I’m not sure how much Halloween stuff I’ll have time to get to do today (especially after the monkey costume marathon last week), and unfortunately our apartment is not too trick-or-treater-friendly (no doorbell!) so I thought I’d post my little Clothespin Bats from this month’s Crafty Wonderland DIY Table.
And here are four of the bats my little DIY Table visitors made at Crafty Wonderland:
Have a happy Halloween!
ps: Speaking of Crafty Wonderland, there will be a mini-event with twenty vendors tomorrow night, November 1, at the Museum of Contemporary Craft for First Thursday, complete with a Day of the Dead DIY Table where you can make and decorate a clay skeleton! All the info is here.
I’m so excited to announce my new jewelry-making book, Bead Simple: Essential Techniques for Making Jewelry Just the Way You Want It! It won’t be in stores in March 2008, but now that it’s up on Amazon for pre-order and wish-listing, I can finally unveil it over here, too. It’s being published by The Taunton Press, and Alexis Hartman created the illustrations, and Burcu Avsar and Zach DeSart took all the photographs. I love how colorful and lush it is, thanks to these three talented people!
I designed 50 beading projects for the collection, from necklaces and earrings to embellishments and ornaments. Each one has two spin-off variations, using totally different colors, materials or scale, to encourage readers to consider using their own favorites instead of exactly the same materials I did. And of the 150 total projects in the book, 39 of these variation pieces were contributed by some of my favorite designers — I love their take on beading and jewelry design, and it was amazing to see what they came up with!
There’s a front section of illustrated techniques (like wirework, beadstringing, knotting, and making clasps and earring wires) to get you started, and all the projects are arranged by genre, and rated beginner-friendly, moderate, or advanced difficulty. I used lots of vintage, reclaimed, and hardware store materials along with more traditional components like glass beads, semi-precious pendants, and metal findings, so instead of making a special (and expensive) trip to the bead store, I hope that readers are inspired to use favorite pieces from their bead stash or the thrift store to make something cool.
I’ve also created a book website at beadsimple.com that has more information on the book and my fabulous guest designers, but as the release date gets closer, I’ll be adding short technique videos, more resources, and links to other jewelry and beading sites.
I am so thrilled about the book and can’t wait until it’s out in the world! Thank you so much to my amazing guest designers, to my wonderful editor at Taunton, to Andrew and my friends and family for encouraging me, and to my susanstars customers for their support of my little business over the last six years.
Back to projects to make and other people’s craft doings tomorrow… and thanks so much to Megan for posting her interview with me over at Design Sponge today, it was a lot of fun to chat with you about craft projects, indie business and craft fairs — I really appreciate your thinking of me!
The CRAFT magazine “Last-Minute Halloween Costumes for Kids” segment was on the CBS Early Show this morning, and here’s the monkey costume I made! Complete instructions for how to make it are here. It’s a very easy project — just grab a hoodie and pants that fit your child and embellish them with a little felt and fleece, and add a couple of felt bananas to a treat bag!
…and I do mean early! I just got the okay to post about a Halloween project I’ve been working on this week for CRAFT magazine — one of five handmade costumes for kids that Natalie Zee Drieu will be presenting on the CBS Early Show on Saturday! CRAFT asked me, Nancy Flynn, Cathy Callahan, and Diana Eng to each make up a fun, easy costume project that viewers can create for their kids in time for Halloween!
You can see what time the Early Show airs in your city here, and set your tivo accordingly. Not only do I have I have rabbit ears and not much else for my five-channel TV, but I’ll be in San Francisco for the weekend, so I’ll be watching the dvr’ed show later at Nancy’s — thank you, Nancy!
I can’t wait to see the show — I’ll post on Saturday with an update! Photos, details, and how-tos will be on the CBS website first thing on Saturday morning, as well as on the front page of the CRAFT site.
update: I’m sad to report that my nephew Julian, who was going to wear my costume, is sick and can’t do the show. But superstar Natalie has already found a little girl to go on instead, thanks Natalie!!
I got a chance to do some crafting for fun this week, for the first time in far too long! I whipped up some fun appliqued pieces for my dear friend and for her little boy, due in December. I found a onesie, a baby shirt, a bib, and a t-shirt for her at the Children’s Exchange (a maternity and kids consignment store down the street), and added some fun, simple appliques to liven them up (and cover up a boring design, in the case of the red onesie).
I have always loved whales so this seemed like the perfect little thing to decorate his pieces with. The applique process is so simple: just draw your design on the paper side of a piece of steam-a-seam, press the sticky side to your fabric, cut it out, peel away the paper, and press it onto the garment with a hot steam iron. It worked perfectly on each of these little things. Then I just edged the designs with a tight zig-zag stitch for added security.
I also added a little heart-shaped applique with a monkey on it to a plain bib the same way!
And I appliqued a little sewing machine on a plain t-shirt for my super crafty friend.
This is a great instant-gratification craft project — just fancy up something plain, or cover up a rip, stain, or ugly design with a bright, cheerful applique!
Heather Mann, who edits CROQ, and Lee Meredith, who writes and publishes do stuff!, are two of the most prolific crafter-writers I know — they both work on all kinds of cool projects, not least of which are their jam-packed crafty zines. If you haven’t had the pleasure of checking their publications out, do stuff! and CROQ are both available online as well as in stores.
And if you’re in Portland, both of them will be reading from their work at the library tomorrow night as part of the Zinesters Talking series! Just stop by the Hollywood Library at 6:30 to see the presentation. I’m so looking forward to it. I really love the Multnomah County Library — they host all kinds of cool events and this one is a standout.
If you go:
In other Portland news, it’s official: sweet potato fries and pumpkin milkshakes are in season and on the menu at Burgerville. I had both of them for dinner tonight, and they were awesome. FYI: if you sign up for the Burgerville email newsletter, you get a coupon for a free sweet potato fries, and if you buy a Chinook Book, you get a buy-one-get-one-free milkshake coupon. Just a suggestion…
Cathy Pitters of Bossa Nova Baby is having an art opening tonight at Alma Chocolate on NE 28th here in Portland. She sent me a couple of photos from hanging the show earlier today, and like the sneak peek I got at her studio the other day, they look amazing!
Cathy says, “In honor of Dia de los Muertos I have made a new batch of shrines using religious imagery and lots of colorful tin and vintage metal scraps cut into various shapes… birds, flowers, leaves. They are similar to work I have done in the past but the metal brings a new element that I am really excited about! If you can’t make it to the opening, the show will hang for about a month — through the middle of November. For those of you who came last year, Sarah from Alma will be serving the same delicious chocolate bread pudding! YUM!”
If you’re not in Portland, you can see more of Cathy’s work on the art section of her website.
If you go:
Thursday, October 18th – 6:30 – 8:30pm
at Alma Chocolate
140 NE 28th Ave., Portland
(just north of Burnside)
ps: Portland Fashion Week is starting up tomorrow — I highly recommend checking out UltraPDX for lots of visuals and info on the shows and events. There’s an interesting free panel discussion tomorrow at noon, “Talking Fashion: Boutiques and Designers.” Panel members include Jo Carter, owner of Physical Element; Giovanna Parolari, owner of Una; Elizabeth Dye, owner of The English Dept and designer of Elizabeth Dye; and designers Liza Rietz, Rebecca Pearcy (Queen Bee Creations), and Alice Dobson (Sofada).
If you go:
Boutiques and Designers panel
12:00 noon, Friday, October 19
The Art Institute
1122 NW Davis St., Portland
A quick PSA: the deadline to register to vote here in Oregon, or change your address if you’ve moved recently, is tomorrow (Tuesday 10/16) for the November 6 election. You can update your address online or register here if you live in Multnomah County, or go here for info covering the rest of the state.
Ballots will be in the mail soon, so don’t wait around!
I’m teaching the featured craft project at the free DIY table all afternoon at Crafty Wonderland on Sunday — Martha Stewart‘s Clothespin Bats! You can find instructions and templates for the project here — it’s very kid-friendly and a super cute way to decorate the house for Halloween. We’ll have all the supplies on hand, plus glitter, sequins and rhinestones for making your bats fancy.
find the project here on the Martha Stewart website
And if you are in town, please stop by the sale!
11-4 on Sunday, October 14
Doug Fir Lounge
801 E Burnside St., Portland
One of my favorite designers, Torie Nguyen of Totinette, is having a trunk show this Thursday night at Mabel & Zora! It’s part of Alberta St.’s Fashion by Flashlight, a special evening of trunk shows and sales up and down the street. She’ll have tons of designs for sale like earrings in fall colors with vintage and new materials — so new they’re not on her website yet.
This pair of wood earrings is one of my all-time favorite things in the world — I wear them all the time, and they go with everything. Torie has a great eye for color and shape, and I can’t wait to see her new work! And Mabel & Zora is a fabulous store to check out if you haven’t been by yet.