Tuesday, April 29, 2008


Yesterday I stopped what I was supposed to be working on to make something I really, really wanted to make. And I wanted to make it NOW!
I've had a Pentax k1000 film camera for a long time, but in the last few years it's fallen into disrepair and I've had a digital SLR, so I haven't bothered to fix it. Lately, I've really wanted to start using my film camera again and did a little research into the cost of repairing my camera. Unfortunately, it just wasn't worth it, so I headed over to ebay and bought a used Pentax k1000. It arrived yesterday and was in great condition, but the strap the original owner had for the camera frankly grossed me out. I couldn't imagine letting that thing touch my neck. I'm no shrinking violet, but, ugh.... So I crafted myself an alternative.

Now my new-to-me camera has a new strap and battery, has been loaded with film, and I've even taken a few pictures. I am so excited about this and I've been incredibly inspired by some of the amazing film images I've seen on flickr. Check out this set and then try to resist the urge to troll ebay for film cameras.

Monday, April 28, 2008


I've been pretty quiet here on my blog, but it's not because of inactivity. First I wanted to let you all know that I'm going to be at the Renegade Craft Fair in Brooklyn, June 14 and 15. I'm very excited about this, partly because I think it will be a lot of fun and partly because we're turning it into a mini family vacation and plan on spending a few extra days in NYC. So, if you happen to live in or near NYC and would like to stop by my booth, I'd love to meet you in the flesh,as they say. I'm sure I'll be posting about that in the weeks to come.
I've started planning some of the things I'm going to make for the fair, but mostly this past week has been taken up with finishing several custom orders. All of the items were repeats of designs I've sold in the past.

These two are slight variations of other pillows.

These two are basically exact copies(as much as one-of-a-kind pieces can be copied). I'm always amazed when I manage to copy something. I don't know why, but it's one of those things that I build up in my mind as much more difficult than it actually is. I guess I worry that the person ordering the item will scrutinize it to make sure that every seam and stitch is the same. That's so ridiculous, but I worry about it nonetheless. All in all, I'm happy with how the re-creations came out. I did get to make something that was, if not completely new, at least something that I hadn't made for a while.

I've made this keyhole scarf design before, but not recently and not in this fabric combination. It was definitely a nice respite from the pillow making. I'll probably be itching to make more of these in the next few weeks as I think pillow covers will be big on my sewing agenda.

Friday, April 18, 2008


The operative word around here this past week has been Passover. Various items have been scrubbed, dusted, and put away, while other, just for Passover things have come down off the high shelf. Probably most notable is that we polished the silver. Not that we own a lot of silver, but we do have silver candlesticks, kiddush cups and a silver tray that the aforementioned items sit on. And here's the kicker, we only polish the silver twice a year.

That makes for a very satisfying experience. So much so that as I was working away at my incredibly tarnished candlesticks Abi asked if she could help. She wanted in on transforming the somewhat brownish items into gleaming silver.

Much as I dread the cleaning, I do really enjoy the way everything(refrigerator, oven, pantry) sparkle in preparation for Passover.
Cleaning for Passover, however, is not exclusive to our family. It's the subject of many conversataions in the weeks leading up to the holiday. But there is one tradition that I'm not sure everyone follows. In our family, part of preparing for this holiday is making something new to wear at the seder. My two older girls aren't as into this as they used to be, but luckily I still have a ten year old and she's more than happy to indulge me. What's more, she's willing to model her new something so that I can show it off here.

After we were done polishing the silver, Abi changed into the skirt I made her yesterday.

She seemed especially happy that I used some of my own hand dyed fabric for her skirt. Needless to say the bigger her smile got, the bigger mine became. After a few pictures our collective joy became pretty obvious.

Happy Weekend and Chag Sameach!!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


I mentioned in my last post that one of the things that drew me to Lotta Jansdotter's book about printing was my own love of potato prints. I actually use a variety of vegetables for printing including carrots, celery (only way I'll get near the stuff, yuck!) and peppers. But potatoes are my favorite. All those other veggies produce a particular shape and that's what you print. Potatoes, however, can be carved and that makes them extra special. You can even impress a cookie cutter shape into a potato and then stamp that pattern onto fabric. In the past, I've used potato stamps to create stand alone patterns.

But lately I've experimented with layering patterns made with potato stamps and patterns made with other techniques.

This is the first stage with one pattern created from a carved potato and one color. I've also taken out any wax I laid down in stamping the initial pattern.

At this point I added more patterning; this time I used a different technique by drawing directly on the fabric with a traditional tjanting tool.

I love the depth that layering these techniques creates. The other day I made some yardage using these same methods, but in shades of blue. I'm thinking summer top for that piece.

Saturday, April 5, 2008


I wanted to find some creative way to link the subjects I'm going to mention in this post, but the only thing that came to mind is the idea of patterning. When you see the images, you'll realize that that's not terribly inciteful, but there you have it.

I've been making pillows for a new store that opened up this week. Nourish is a new boutique for handmade goods in Athens, Georgia and I've been asked to send a few pillows their way.

Working on these pillows has definitely fed my already acute love of patterning. But so has this book.

It just came in the mail the other day, but I have had so much fun looking through it. Lotta Jansdotter has such a fabulous design sense.

Now she's applied it to printing patterns on a variety of surfaces. It's terrific eye-candy, but also a wonderful beginner's introduction into the world of surface design or patterning.

The book is divided into sections devoted to different printing techniques, but my favorite is the part about potato prints. Maybe it's because I use potatoes for printing with wax or maybe it's because I love the idea of my art supplies coming from the humble grocery store. Whatever the reason, I so enjoyed this section of the book.

She also prints on an amazing array of surfaces. If I had a thumbs-up icon to add to this post, I would. I am definitely recommending this book!