I wanted to go to Portland for Christmas this year, which my boss would never have let me do. So the winds of change came blowing my way and I gave my notice after I got a part-time gig at a scrapbooking store in Berkeley and a couple ongoing freelance gigs. This was at the end of September, and all was well until a couple months later when I was spectacularly laid off from my really fun position at the scrapbooking store. But the funny thing is, I wasn't really all that broken up about it. Granted, I honestly enjoyed the job and it was a source of endless inspiration; I learned a lot of new techniques and had fun starting to make a scrapbook. But the pay was pretty low, and I found myself wanting to cut my hours back and pick up more freelance gigs and focus more on my own stuff. (Not to mention it was very tempting to spend all my money on their wonderful products.)

I had quit the toystore in hopes of working part time for someone and spending the bulk of my time crafting for myself, but I ended up working a full-time schedule between everything. Now after being laid off I feel like the universe is trying to tell me something and I better listen. So instead of moping about or starting a job hunt, I worked extra hard on my displays and products for the RAC craft fair I sold at on the 1st and 2nd of December. And the result was more amazing than I ever could have dreamed...

This year I shared a booth with my friend Suzanne from my S&B group, and Errol of Metaphor Organic (I did the photography for their new website!), whom I met at A Fair to Remember. Oh! That reminds me I never posted pictures from the very last one. Next time... Anywho...

Suzanne, of course, made gorgeous knitwear. I couldn't resist trading for a pair of sparkly pink, purple, and black fingerless gloves. Very Madonna. She is the undisputed goddess of knitting in our little group.

In addition to the must-have owl pincushions and the new owl plushies I made some great crocheted wrap bracelets which were quite popular, a couple little mushroom and bird ornaments, and the real stars of the show, my fascinators and feather hair clips...

These babies were just flying off my table! I made more money at this fair than I have ever made before, and I feel like I've found a new niche. For the first time the dream of paying rent and bills from things I've made myself seemed like more than just a dream. So for now I'm freelancing and making stuff, and not being a wage slave to the man! Wish me luck... Gulp... Anywho...
A few years ago I found I had amassed quite an odd collection of craft supplies that were best suited to 3D collage or shrines, but when I started combining them with beautiful feathers and putting them on headbands they became these super fun and quirky accessories. I made 4 all that time ago, and I ended up giving 3 away, as people would come over and try them on and fall in love, and keeping one for myself. I wear it all the time still, as it looks great for getting fancy and when you just want to dress up jeans and a tee. And I think that's what people like about them. Honestly, even after people liked the first round I was a little apprehensive as to whether or not these would sell. I was afraid people just wouldn't get it, but boy was I wrong. I took these pictures right before the fair started and I had no time to take anymore! I made about 12 or 14 ranging in price from 15-40 dollars, most being about 30-35. The first day of the fair, which was only a half day, I had sold more than half, so I stayed up really late that night making 6 more which I sadly didn't get to photograph - they sold too fast!

Each of the headbands are one of a kind and use a combination of vintage and new millinery, trinkets, and metal bits. The batch I made for the second day were all very steampunk and I'm so sad I have no pictures to show. The first one above I called the Christmas Goose, and it was very theatrical with curly goose feathers for the base and two mid-size white feathers sticking out to one side on the top, laser-cut wooden leaves, and a little moss bird's nest. The second one was called the Winter Woodland and was made from 100% vintage goodies (except the headband), the star of which is that beautiful brass bow. I've seen these big ones done on clips before but I prefer the headbands because for one, no matter how long your hair is you can rock it, for two it's super easy to throw on and wears almost like a hat, and for three they are super comfy. I'm picky about my headbands and these kind are the best - very flexible, large, and they have a bit of padding on the ends.

The first one here was my favorite, and I was secretly hoping it wouldn't sell so I could keep it and of course it was the one that sold first! I called it the Pheasant Hunt because of the base feathers, and the orange ones are vintage, and the berries as well. I found the pinecones at my parents house, and the amazing little coque feathers sticking off the top looked like antennae and made me so happy! I topped it off with a solid brass stereo knob. The second one is called Fruits of the New Year and had a vintage German feather pad, faux fruits, and velvet leaves.

The first one here was called the Happy Holiday and was the most Christmas-y by far. All vintage/found objects on this one, with a real pinecone. And lastly, the Steampunk Debutante, which I think speaks for itself!

I also made a ton of clips (And I made the cool magnet board and headband holder covered with blue Dupioni silk, so fancy!), using vintage trinkets, bowties, and feathers. I called them "Whimsical Holiday Finery" for the Christmas fair, but I have recently restocked my supplies to make a whole new batch and needed a name. When people ask me to describe these I always find myself using the word "theatrical", so I'm calling them "Whimsical Theatrical Finery", which does double duty in its shortened form, WTF. As in, "WTF is on your head!?" Perfecto. I will do a post when I have the new batch ready to go into the shop!


Happy New Year!

... And we're back on track! We got back from Portland the day before New Year's Eve and my sister came into town about an hour behind us so I got to spend the New Year with her! We went to a party thrown by my friends Vanessa and Glen. Good times: a balloon drop, party poppers, good food and champagne, and pretty people! But sissy made it extra special for me by doing my hair and makeup. For anyone who knows me this is a big deal! Fake eyelashes even, which took some getting used to but were really fun, and I felt very pretty.

It was a great start to what is sure to be a very interesting year, but more on that later. Cheers everyone!