Art vs Craft: This weekend!

I have been hard at work the past few weeks preparing for this round of Art vs Craft. Definitely come out to support your local artists if you live in the area. The venue this year is beautiful and there are going to be many talented designers to buy gifts from, since I'm sure you've all signed the "Buy handmade" pledge!


Crafting with cardboard

I'm a pretty big Star Wars fan. I'm also a pretty frequent "crafter". I find myself using cardboard, white glue, and hot glue in many of my projects. With that in mind, you can imagine how blown away I was when I stumbled across this tutorial on how to construct your own Boba Fett helmet out of cardboard!

This "crafter" takes cardboard construction into a whole other realm in this tutorial. Even though I've used similar methods to construct items of my own (check out my crown!), I had no idea cardboard could be so versatile and could be used in the creation of such complex shapes! I am inspired to utilize some of his tips and tricks in future designs. After seeing his technique, I feel anything can be created with cardboard and glue if you have plenty of patience and a sharp X-Acto blade!

The unfinished helmet


Drooling over new tools

I reluctantly went to Home Depot last night to pick up a few necessary items. (I much prefer to spend my money at a locally owned establishment but they close so early!) I needed rubber cement and carborundum paper-which I never found. What I did find was a new abrasive wheel for my Dremel that I later found gives silver a nice satin finish. I also looked for and found the newest Dremel Workstation. As soon as my eyes settled on the box I swooped down and picked it up. I cradled it in my arms as though it were a newborn kitten. I'm sure I made a few random high pitched noises and was probably talking to myself while gazing lovingly at the picture on the outside of the box. I want this workstation. Very badly. I also need it.

The workstation grips the Dremel motor in a vice to allow the user to wield the Dremel like a drill press. Thus far, I've proven to be pretty incapable of holding my Dremel perpendicular to my work. Though it seems relatively easy to drill straight downward, somehow my holes always end up angled-which becomes a problem when I rivet. Another attractive feature of the workstation: The vice that holds the Dremel can be tilted up to a full 90° which will allow me to use the Dremel hands-free for polishing and sanding!

A few observations leave me wondering how long this tool will last. It appears to be made entirely from plastic-which is awful! I really hate the throw-away mentality of companies and consumers today. I'd much rather pay extra for a solid piece of equipment. I have read reviews and my fears are confirmed. It is not the most stable piece of equipment-but it is stable enough for my needs, and it can be permanently secured to a workbench if extra stability is needed. It sells for about $45 in most places so it's not too expensive. I hope to pick one up soon-hopefully during an after Christmas sale!


Crafting for Halloween

Wow! I can't believe I've been M.I.A. for two weeks! Between Halloween, the recent time change, and the chilliness of autumn, I just can't seem to get motivated. I hope this is a temporary setback-my art show isn't getting any farther away! In my defense, I did spend a week and a half solid constructing my Halloween costume. Since that definitely fits into the "crafting" category, (do I have one of those?) here's what I accomplished, with the help of Mario and Luigi, of course. I present: Mario-Kart Princess Peach! The photo was taken with a cell phone so it is a bit grainy, but you can get the gist of the costume. It included a Kart, a pink ball gown, a bejeweled crown, and various props, such as stars (for an extra boost of energy and invincibility) and turtle shells (for knocking down the competition).

The cart was made from 1.5" foam insulation which we glued together using some industrial adhesive and dowels. The pieces of foam were all sanded down, glued together, and spray painted with a special latex paint that doesn't dissolve plastics/foam/etc.

I made the dress by making a pattern from another ball gown I happened to own already. You can't see the whole thing, but there's a 1' wide magenta stripe at the bottom and a huge magenta sash around the waist that ties in the back. The skirt poofed out about a foot from my body in all directions, which was great for "watching my step"; let's just say, I tripped more than once. It was labor intensive to make and caused me way more stress than I'd like to admit. The easiest part of the costume was the crown, which I made by gluing two pieces of poster board together with Elmer's glue and securing with a rubber band until dry and as solid as a rock. I spray painted it with gold spray paint, hot glued jewels onto it, punched a few holes at the bottom edge, and bobby pinned it to my wig.

Since Peach hasn't had much of a make over in the past few decades, I updated her look for personal reasons. Gone is the Farrah Fawcett feathered mullet hair and high-necked poufy sleeved princess dress. I'm sure only die-hard fans would even have noticed of the changes I wrought. I thought it was much needed and it suited my style a lot better.

Creating your own Halloween costume is a great way to be creative and original for one of the best holidays of the year. Depending on your costume, it's also an excellent way to recycle and to support your local thrift stores.


New pendant: Sterling and vinyl lotus

Here's the new custom piece I just finished last week! I riveted hand pierced sterling silver sheets to vintage vinyl. There was a lot of precision cutting to do on this piece and I was skeptical that I would be able to recrate the vision I had for the design. I usually don't try to pierce areas that are too small for my file to fit into, but this particular design demanded it. I utilized my saw blade as a make-shift file and it worked really well to clean up those small areas. In the end, it turned out a lot nicer than I imagined it would. I hope the recipient loves it as much as I do!


Craft-Boom: A blog dedicated to small business

Lisa of U-Handbag (and U-Handblog) has been working on a fairly new blog called Craft-Boom that is devoted to helping people start and promote a small business. I was reading it today and stumbled upon a very informative tutorial on how to take professional looking photographs of your projects.

Taking great pictures is essential, and something I feel everyone can accomplish with a little practice. Of course, not everyone has the ability to artistically express themselves through photography but that isn't always necessary. What is necessary is clear photos where the background doesn't compete with the subject. White backgrounds tend to drown out silver so I prefer to use dark backgrounds when photographing my jewelry. I do use white backgrounds for photographing my handbags. I use a similar technique to Lisa's for my white background photos but i do see a few differences in her technique that might help speed up the process for me. I found an amendment to steps 2 and 3 in the comments section that explains, in greater detail, how to whiten the background of your photo.

Lisa blogs on everything from how to sew a clutch to effectively marketing your business.


Etsy Pick: Soku

Soku has been an Etsy favorite of mine for quite awhile. I think a lot of their designs are fresh and unique (and sometimes a little traditional). With this design Soku manages to embody the delicate aesthetic of wire with hardwood. Anyone who is familiar with my style knows earrings like these are right up my alley. In fact, this is the very design that made me check out Soku's shop in the first place.

I also really like the juxtaposition of materials in this acrylic and wood design. It is put together using acrylic rods as rivets. Being someone who uses rivets often, I can appreciate the precision needed for this type of construction. You can find both of these pieces and other Soku designs in Soku's Etsy shop.


Art vs Craft!

My friend and I got our Art vs Craft acceptance email last week! I am excited about being accepted but I am kind of freaked out. I know how much work goes into art fairs and it scares me a little. I think I put too much off until the last minute the last time around and it caused me a lot of stress. I hope I can learn from my past experience and get motivated to accomplish as much as possible early on so I don't have a hundred lose ends in December.

When: Dec 8th 10am-7pm
Where: Humphrey Scottish Rite Masonic Center (click for a map)
790 N Van Buren St Milwaukee, WI


Moving beyond my color comfort zone

I'd like to get something out into the open: I'm a tanophobe. Yes, I said tan-o-phobe. I don't go near it. Ever. Or brown, for that matter. I only like very specific shades of chocolate, espresso, and sometimes taupe but that's where I draw the line. Tan gives me an uneasy feeling. It washes me out. It reminds me of a uniform. It screems DULL. I feel that, paired with the right accent colors, tan could be great. With help, I can work on my tan phobia, as long as I don't have to wear it.

Once, about a year ago, I was confronted with a huge dilemma. I was asked to make a custom handbag as a gift. When I met with my client I was floored. The neutral color pallet we discussed was like the sound of nails being dragged down a chalkboard. I could feel myself immediately shying away from the project. How on earth would I be able to plan a project around a pallet I knew so little about? I think this tutorial: Color Picking 101: It's easier than you think, by whoops-a-daisy would have made me feel much more confident in my planning. In the end, I got lucky. We scrapped the neutral pallet and went with a pallet of my choosing. (I have to say it was a success!) I'll definitely refer to this tutorial in the future whenever I'm forced to make neutral color based decisions.


My necklace: Flawed and I love it.

Here's the flawed necklace that I decided to keep for my own since I haven't found the time to make anything specifically for myself. I ended up making another unflawed version that now belongs to someone else.

I set two of the rivets and was drilling the rest of the holes for the remaining rivets when the drill bit snapped off inside one of the holes! I tried ripping it out but it was stuck. I ended up having to widen that hole which was really hard to do since the new drill bit was reluctant to drill into another bit. After finishing the riveting I sanded the face and rest of the bit down as far as possible. In my attempt to sand the flaws away I ended up exposing the rivets a bit too which is something I've been trying to get under control lately. The original flaw is barely a speck now...but the finish is still marred . All flaws aside, I'm happy I eventually decided to finish the pendent completely rather than destroying it (as I tend to do) because now I have one too!


Sterling and vinyl pendent.

Here's a revamp of an older design of mine. I have finally perfected making the rivets disappear and it has improved the design tenfold. The prototype of this design was originally intended for ME but I gave it to a friend as a gift and ended up taking a different design for myself. Yes, I took the one with the flaw. A drill bit broke off in the metal and I wasn't able to remove it. So, that's the one I wear (no pics of that one here with me, unfortunately). So, this one will have to find a new home. I listed it on Etsy last night:


New earrings!

Here's a new pair of earrings I made which are now up in the shop. This shows the 5th and (hopefully) final alteration to the pattern. The last pair I made (which I own) are a bit bigger than these (1.25" diameter) and tend to weigh down the ear. I made these a little smaller so they don't tug as much. They're my favorite earrings!



I have a very valid excuse for the lack of posts in the past week(s). My computer died! I don't know what's wrong with it but I have a suspicion it may be the motherboard which will cost at least a hundred bucks to fix. I anticipated something like this happening soon so I bought an external hard drive a few months ago. At least all of my important information is still accessible to me on other computers. I have plenty of friends who love working with computers and have offered to lend me a hand. Soon...very soon I will be back up and running from the NVM Headquarters, aka, HOME. Luckily I have finally managed to find a way to post on Blogger from a location that I was previously unable to log on from. So, more posts to come! HOORAY!


The fruits of my labor and a softbox tutorial!

Guess what I did tonight? I stayed home and made this:

It's a softbox! And it literally cost me $10 thanks to a very easy to follow (and funny) tutorial on Strobist that I found today. I have a box of about 15 pieces of jewelry just collecting dust because I've lacked the ability to take high quality photos of them for my portfolio. I knew I needed a solution; I've been meaning to make one of these for a long time. It was ridiculously easy to create, even if it was a bit time consuming.

Here's a before and after photo of the earrings above. The after photo only has alterations to the brightness/contrast and I rotated the canvas since my camera was at an angle.

For my first go at it I'd say it was a success! The original photos are still turning out pretty dark so I'll need to tweak the lighting. Though, with a little help from PS everything looks beautiful. With some practice, I hope this light box will eliminate hours spent in front of the computer removing backgrounds from photos. How exhausting!


AVC time already?

I just got word that the applications for the holiday AVC are due in within the next month (AAAH!) and that they have considerably less space than last year. Why do they have less room, do you ask? Because they have a spiffy NEW VENUE!!!! And it's GORGEOUS!

It's basically a thousand times better than the last venue. Also, it's smaller. A lot smaller. I can tell already that I wouldn't need to wear my brimmed hat again to shade my sensitive eyes from the fluorescent lighting. Now, onto the hard part of getting accepted...



Chanel, the fantastic mind behind Junkprints, has offered free shipping* for any of you lovely readers who are interested in purchasing something from her line! All you have to do is enter "Junkprints luvs Sewcial Suicide" in the seller notes. So, if you dig her line, (And how couldn't you?) now is the perfect time to pick up a little something to put a smile on your face. Thanks, Chanel!

P.S. I love the jacket pictured above. A lot.

*The promotion is valid until 8.30.07

Nature vs Machine: back in action? Not yet.

I tried forcing myself to be creative today. There's nothing quite like it in the world. OK, well, forcing yourself to eat brussels sprouts at 25 may come close (that is, if you hate brussels sprouts-but then why would you be forcing yourself to them in the first place?). I decided, instead, to work on a custom pendent that was put on hiatus during my move since I apparently have an aversion to forced creativity. I should have finished it today. Except that my only small drill bit broke in half in the middle of the first of six holes. And that bit would have created a hole that was too small for my 20g wire to pass through. Even if the bit hadn't broke, my reamer, and half of my other tools, are still packed away. Their exact location being in one or more of the dozen boxes still partially unpacked in different rooms of my house. Yes-I completely jumped the gun. I guess I should have finished unpacking first...which is exactly what I was trying to avoid by forcing my creativity in the first place. Back to square one. Tomorrow: unpacking. Ugh.


Etsy pick: Junkprints

Ok, so I found this little shop a few weeks back called Junkprints. I tucked it away in my special little place reserved for future Etsy picks, aka, a Gmail folder. I just pulled it up and had nearly forgotten how much I LOVE this girl's work! And, I believe there are new items up since the last time I visited. Oh, how I wish moving wasn't quite so expensive, because I really could go for this hoodie right about now:

Everything about Junkprints' work speaks to me. I love the artwork, the prints on the inside of the hoods, the positioning of the artwork, and the colors. It has the street vibe that I am consistantly drawn to. The artist also shows her sense of humor while remaining relevant to current issues which is something that I appreciate and adore.




You never realize just how much you depend on something until it's gone. The internet is finally hooked up at my new apartment. Our service request was misplaced so it's been three long weeks without internet here at home. I feel as though I can breathe again, and that frightens me a little!

One of my favorite things to do to "kill time" is answer questions others have in regards to crafting, art, tools, etc., so I've decided to start showcasing some of those answers in upcoming posts. In the past I've mostly linked to tutorials from other sites so I'd like to get some of my personal knowledge in here just to shake things up a bit. Because, and let me be modest here for a minute, I like to think that I have the skills to pay the bills.


Altered Cloth

I stumbled across a new how-to site courtesy of Craft Magazine called Altered Cloth. There are great posts such as: How to fix bleach spots on fabric (which a friend of mine could have used about two weeks ago-OUCH!), 5 tutorials on how to make different headbands , and 7 tutorials on making shopping totes. There is a wealth of great crafting information on Altered Cloth that I'm sure to take advantage of in the future...as soon as I can find the time.


Etsy pick: Margaux Lange

Jewelry rarely makes me sigh but I actually released an audible one when I came across the work of Margaux Lange. I LOVE the originality and craftsmanship of this jewelry! In addition to using the doll face parts and sterling silver, the pieces have epoxy resin detail-a medium I've been dying to use. The purple lips really POP in this setting (which, by the way, has been sold to some lucky person). This purple face ring is one of my favorites but every time I check her portfolio I find another. You can see this design and more at Margaux Lange's Etsy shop, her website portfolio, or on her blog, Midge's Mind, where she also discusses her work.


Moving destroys my creativity.

I've been taking some time off from creating because I burned myself out preparing for and attending AVC. Now that I'm ready to get back into the swing of things I have to move! I have a few pieces of jewelry and at least one bag that are completed and ready for a photo shoot, I have the pieces for at least 4 bags completely cut out and ready to be assembled, and I have two vinyl pendants and about twice that many earrings ready for their finishing touches. I fear it will be weeks before I'm settled enough again in my new home to let the creative juices flow. For the time being I'll have to be content with imagining my next new project...

I've been thinking a lot, as usual, about printing my own fabric. I already screen print designs on some of the fabric for my bags but I want to do more full-on fabric design; multiple colors and/or prints on a much larger scale. I have several ideas in mind-some done by me, and some done by "my artist". My artist and I have been preoccupied with our own art while trying to collaborate on prints. Perhaps once I've managed to catch up on all of my current projects I'll have the chance to dive into my latest fascination.


Etsy pick: Lake

Yesterday I found this ring by Lake on the Etsy home page. This is a very playful industrial design called Rolling Ruby which was created in lightweight aluminum and strengthened with sterling rivets. I love the color choice for the stone though it looks a little more fucshia to me than the blood red I naturally associate with rubies. I think the contrast between the metals is beautiful-I like the shiny sterling bars and steel spring against the matte finish of the aluminum ring. I've never worked with aluminum, which is surprising because I find aluminum fascinating. Aluminum is very soft so I imagine this ring would get dings pretty easily, though, in a design like this, it would only add to its character.


New bag!

Here's another framed clutch I created for AVC that is currently housed at Niche.

The patterned fabric contains all of my favorite colors and even has a bit of sparkle! I got the fabric from Gorgeous Fabrics; it sold out in about 2 weeks! I bought two yards and have already cut out the pieces from it for my next project. I found out about the new fabric store on Pattern Review. Pattern Review is a great resource for anything having to do with sewing. I found Gorgeous Fabrics there (the shop was reviewed by a member of PR) and I found great reviews on a "how to sew knits" book I bought for $2.50 online (that I have yet to crack).


New stuff!

I made some new stuff for the Art vs Craft show that I completely forgot to post! ¡Ay, caramba! Here are a couple of the flex-frame clutches/wristlets that I adore so much. I got a lot of positive feedback on them at the show but nobody bought any...The blue floral clutch is on my Etsy page and the neutral clutch is at Niche.
Though neither of those are my favorite as far as print goes, they ended up being the most popular style I brought to the show. The bag on the right was made with vintage floral fabric that has splashes of neon pink, which I love.

I also made some of my sterling and vinyl pendants for the show.
I sold this one at the show. The other design I brought is currently
at Niche.


Simultaneous Inspiration?

I notice, sometimes, before things become trends, that a few people will become inspired around the same time to do similar things. For instance, I've been infatuated with gears for a very long time and have been designing some riveted gear jewelry over the past year or two but I just haven't had time to put the designs into production. Sometime earlier this year I stumbled across Katrinabird's shop where she is sells her gear inspired jewelry. My designs are a bit different than hers but one fact remains clear: it's basically the same idea. I also have designs drawn up for gear screen prints; weeks later I stumble across Moxiemadness' shop where she sells a neon pink gear shirt. Weird; she's doing it, too. Prior to seeing gear stuff being produced I truely don't recall seeing it done elsewhere. Granted, I'm probably wrong. Gears certainly aren't new and I'm sure they've been repurposed a hundred times. Maybe I never noticed those designs before since I wasn't looking out for them. Maybe they weren't there after all. I can't help but feel it's a case of simultaneous inspiration. Another example: a clothing designer friend of mine once saw a design in a fashion show nearly identical to something she had recently made. Neither of those designs had seen the light of day prior to the Fashion show. Neither of them ever accused the other of thieving the idea; they were simply in awe over the fact that they both were feeling the same stuff at the same time.

Kyo Hashimoto Jewelry

I have a weakness for acrylic, especially when paired with metal. It's a wonderful juxtaposition of materials that don't really belong together, especially in jewelry, yet they look brilliant when combined. The acrylic looks lace-like and delicate, with a translucent quality when worked properly- which is lovely considering it's simply plastic. These earrings are some examples of a few of my favorites out of Kyo Hashimoto's newest collection.


AVC craziness over. PHEW!

Wow. Not only is it by far the hottest and most humid weekend of the year but it was also one of the busiest (for me, at least). I'd say the Art vs Craft show was a minor success; our table did pretty well as a group and individually. The crowd was a little different than last year's Christmas crowd. Most of the things sold at our table are geared toward young adults and have a definite street vibe. I think our stuff was a bit too much geared toward that genre-which I feel is good-except when that genre doesn't show up to the fair. Regardless, we had an exhausting but good time; and I'll be applying for the next show, along with Niche and Flux, as well.

I think the most disappointing part of AVC is the venue. It is held in an empty school building
and is very institutional. The ceilings are low and have extremely bright florescent lighting so you end up feeling drained after an hour or two; a feeling that dissipates immediately upon leaving the building. The bathrooms are dark, dreary, smelly, and rarely clean. I feel the venue is a poor contrast to the work that is showcased within. However, it was very well promoted and there was a good turn out because of it. I don't find that level of dedication from Madison independent artist fairs. I can't decide if the lack of interest lies with the promoter or the artists...


New business cards!

Last week a designer friend of mine and I collaborated on a new business card design for me (I mostly picked out the colors and fonts then gave thumbs up or down on new additions.) The cards just arrived looking GREAT! I immediately shipped 200 off to a little store in Milwaukee called The Paper Boat Boutique and Gallery. They are involved with AVC and are adding items to swag bags to be given out to the first 200 people in the door at the show. Unfortunately I just didn't have the time to construct a fun freebie for the bags...though I did toss around the idea of magnets and pins, but, in the end, scrapped all ideas due to money/time constraints. Perhaps once my business is more lucrative I can invest in fun promotional items (I'm still a bit sad about not having pins). I'm also using it for the new hang tags that I'll be printing today. BEHOLD:


I am hereby giving the Art vs Craft show the sewcial suicide award. I am so busy and can't wait for the show to be over so my life can resume some semblance of normalcy. The show is this weekend. I didn't get as much done as I hoped to and for that I blame my inability to say "no" on Friday and/or Saturday nights. I did managed to fit in a 4th of July BBQ yesterday, which was awesome. The photos from my newest items should be ready in a week or so! Ok, back to work. *sigh*


Etsy pick: Ndeur

HOT. These shoes are so hot I believe I started drooling when I saw them. They may possibly be my newest obsession. I found Ndeur, the artist/designer, today on Etsy. Ndeur's designs are being sold on Etsy at The Rage's Etsy store. The Rage is a store out of Toronto, Canada that showcases Independent Designers and Ndeur is a Parisian artist living in Canada. There's a lot of great street oriented design coming out of Canada these days, if you haven't already picked up on it...


Overwhelmed. Just a little.

OH! I’ve been so busy! I haven't forgotten about my lovely little blog; on the contrary, I think about it frequently. Besides, the type of work I’ve been doing lately hasn't been extremely interesting. I've trashed more than a few entries for being too yawn-inducing. I’ve been preparing for the AVC show which is barreling toward me at a fast pace. I never realized all that goes into preparing oneself for a craft fair and creating a small business. I’m feeling more than a bit overwhelmed. I am currently working on a new business card design, new hang tags, display options, six clutches (simultaneously), my website, setting up a mailing list (which is proving to be a bit more involved than I was hoping), and planning/placing orders for supplies all while working a 9-5 and attempting to maintain some sort of social life. *Phew!*

Also, my metals class starts tomorrow. I almost didn’t make it in. I called the day after summer registration began to find the class had already filled up! At least I was quick enough to be the first one on the waiting list. Three agonizing weeks later I got word that I made it into the class! This isn't your typical class with instruction and assigned projects. This is open studio time, twice a week, for three hours each session. The class only lasts 6 weeks. If I'm not well prepared I will find myself twiddling my thumbs wondering what I should work on next and wasting all my precious studio time. I got really inspired last week and drew up some ideas for the first few classes. I also carry around a small notebook that is pretty full of random ideas I’ve gotten over the last few years that I can fall back on in a pinch. I can’t wait to be back in the studio with my hands covered in polishing compound, blisters, and cuts. Ahhh.


Etsy pick: Tadworks

I've been trying to avoid posting Etsy picks directly from my Etsy favorites list in an effort to find new designers but I just can't hold back any longer! I'm in love with everything in Tadworks' Etsy Shop.

She hand makes these little characters, named Po, out of polymer clay. There is so much detail in such a small space. YAY! How could you ever be sad with one of these little guys sitting next to you? They are so adorable! And they all have cute little companions or props that give them each a distinct personality. Someday I hope to have a little Po friend for my desktop.



P.S. I'd like to mention that at least half of my inventory at Fashion Ninja has sold already!
It sold much quicker than I had anticipated, truthfully. I was a little nervous at first so I let an entire month go by before checking up on my wares. Finally I bit the bullet and got the response I wanted!

Etsy pick: Cecilia Jane

I love these! More than that, I think she has some pretty original elements in her designs. She seems to have a knack for detail which is something I can appreciate.

Here's another great example of her exceptional attention to detail:

Her original designs can be found on Etsy @ Cecilia Jane.



My friend and I found out yesterday that we were accepted into the Art vs Craft show in July! There were tons of great tables there last year so we're very flattered and excited. I didn't participate last year; I just went along to help out and get a feel for the environment. There were about 80 tables with a huge variety of seemingly random hand made items; most of them extremely well made. I think four of us are sharing a table this year so I feel we will be able to offer a lot of diversity. All of us sell (or will sell) items at Niche Milwaukee, which is co-owned by one of the people sharing my table. I don't have too much specific information on what we'll be offering at this point since the show is still pretty far away. However, I believe an element of surprise is beneficial so I'll limit the posting to my items for now.


Copy-cats pt. 2

I've been on the subject of copying for the past few weeks (pt. 1). I think it's time to take a look at it in a different light. Here's a link to a crafter who is copying the big guys (in this case, YakPak). The person who posted these pictures actually put up a tutorial on how to copy this bag yourself.

Is it any different when it's a crafter doing the copying? Perhaps. Maybe I feel differently since these items, most likely, aren't being resold as a copy of the original...or is it because I'm a crafter too? YakPak certainly isn't seeing much, if any, of a reduction in sales due to the tutorial post. The poster, pfeffermint_ish, credits the original so at least (s)he's not trying to pass it off as his/her own design. I do, however, think (s)he could have added more of a personal spin to the actual design of the bag. Nobody is exactly reinventing the handbag these days; it's all in the details...

*pfeffermint_ish is not, by any means, the only one out there deconstructing and reproducing a mass produced item for personal use/resell; That tutorial just happened to be the first one I stumbled upon with the copy-cat theme in mind.

RIP Mighty Flirt

One of my favorite shops to peruse for talent, Mighty Flirt, recently closed its doors without warning (as far as I know). I always wonder about the behind the scenes when a shop closes its doors. I hope they closed shop to pursue other interests and not due to lack of interest.


Vacation is over.

Ok, so, my vacation is over. Back to work. ATL was really fun; my friends and I did a lot of dancing at various clubs around the city. My birthday was the following week (last week) so my excuses for not working were valid but have been used up. I haven't been sewing, hence, the lack of sewing related posts. However, I did complete the yellow/black version of the clutch shown below in pink for my trip to ATL. I think the yellow/black combo looks really hot. I may have to make a few more versions of that colorway before retiring that design.

Random observation: Is it just me or has Etsy been loading very slowly in recent weeks? I wanted to find something new to post today but the load times were testing my patience and making me not want to hunt for new stuff.

Speaking of hunting for new stuff, I scored about 5 different cuts of vintage fabric today! I'm really excited to use them in an upcoming project I've mentally been working through. I've been collecting vintage fabrics for most of my life but the difference recently is that I actually have a game plan for my new purchases. Of course, it's hush-hush until the plan has been fully worked through; I hate to disappoint.

I have an update to my last post. Here's a blog I recently discovered that focuses on posting and discussing copied clothing/art/music/etc: http://youthoughtwewouldntnotice.com/blog3/. Good job guys!

I'm planning on doing a bit of sewing this week; I hope to complete a new design soon (well, a revamp on an old design) for AVC. I will post any mishaps.

*A little note on AVC: my crew and I have not exactly been accepted yet. This announcement is a bit premature. If, for some reason, we're turned away, I'll have to find another place to send the finished piece. My Etsy shop is rather empty and lonely looking...hopefully not for long!


Please don't flatter me.

Some people say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. I say, if that's true, don't flatter me.

A newly opened museum in Germany puts on display something that strikes fear into every artist and designer's heart: blatant rip-off. The museum,
Plagiarius, opened on April 1st, 2007. They host about 300 original items and their rip-off twins. Take a look at a slide show of some of the more famous rip-offs shown at the Plagiarius.

Scary! I can't imagine having something like that happen to me. A lot of the time the companies guilty of copying are large corporations with a lot of money and power so it's difficult for the little guys (independent designers) to fight back. We all remember the now infamous (in the right circles) rip-off by Urban Outfitters of Johnny Cupcakes' design of the plane dropping cupcake bombs. There's even a site documenting the never ending rip-offs UO is guilty of committing. Read about them here http://urbncounterfeiters.blogspot.com/ then boycott Urban Outfitters. (Ok, maybe you don't have to boycott them. After all, I buy my colored beaters there. But that's where I draw the line.)

Here's a thread on craftster.org concerning artist rip off.

This topic is widely discussed throughout the nets. A simple search will turn up a lot of distinct stories.

On that note, I am going to pack for my trip.



Raspberry Lipgloss

Here it is!

Awww, I love that little guy! I whipped that one up yesterday. Wow. It was hard to do it all in one day. I tend to get a little looney after sewing for 5 straight hours. I made that exact bag in black/electric blue last week. Both clutches are now at their new (hopefully temporary) home @ Fashion Ninja. I am thinking of doing one in black/yellow for my Atlanta trip. You know, for promotional purposes...



AH! I'm jumping the gun a little but I finally finished a design with my hex frame! And I am in love with it. It's black mesh over electric blue fabric. I can not keep it, which breaks my heart. In the past, whatever I made went to me or my friends. Unfortunately this is no longer the case. But, I am taking a trip to Atlanta, GA next weekend and I hope to find the time to make a hex frame clutch for myself to take along!

The photo shoot isn't until Saturday so I'll have to hold off on the pics. Setting up my studio for a photo shoot takes some work. I'll have three to four new finished designs by the end of the week so I'm going to let them pile up and take photos all at once. That, and I lost my camera so I must find one to use...


Great tutorial!

I found a really inspiring tutorial posted today at Craft Magazine's blog. Craft Chi breaks down printing fabrics using a Bubble Jet printer. She has some really pretty prints that she designed using Photoshop and her own drawings. I am in awe of how well they turned out and am inspired to give it a go! Photoshop -> printer is much more my speed than screen printing...


I hit another roadblock in my hex frame design last night. I was milling over it this morning and decided to go simpler versus my usual complex detail oriented style because the clock is ticking and I’m still at the drawing board. SIGH. I am not especially happy with this decision but since I've been having so many issues with this design it just might be the only way. Eventually I will produce a finished product with picture!

On a lighter note, I'm nearly finished with two new bags; one is a completely new design!


Coffee and cigarettes

Fantastic! I love the detail
and originality of this design.
D-Licious @ elsewheres.com


Pin cushion

I've finally had it with my pin cushion. I have one of those generic tomato pin cushions you can buy at any craft/sewing supply store. The green felt piece on top fell off years ago, but, not being one to easily discard items, i 'fixed it' with glue. The glue made the pins difficult to push in; still, I refused to throw it away. Now the felt is falling apart, the threads are coming undone, and the thing just looks crummy. I've never been a fan of the tomato pin cushion and I was reluctant to buy it in the first place. Back then (1998?) I couldn't find another option. I have now:
These cushions from Giant Dwarf are adorable, one of a kind, AND recycled. I may finally be ready for a replacement!


Etsy pick: Muttsywonder

This seems to be a very popular design from Muttsywonder.
This particular shirt sold out before I could post it! I love grey,
and I especially like the contrast between the grey and
red on this shirt.


I love it!

I am head over heels for the Lola & Bailey acrylic line, especially this round pendant. I think it just might have to be my birthday present to myself. @ modamuse.com


New bag!

I’m in the midst of creating a line of bags to be sold at Fashion Ninja. Here's the most recently completed design, modeled beautifully by my dress form:

I drafted the pattern, silk screened, and sewed it all. It’s hard for me to get rid of it after spending so much time making it; I love it and want to keep it for myself. I’m already creating a bare-bones line as it is so this bag must go. I created another version that I carry made from distressed cotton twill camo with fuchsia piping and lining. I’m working on a twin of that one for the store as well.


First post

I spend a lot of time with my sewing machine; about 20 hours a week. I also design jewelry but had to take a short break from it to focus on the line of bags I’m creating. On top of that I have a full time job and I typically work overtime. It’s complete sewcial suicide.