Saturday, June 30, 2012

Stormy Seas Treasury

I'm totally digging this treasury.  Look at all that lovely turquoise!  Don't you think gray and turquoise look lovely together?  I can't get enough.
It doesn't hurt that Scarf 19 is one of my most favorite scarves - the two grays are a special alpaca blend that are super soft and squishy.  It's also super long.  And of course, there's the turquoise.

It's only 79 degrees in Austin right now, which is approximately 30 degrees cooler than the hottest temperatures of the past week.  Not exactly scarf weather (even I can admit that).  But just today the wind began to blow, the clouds turned a little darker, and suddenly it felt . . . cool.  Yes, when you're used to triple digits, 79 actually feels cool.  The sky was gray, the breeze was reminiscent of the ocean, and then I came home and saw this treasury, the perfect picture of what I'd been feeling.

I can't stay inside a moment longer - I have to go for a walk to gaze at the clouds and fully appreciate this all-too-fleeting moment of cool.  I hope that wherever you are the weather is doing something nice, giving you a fresh breath of whatever you've been craving.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Make Good Art

The best advice, given by Neil Gaiman in a graduation speech at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, and illustrated by Gavin Aung Than.  I encourage clicking through to see the rest of this comic on zenpencils (it's funny - you'll like it!) and viewing the commencement address on vimeo.  

You know that making good scarves was instrumental to my recovery when things got tough last year. And now I find that making things - art or craft, good or bad - is always a great tool to lift my mood and help me center, no matter what the problem.

The other secret weapon against tough times is to do something nice or helpful for someone else.  Bonus if you can make good art for someone else.  

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Happy Birthday Headband

My favorite niece is turning seven today.  Seven!  What a great age!  To honor her birthday I did something I never do:  I followed a pattern.  In all my creative pursuits - cooking, knitting, crocheting, collage -  I usually make things up or modify an existing recipe heavily.  Weaving usually requires a lot of planning and math, but with my table loom it's very intuitive - very let's-see-how-this-goes - which suits me perfectly.  

If you follow me on Pinterest, you know that I pin a lot of craft projects, but the honest truth is that I rarely make them.  Sometimes I riff off an idea, sure, but I rarely follow the pattern.  Then along came Maya Donnenfeld's new book, Reinvention.  You may recognize Maya's hugely popular coffee bean bins, which were a hit on etsy and led to her developing the patterns for this book.  All the projects use materials that had a previous life, from jeans and vintage linens to tyvek mailers.  I want to make about half of them, but I probably won't because, well, you know.  I don't follow patterns.

 But with a new seven-year-old in the making, I simply couldn't resist the allure of these sweet little Blossom Bands, as Maya calls them.  They're made from old t-shirts, which of course I just happen to have on hand (being the craft hoarder that I am), and stitched together by hand.  I mostly followed the pattern exactly as it's written, though I couldn't resist a little customization in the addition of some glow-in-the-dark yarn.  Who can resist glow-in-the-dark yarn?Here's the present all wrapped up and ready to go with another little t-shirt pom-pom on top.  Happy my-favorite-niece's-seventh-birthday to you all! 

Tuesday, June 5, 2012


Dad, Padre, Papa by Natalie Kasif

I just couldn't wait to share this gorgeousness.  Do you see that birch journal in the second row?  So lovely.   I'm also loving the old-school-meets-high-tech elements, like the typewriter iPad stand and the distressed iPhone case.
Click on the caption to go to the treasury page and see all this gorgeousness up close.

Monday, June 4, 2012

How to Turn Old Newspapers Into Scarves

Photo courtesy of Emma Jeffery on Spoonflower

That was the subject line of an email from Spoonflower, the custom fabric printing service, and you can bet it caught my attention!  Spoonflower takes any image you upload and prints it on a variety of different fabrics.  This one is printed on silk, designed as a decorative (rather than winter) scarf.  The designer had a newspaper from the day her mother was born, so she scanned the images, arranged them in photoshop, and uploaded them to Spoonflower to make this scarf.  Voila!
See the full tutorial and all the original images on the Spoonflower Blog.
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