Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Craftsyble Feature

Thanks to Betty Miller over at , my involvement in the GBK Production Gift Lounge at the Golden Globes has been featured! You rock Betty! link to feature


Thursday, December 22, 2011

How I Made My Felted Alpaca Cuffs for the GBK Gift Lounge at the 2012 Golden Globes

The holidays, craft shows and family business has gotten in the way of posting. Really, I've had the best of intentions! I've got a minute, so I thought I'd put the first post up concerning the process of making my lightweight felted alpaca cuffs that are being gifted to members of the press at the GBK Gift Lounge at the 2012 Golden Globes. I can't believe it's right around the corner!

Felting, or more technically fulling, is a process where a piece is knit from animal fiber and then shrunk to form a tight fabric. It is durable, water resistant, warm, and can be cut without fraying. Felted wool is also odor resistant, resists wrinkles and is hypoallergenic. It's amazing what a little heat, friction, and water can do!

I started by knitting the cuffs flat. I found that I was able to do so on my lovely knitting machine (I've got a Silver Reed LK150). Love that machine! It's my first knitting machine. It's pretty basic, but a wonderfully sturdy and easy to use tool. It has also sped up the knitting of anything knit in a stockinette stitch (knit one round, purl the next).

I used a lace-weight yarn, and knit the cuffs about 2-3 times as large as they were to end up.

Because they are not knit in the round, I have to then sew them up the side. Most of this seem disappears during the felting process, if I am careful when sewing them up.

Then I threw them in the wash. For my first attempt, I used hot water. Big mistake. The two parts of the cuff sealed together, and I had to pry and snip them apart. I found warm worked better until the cuffs actually started to felt.

The cuffs were stretched and pulled into shape and left to dry.

Next step - needle felting!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


November 25th only! Free shipping on all items in my shop! No coupon needed!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Here it is! The big reveal!

So, I'm sure you've all been waiting with baited breath for the big reveal of the actual items that I'll be gifting to members of the press at the GBK Productions Luxury Gift Lounge for the 2012 Golden Globe Awards! It's been an up and down journey. From packaging dilemas, to time changes, to just a plain inability of me to make a final decision!

I finally decided on 100% alpaca felted cuffs, embellished with elements inspired by nature. They are lightweight, so good for a variety of climes. They are perfect standing alone, or under gloves/mittens for extra warmth. I wear mine when texting, driving, typing, or when I just need that extra little bit of warmth. I really wouldn't want to do without them fall, winter and spring. There are six different styles.

Over the next few weeks, I'll explore the process used to create these cuffs, as well as what I finally decided on for the packaging. For now, here are the pictures of the final product. You can order your own through my shop!

Can you guess the title of each cuff?

Thursday, November 10, 2011

GBK Luxury Gift Lounge for 2012 Golden Globes Approach!

A few months ago I joined an amazing group, The Artisan Group. The group is exclusive, selecting only the best of the best to represent at celebrity gift lounges. As a group, we provide handcrafted products to celebrities and members of the press at events such as the Emmy's, Academy Awards, and the Golden Globes. When I first became aware of this organization, I wavered. Was I good enough? Were my products appropriate? Was it something I wanted to spend my time on? I decided to take the leap and apply. I am so glad I did! Not only is this group full of the most amazingly supportive people, but I have been pushed (in a good way) into really taking my art and my business to the next level. The group is an amazing wealth of knowledge and resources.

So, I joined. And at the first opportunity signed up to participate in the first gifting event I could - The GBK Luxury Gift Lounge for the 2012 Golden Globes. I had a couple of choices. I could create 10 gifts for the press, 100 gifts for celebrities, gifts for celebrities and a display, business card only, etc. I chose to gift to members of the press. My reasons were two fold. It was a less expensive venture for me (materials, packaging, etc.) and the deadline was right around the time of my busiest time (pre-Christmas).

Then I thought about what I wanted to gift and how I'd present it. Not an easy task. I wavered. It had to be small, yet at the same time portray what I was capable of. My first choice was to make these little felted bowls, but I just didn't think they had the 'wow' factor. But, I went with it and made the  bowls. But, about 2 weeks ago, I decided to change. Silly me. Now I'm making 10 pairs of embellished, felted alpaca cuffs or fingerless mitts (due no later than the first week of Dec). They are lightweight, and stylish, and will come in a selection of colors and embellishments. I love them. And the Christmas orders are rolling. So I'm busy! Busy is good! Just a little crazy!

You'll see my Lightweight Felted Alpaca Cuffs in my shop next week! Be on the lookout!

These fingerless gloves are similar to the cuffs, only they  have a thumb hole. 

Friday, October 28, 2011

The Storage Dilemma

I think every work at home artist has this dilemma. What to do with all those supplies needed for the creative process. I've mentioned it before - the piles and tubs full of yarn. I was not exaggerating. I have at least 10 large boxes full of yarn and more than 2 dozen skeins hanging on a coat rack. I've got 6-8 large Rubbermaids full of fabrics, 3 shoe boxes full of ribbon, another shoebox full of handles, and 2 sewing baskets full of needles, clasps, zippers, etc. That does not even include the other basket with my current hand knitting project in it. And I have machinery - a sewing machine, a knitting machine, a yarn ball winder (for creating center pull skeins). Oh, and tools - scissors, knitting needles, crochet hooks, grommet makers, eyelets, etc. I promise, I'll take a picture in the near future.

The question is, what do I do with it all? I've got boxes labeled and things fairly organized, but it seems like I'm constantly unstacking, re stacking, putting machines away and taking them out and digging through boxes. I know some of this is inevitable, but really there has got to be a better way. I've decided I need a room solely devoted to my craft (Ha!), but the reality is, that will most likely be years in coming. A solution has got to be found in the meantime. So far, the best idea is to con my 2 girls into turning their playroom into an art studio. They'd have a section for their art creation (easel, paints, paper, student looms, fabric, ukulele) and I'd have a section where I could set up a few tables and leave them up, set up the sewing machine and knitting machine, store my yarn and supplies.

In my next post, I'll post some pictures of the before, but for now, if you have any innovative ways to store lots of stuff in a small area, I'd appreciate it. I'm looking for something more creative than Rubbermaids stacked to the ceiling (my current method).

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Certified Yarn Addict

I admit it. I have a problem. I love yarn, especially wool, alpaca, cashmere. The good stuff I love the feel of it. I love the smell of it. I have a hard time not buying a new color or trying out a new variety. When I get a new order and I don't have the specific color needed, I always buy more than I need. Always. I have mountains of yarn in bins waiting to be turned into that next great creation. I often buy the yarn, then figure out what I'm going to do with it.

There really are worse things I could be addicted to. Yarn is pretty harmless. Right? Until it multiplies and outgrows its space. That is the point we are at now. I literally have yarn hanging from a coat rack. I have yarn on hangers in a small dresser. I have yarn in bins and in baskets.

So, I've come up with a solution. Over the next month or so, I'll be holding sales on anything ordered in a particular color scheme. Right now I have lots of green. So the sale will be for green. You'll get 15% off your total purchase if you order something using up a portion of my green wool stock. It could be mittens, or a hat, or a purse, or even coasters or a teddy bear. Just about any listing in my shop can be custom made, so be creative. Want something I don't have listed? Just ask, I may be able to create it for you. Green alpaca doesn't count. And hopefully I won't have to buy any shade that I don't have!

CODE - ColorGreen

Rainbow Beanie

Cloche Style Bucket Hat

Felted Mittens with Knit Cuff

Felted Mittens

Rolled Bottom Cloche

Striped Beanie

Stripes and Bubbles Purse

Sunday, October 23, 2011

The Artisan Group Gift Guide

If you are looking for some wonderful handmade gifts this holiday season, you need look no further than this guide on pinterest! The Artisan Group has a guide that showcases some of the best gift giving ideas for the holidays. You'll find all items priced from low to high, for all ages, men and women. You won't be disappointed!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Renewed Determination and Energy

Some BIG news at the end of this post!

So, I've been gone for awhile. As in, over a year. I had gotten to the point where blogging, if I'm being totally honest, seemed like a bit of a waste of time. Yes, everyone was doing it, but I had very few followers and it was taking time away from things I needed to be doing (creating, working a part time job, taking care of my family, volunteering at the school, getting my business where I wanted it to be, and all the other things in daily life). Well, none of that has changed. All those things are still there (except for the part time job). What has changed is that with the support of my family, I've decided to take that leap and make this hobby a business.

I spend most of all days creating, marketing, getting my name out there, bookkeeping, etc. I still do all those things around the house and with the family too. I miss my other part time job (teaching environmental education preshcool) at times, but I had to make a choice. Something had to give. I decided to put my efforts into making my business a business.

It has not been easy. I see other adults less (I've really got to work on this, and plan on joining a knitting group in the near future). There are days when I have to really push myself to get things done. But that's the case with any job. It's still fun. I still enjoy it.

I think one of the biggest things that has helped propel me forward, is a wonderfully supportive group, The Artisan Group. They are great people to bounce ideas off of. And are a wonderful source of inspiration. This exclusive group connects its members with the GBK Gift Lounges for high class events such as the Emmy's, Golden Globes, Oscars, etc. Members can gift to the press, celebrities, provide gift cards, etc.

The big news: I will be gifting to lucky members of the press at the GBK Gift Lounge for the Golden Globes, January 2012! 

I can't tell you what yet. Well, I could, but I won't. You'll have to check in later to find out. There will be the option to buy through my shop.