Monday, December 29, 2008

crazy snow

did anyone else see the 10 minutes of crazy snow we had in nyc two weeks ago, it must have been the 17th i think (just uploaded my photos today...)? i have never seen anything like it: the flakes were like feathers, or leaves... they were HUGE, like 1-2" across, but paper thin. i know the photos don't show it very well, but the best clue is on the roof in the lower right corner of the photo on the right: those white things ARE THEM! i think it must be a good omen...

anyway, i am back from cleveland. had a lovely, cozy, snowy, cookie-fueled holiday with the family, and now i am in the throes of packing because i MOVE TOMORROW! i can't really believe it myself; the past month has been a blur with craft sales, traveling and packing, but it's really happening. can't wait until the 1st, when i can crash and stay in bed all day ;n)

Monday, December 22, 2008

totally tubular

my latest project for CraftStylish is the simple, snuggly cowl. they're so easy that you can whip up a bunch as last-minute gifts, or just make yourself a variety, in an hour or so. cowls are great for using up your knit scraps! i'm looking for ways to stay warm on my winter farm adventure, so i plan to make one in every color.

muse: pippi longstocking

i was reminded this week (by this spritely fashionista) that i've been meaning to do a post about one of my all-time fave style icons: pippi longstocking. i love her so much that i actually have a tattoo of her! (sorry i can't show it to you now.) i mean really, who amongst us HASN'T ever dressed as pippi for halloween? though she was first created in 1944, her spunk, irreverant sense of style, herculean strength, disdain for adults, and complete lack of self-consciousness, (not to mention her very cool pets) all make her one of the best role models i know of to this very day. and i'm pretty sure she made her own clothes...

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

last chance to ship before the holidays!

tonight at midnight is the deadline for orders to ship before xmas, as i leave tomorrow afternoon on a 12-hour train ride to cleveland! there are lots of cozy gift-able items in the shop, and a whole bunch on SALE, and what the heck, i'll throw in FREE SHIPPING too! just write it in the comments and hold payment until i send you a revised invoice.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

get fleeced

last week was 'Guy Week' on CraftStylish, and we were supposed to do projects that would be good gifts for guys. this was due to the most common gifting crisis amongst crafters polled to be: what to make for men. at the very last minute i came up with this simple hoodie, which i'm kinda proud of because i've always felt i could never make clothes that a guy would actually WEAR. i had to show it to the recipient, in order to have him model it for the photo (on my dress form it doesn't look very manly!) and he pretty much hasn't taken it off since.

Monday, December 15, 2008


ok, so remember how the highlight of last year's Craftacular was when a certain someone bought one of my dresses (the one i secretly hoped no one would buy so i could keep it myself, to be exact)? well, all year long i have regretted not having the nerve to ask for a photo as evidence. fast forward to this year: i made four new dresses in this same style, and decided to keep (and wear) the one in the same fabric as that one. now, it occurred to me, what if she sees me in it, would that be weird? what if it didn't fit her? what if she wants to RETURN it this year? then i thought, of course i'm being silly; she probably doesn't even remember that dress and won't even notice if i'm wearing it! so i went ahead with my plan and first thing in the morning, as we're setting up, one of my table-mates (was it siri? or nan? the moment is a blur...) points out to me that SHE IS WEARING THE DRESS TOO!!! i couldn't believe it! she had a cute apron/pinafore thingie on over it but sure enough, it was my dress, and we were twinsies! i ran over to show her, and wittily quipped, "we should have called each other!" and she told me she loves it and wears it all the time. unbelievable! i was pretty much beaming all day thanks to this. and this time, i got proof!

Friday, December 12, 2008

weekend update

on sunday i will be carting my wares over to the biggest, baddest mama of all the nyc holiday sales: the 2008 BUST HOLIDAY CRAFTACULAR! you don't want to miss this one! come early to beat the crowds and score a goody bag (first 500 in the door). last year the line was around the block, so i'm not kidding! i will be next to treehouse and raeburn ink so come out and support ;n)

there are a whole slew of other indie sales this weekend; pop over to the SAPLINGS blog for listings.

also, here's some shop news: FREE SHIPPING on everything in the hodge podge farm shop (within the US only) today and tomorrow, december 12-13. shop now or forever hold your peace, as i'm dragging it all with me to the sale on sunday so your favorite item may not return! i have also reduced prices on a bunch of stuff so check out that SALE section asap.

ok, that's all for now. back to the sewing machine!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

crochet today

i keep forgetting to mention that there is a sweet little profile of me in the december/january issue of crochet today (click on it to see it bigger...)! it's one of the few magazines with good crochet projects, so pick up a copy at your local newsstand.

also, brett bara, the super cool editor, hosted one of etsy's new shop live episodes in the virtual labs. it was really fun, and one of my dog sweaters was featured in her picks!

and finally, i wanted to remind you all that i keep updating my all-crochet favorites, so take a look and support some talented hookers!

make a recycled sweater hat

as part of the Dare to Make It series on CraftStylish (daring you to make ALL of your holiday gifts!) i did this hat project out of recycled sweaters. it's super easy and works for man, woman or child. i want to make a few out of some cashmere sweaters i have... hopefully i'll have them at the Craftacular on sunday. you are coming, aren't you? see all the cool vendors here to whet your whistle!

Thursday, December 04, 2008

december last-chance classes!

i've got just a handful of classes left to teach before i skip town, so if you've always wanted to take one, these will be your last few chances for a good while...

tonight, i'll be teaching a FREE embroidery lesson with the masterful flor of feeling stitchy (who did the adorable holiday pieces above) from 7-9 at the Madewell store in SOHO, 486 Broadway (at Broome).

Holiday Applique Workshop at Brooklyn General
Wednesdays 12/10 & 17, (two 2-hour classes)
Whether cute and whimsical on children's clothing, classic and elegant on home furnishings, or fantastically avant-garde on a bag for you, appliqué can transform all kinds of projects. You'll learn three different hand-stitched techniques and apply them to your own, perhaps holiday, project.
Materials: for first class session, all supplies will be provided. For second session, you will need a base fabric (or finished item), appliqué fabric (felt or other), embroidery floss, and needles for your own project.

EMBROIDERY @ Treehouse
Sunday, December 7th, 5-7pm, $50
The lovely Cal Patch is back in the trees with her fabulous embroidery skills and that loveable sidekick Gertie too. In this one session extravaganza, you'll learn 12 classic embroidery stitches and be off and running to custom-decorate everything you own! After making a basic stitch sampler, Cal will help you visualize planning your own personal project. All supplies included ...including tasty treats!...Stitch away!

Thursday, December 11th, 6-9pm, $60
Just in time for the holly-day madness, treehouse's own Cal Patch is hosting another beginner's crochet workshop (aka BOOTCAMP!), and there's a couple of spots still open! in just one session, you'll learn all the basics needed to make a scarf or a hat for you or someone you love. wouldn't it be swell to give a handmade treasure or two this year? there's still time! but don't delay.. get your hooks ready and sign up today! (supplies can be purchased at treehouse, or you can bring your own...)

101 more reasons

just in case you're not yet convinced, here are 101+ MORE reasons to buy handmade this holiday season (and forever!) brought to you by the bursting-with-good-handmade-things poppytalk.
mine is #105, and i think they're still adding...

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

make their day

remember the other day when i mentioned that, when buying handmade, you could be someone's first customer? well, i've got two suggestions if you'd like to make that happen!

my delightful friend (and sometimes model) erika somogyi is an extremely talented artist, and she has just opened an etsy shop called Erika Since 1977 (which by the way i think is a brilliant shop name!). so far she's posted some hand-sculpted jewelry and salt-n-pepper shakers; i can't wait to see what else is in store!

another artist whose blog, little yellow birds, i recently discovered is joetta maue. she was recently lamenting on her blog about the lack of inspiring job opportunities out there for recent MFA graduates, and i (among many others, i'm certain) suggested she start an etsy shop. and lo and behold, just last week she did! visit Bird and Bear and you'll be glad. i find her work beautiful, touching, and funny. joetta was included in today's etsy Finds, so act quickly...

both of these makers, as of writing this, have O sales listed in their shops. i remember how that feels! but YOU could be the one that makes them into official Etsy Sellers!

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

crochet genius: laura normandin

the next honoree in my crochet genius series is laura normandin of WREN handmade. laura does the most exquisitely delicate crochet work that feels very vintage in a way, yet modern at the same time. she is a craft editor at Martha, as well as an artist. i'm a big fan of her dolls and stuffed animals too! you can find her at two craft fairs this month in nyc and boston, or shop online. here are laura's responses to my five questions about crochet:

1. how and when did you learn to crochet? I taught myself from a book probably about 10 years ago. I just started with single crochet.

2. what is your favorite stitch? It's not really a stitch but I love granny squares. I like the way you can totally change the look based on the scale and type of yarn or thread used. I love that the image in most people's minds are their grandmother's afghans from the 70's using acrylic chunky yarn and how surprising it is to see an updated version.

3. what do you love about crochet? I love how portable it is. It doesn't unravel like knitting which makes it easy to throw in your bag or take it on the subway. I also love how repetitious and relaxing it is.

4. do you have any special/favorite materials or tools that you crochet with? I like to crochet with vintage tatting thread. It can be bought on Ebay by the lot. The old colors are nicely pastel and muted but with bright reds. I've also been experimenting with dyeing my own tatting thread. One of my favorite colors is deep indigo blue which I could never find, so I dyed some.

5. any interesting plans, projects, or new directions in your crochet future? Lately I've tried crocheting necklaces, that look like tiny garlands. This is a new direction for me. They are a little time consuming though so I'm not sure how cost effective they are if I'm selling them. I'm going to take a few to my Holiday craft fairs so we'll see!

thanks again laura! and readers, please do let me know if you would like to nominate anyone to be a crochet genius...