In the spirit of getting back to it, I’m participating in a few shows this season. These are all great shows for getting some holiday shopping done, and I definitely encourage a trip! A word to the wise: if you reallllly want a swag bag, show up EARLY! The line usually begins before vendor setup even starts!
Indiemade Craft Market – Saturday December 6th from 10 AM – 5 PM
The Starlite Ballroom 1221 S Front Street Allentown PA
$3 for adults, children 12 and under free
Live bands, food, bar, make-and-take, knitting circle, art installation, and swag bags to the first 50 adults.
A portion of the proceeds benefit the Baum School of Art scholarship fund.
Crafty Balboa – Saturday December 13th from 11 AM – 5 PM
SS Neumann Goretti High School 1736 10th Street Philadelphia PA
55 artists & crafters. Goodie bags to the first 50 people through the door. Free parking.
Philly Punk Rock Flea Market – December 14th 2014 from 10 AM – 5 PM
461 N. 9th St. Philadephia PA
December 13th & 14th (I will be there Sunday the 14th)
$3 entry donation is good for both days.
500+ vendors over 2 days.
Plus the Philadelphia Record Riot, taking place next door at The Starlight Ballroom with 50+ record dealers from around the country (Saturday Dec 13th ONLY).
In spring of 2013, I went out and got myself a “real” job. It was something I needed to do at the time, for a variety of reasons. And at that time, I just stopped making things. For well over a year, I didn’t pick up needle or a piece of felt. I gave away loads of my craft supplies, no regrets, and packed the rest away. I was over it.
Recently, I just kind of woke up one day absolutely needing to make things again. I bought some amazing new craft books that motivated me. I got some supplies out of the storage unit and made a few trips to my favorite long neglected craft stores. I started making some things and it was super freaking awesome, and just right, and about time.
This is the first thing I made. It’s my daughter and it hangs in her room. I forgot to make her glasses so I had to go back and add them later with sparkly silver wire. This simple little hoop portrait kinda lit a fire and I’ve been on a roll the last month or so.
My plan is to reopen my Etsy store and dip my toes back into the craft show world this holiday season, before jumping in fully next year. Indie craft world, I missed you man!
Today I finished up these neon hex signs. They are about 7″ across, made of many layers of appliqued vegan felt and completely hand stitched, with a split ring sewn on the back for hanging. I anticipate making lots more of them, they are really enjoyable and satisfying to stitch.
I feel a little lost and out of the loop (a lot changes in less than 2 years!) but I will be seeing you all soon.
I’ve been looking at a lot of embroidery lately online and especially on my good friend Pinterest, and have been thinking about doing more myself, not necessarily to try and sell but just because I really enjoy it. I’m limited to french knots and backstitch mostly these days, which really barely counts. Maybe a split stitch or whipped backstitch if I’m feeling super fancy. If I’m not interested in selling it I can always work from other people’s patterns and vintage patterns (there are so many amazing ones out there!) although I really like making up my own.
I thought I’d share a little view of my very first piece of embroidery and also my first original pattern, made back around 2003. To prepare, it was sketched freehand in pencil, then painted with washes of acrylic on artists canvas, which I had just chopped a piece of from my painting stash and taped the edges with masking tape so they wouldn’t fray. Then I went to town with my stash of floss (no hoop, the way I still sew) and the book The Embroidery Stitch Bible, using pretty much all the stitches I could to fill in. I didn’t have much of a plan, I just picked a stitch that I wanted to try and used it. I loved the process and the result and was hooked on the needle and floss. I never mounted or framed this piece, and it currently resides in a desk drawer where I often pull it out just to run my fingers over all those little stitches I spent so many hours on just for the joy of it.
I think I concentrate so much on crafting for sale on Etsy and craft shows that I don’t take much time at all to craft for me and for the love of it any more, without worrying that every stitch be perfect or stressing over what the end recipient will think of the piece and how it was made and all the million little businessy things you think about when you’re hand making things to try and sell. So if I have New Year’s resolutions, that is going on the list! Make things for me, with love and joy!
Inspired by a custom order, I made this yummy leafy kale bunch a few days ago. I never actually tried kale until I was on camera for Save the Kales! if you can believe it, but I was an instant convert! I wanted to be sure and include the thick rubber band that usually binds the leaves together (that you should remove from all your veggies when you get home & let those babies breathe!) and it ended up being the perfect place for the face. Kale will be showing up in my shop in January, along with the avocado ornaments I repeatedly sold out of at my holiday shows.
Then it will be away from edibles for a little while and on to other things I think. I have been doing some reading from my growing little library of craft business-related books (Handmade to Sell and Grow Your Handmade Business are the latest two additions, both excellent) and taking stock of what I need to do and work on and improve for the new year.
I can’t wait until Christmas (which is a two day affair in my family beginning on Christmas Eve)!!!!! But until the 24th at least, it’s back to working on my mission statement and updating my product list for 2013. I’m going to do it to the sounds of holiday music though.
My daughter got to see Santa ride in to grandma’s office with lights and sirens blaring for the second time in as many weeks today and I think forever she will think that fire trucks exist solely to cart him around. We happened to be walking by as he made his entrance and she had a quick minute alone with him. My sweet 2 year old looked right at him and said “I love you, Santa!” as I fumbled with my phone’s camera and smiled from ear to ear.
Tonight I’m listening to my 90-song Christmas playlist, eating my aunt’s famous cookies and kiffles and wrapping some presents by the lights on our four foot tall lime green tree.
I know its not here yet but I’m feeling very Christmassy today, so I just wanted to wish everyone a wonderful holiday whatever you may celebrate.
Craft shows are over for the year! I had a great season and want to thank everyone who came out, and hope you all enjoy your purchases. I met some awesome new crafters and customers and had a great time at the shows and sewing frantically for weeks! I’m so appreciative of the response to my pieces and the materials I have started using. It is great when I tell someone about the recycled plastic felt and they get just as excited about it as I do.
I’m on to preparing for the new year, and working on new designs already. Inspired by a custom ornament order I did over the holidays, I’ve been working on a dog plush. Still needs some tweaking but here is a peek:
I have some other dog sketches and cat ideas in the works. We are allergic to cats in this house but here’s Odie, our beagle/basset mix. Providing inspiration for plush and barking allll the time.
I can’t say one word against this dog, he is really the best. He came from a local shelter with a bad case of mange to the dog day care I was working at and he was such a sweet heart I knew he had to come home with me. After lots of vet care (clearing up a concurrent severe ear infection finally kicked the mange) he has a clean bill of health and is the most loving and patient dog with our 2 year old. She can poke him and hug him and love on him and pet him and he just lays there as still as can be. He is a great hiking buddy and loves lounging and cuddling in front of the tv just as much.
We are off to take him to my parent’s house for our weekly Sunday dinner where he gets spoiled and fed like a king!
I’m so excited that these are finally available! We first talked about doing these over the summer, so it feels like I’ve been waiting to see them all finished for a long time. They were a lot of fun to work on, and I’ve further discovered I really love figuring out ways to make fancy little food in felt. After sketches and about 3-4 draft versions of each style (had to get the proportions on that donut hole juuuuuust right!), I came up with ones I was really happy with and set out making batches of them using tons of tiny stitches and lots of Netflix.
Check out the Holiday Ornament set of 4, hand sewn by me exclusively for Vegan Treats bakery and available through their online shop! Vegan goodies made with vegan materials – Ecofi felt made from recycled plastic bottles, soy paint, and are stuffed with a bamboo stuffing mix. Limited quantities available!
I must say I enjoyed every stitch of this project and Vegan Treats was wonderful to work with. It is super exciting and energizing to continue to be collaborating with such awesome and inspiring locals who are doing what they love and are passionate about. And I can’t help it but I’m already drafting patterns in my head for that killer Halloween red velvet eyeball cake Vegan Treats does!
For more vegan goodies made with vegan materials with lots of local love, check out my Save the Kales! Jaime K tofu plush if you like that sort of thing. That thing being adorable little cubes of plush tofu wearing eyeliner and glasses!!!