Saturday, May 31, 2008

Simply Amazing

I came across this painting while on my online art travels. It's by a New York artist named Yellena. She has lots of beautiful pieces, but this one gives me goosebumps. It was done using pen, ink, markers, and colored pencils. I love how the details are so intricate and how much texture comes through. I believe the original sold for $475. Now I'm just hoping she decides to release prints of it. Maybe that could be my 4th of July gift. =)

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Thursday, May 29, 2008

More Swapping Fun

My intention with my previous post was to actually show some examples of other crafters' swaps, but I wasn't having much luck last night finding what I wanted. However, today--by complete accident--I came across exactly what I wanted to show you. Below are some pics of A Feathered Nest Apron Swap. It looks like each person who participates is receiving one apron from someone within the swapping group. In turn they send an apron to someone else in the group. (I think?) The aprons people made are adorable, and if I could, I'd like to find a way to wear aprons all the time. Check out Flickr photos of all the swap aprons here. I think my favorite is the fourth apron below (the yellow and turquoise one with white and orange flowers). What's your fave?

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Wednesday, May 28, 2008

An Attempt to Further Explain the Craft Challenge

So I've been asked a few questions about the Craft Challenge and wanted to explain. But why do I say "attempt"? Well, when I was first put up to the Craft Challenge, let's just say my brain was on break. I think Shelley and Jessica spent a good 30 minutes answering all of my "but I don't get it" questions. In my defense, I was EXTREMELY gnawing-my-arm hungry. It was also the first day back from a four-day break. But I digress.

huh Word Pendant Stained Glass

Q: Is there a winner?
A: No. This isn't a "challenge" in the true sense of the word where someone wins or loses. This is more like an assignment for inspiration. In this article that Shelley first sent, "amateur and professional crafters alike are sharing their talents with one another via specific swap 'assignments.'" These assigments are taking place on blogs and Web sites such as Swap-bot.

Q: Why an assignment?
A: Well, let's face it. Sometimes you just want to craft or create, but aren't quite sure what to make. A craft assignment helps get your creative juices flowing by eliminating the vastness of choices. In our challenge, we're focusing on "neighborhood" in any medium.

Q: What will you do with the crafts?
A: Each of us are making two crafts so that we can swap with each other. So when it's all done, I'll have a craft from Shelley and a craft from Jessica. And life will be craft-astic!

Q: Can I get in on the challenge?
A: Because this is the first one, and we have no clue what we're doing, this one is exclusive to just Shelley, Jess, and me. However, future craft challenges may be a Web event that anyone can participate in.

Q: What are you making?
A: I can't tell you that...yet. And yes, that's partly because I don't know. But it's also because I want to wait for the big reveal when the ideas I do have all come together.

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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Mister Rogers says, It's a Beautiful Day . . .

. . . for a CRAFT CHALLENGE! You heard correctly. I've been challenged to Craft Off by my friends Shelley and Jessica. Here is the formal invitation as written by Jess:

Craft Challenge Numero Uno
Theme: Neighborhood
Medium: Any!
Project Start date: May 27th at 12:40 p.m.
Project End date: June 2nd at 11:30 for lunch somewhere [at work].

There are NO RULES for the first go-round. Are you up for the challenge? Let's do it.
C'mon, get crafty! (sung to the tune of "C'mon, Get Happy!")

I have put on my game face (which remarkably resembles the stink eye) and have gladly accepted. While I have no clue yet just what I'm going to make (and given the quick turnaround...I better get my ace in gear), I have done a quick "neighborhood" search on Etsy and thought I'd share some inspiring pieces. And if my challengers are reading this, feel free to get inspired as well. ;)

Neighborhood Tea Towel

Welcome to the Neighborhood Pin Set

Carnation Road Tree and Shrub

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

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Friday, May 23, 2008

Watercolor Envy

I'm not a painter, but lately I've been drawn to giving it a try. I think the painting bug flew in from the studio of my friend Carol Kroll, who does beautiful watercolor and collage combos. Some of her work is below. And you can see (and shop for) more at her Red Bubble store.

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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

And now my own bird for Etsy . . .

The other day I knit this little blue bird to add to my Etsy shop. Obviously the spring/summer season has me drawn to crafts inspired by the outdoors. I named this sweet tweet "Grace" in honor of my sweet niece Hannah Grace who is turning 2 on Memorial Day.

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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Etsy Bird Art

Keeping in "ruffled feathers" theme, I thought I'd share some sweet bird paintings that I found from different artists on Etsy.

Owl in Green

Lil’ Hootsie


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Monday, May 19, 2008

I CAN Sew Straight Lines

I always thought it was impossible to sew straight lines unless the Sewing Gods...or Goddesses were smiling down upon thee. Turns out, I just had to stop sewing on a crappy machine. This past weekend, I replaced the 10-year old Brother that I bought in college for $100 from Walmart with a Singer Curvy. It's not top of the line or anything, but man, it's much nicer. It doesn't chunk through or eat my fabric. It doesn't take off like a bat out of hell when you hit the gas (aka pedal). Really, these features alone made it worth buying. Now I might actually be able to sew with little to no cursing necessary. . . yeah right, who am I kidding?

Move over Brother . . .

Here comes something Curvy!

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Saturday, May 17, 2008

Floppy Footwear

I'm a chronic library user, which means it takes a lot for me to buy a book. But Knit 2 Together (part written by the famously funny Tracey Ullman) was one that I couldn't pass up. I love just about all of the patterns in this book. Since buying it last fall (ish?), I've knit a sweater for my nephew, a rabbit (which is actually a mouse in the book) for my niece, and a floppy pair of slippers for me. They barely stay on my feet without dragging them across the floor, but I still love them.

The book

Sample slippers from the book

The slippers I made this winter on . . .

. . . and off.

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Nature Made

I was looking through some old pictures on my computer and came across a bunch of vibrant colored flowers that Shane and I have taken at different places. Inspiration comes from everywhere, and flowers are a big source for me. What inspires you?

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Friday, May 16, 2008

Craftiness Courtesy of Jessica

My pal Jessica is probably one of the craftiest...and talented...gals I know. Check out her collection of cute critters! And then see more on her blog.

Sock monkey for Shannon

Lambert for United Way auction

Sock bunny for Sam

Little Prince for United Way auction

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Thursday, May 15, 2008

My Etsy Shop

My Ruffled Feathers shop is now open for business! I figured if I'm going to be making more stuff, I want to be able to share it with others...and not have it take up space in my home that I don't have. I took advantage of the beautiful blooming spring trees to show off my crafts. Here are a few of the crafts you'll find in the store:

Cabled Wool Legwarmers

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Welcome to Ruffled Feathers! The plan is to post a host of homemade goodies--things I make, things others make, and things that will inspire us all to make more things! (Sounds like a lot of things....hmm?)

Baby Emily gets a quickie baby sweater knit by yours truly.

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