Monday, October 20, 2008

From Sketchbook to Clutch

It should be no surprise to anyone that lately I've been drawing a lot of trees in my sketchbooks. I love the autumn season and how the trees change their color and their shape. I love seeing tall trees with just a few splashes of their colorful leaves still hanging tightly on. I thought I'd share some images from a recent page in my sketchbook to show how I take my ideas from that stage to the finished design.

This first page shows different kinds of trees I've been drawing. I often don't sketch in color. My favorite writing instrument is using a black or blue gel pen - my favorite being a G2. I usually use different pen strokes and cross hatching to show different colors or texture. The tree trees pictured are a pine variety, a maple, and an oak.

Here's a close up of my idea for a clutch with a pine tree. I want the main focus to be the tree, so not a whole lot of little detail will go into the rest of the clutch. I usually do decorative stitching or embroidery, but I like the simplicity of just the tree and grass. The dark area beneath the tree isn't a shadow, but instead will probably be dirt or leaves from other trees.

Here's the finished clutch. The "dirt" underneath the tree ended up being a burnt yellow hue and I added a small patch of brown and pink flower fabric to the one side. I'm really pleased with how the pine tree turned out and the shape that the needles took.

I have many more ideas for similar clutches in this style. I'm currently in the middle of a maple tree with red and orange leaves. I really like playing with the colors of autumn and incorporating these styles of trees into my clutches. I usually do just the botton trunks, so it's nice to change it up a little bit. Hope you've enjoy this look behing the scenes!


Friday, October 17, 2008

New Felt Pins in Shop!

Just wanted to do a quick post and show off some new pins I've been working on and listing lately.

First in the category of food......

The Carrot!

I did a variation of this pin a while ago and loved the outcome. I really like the leafy part on the top of the carrot. Definitely one of my all time favorite veggies!

The Apple!

My favorite pin I've done has been the red apple pin. Now that it's autumn and apples are surrounding me at every turn (see previous post for exactly what I mean by this!), I decided to do a bright green apple. Turned out beautifully, wouldn't you agree?

Second, in the category of nature....

Growing Sprouts!

This is probably my most popular design at the past couple craft shows I've done. The perfect pin for any gardner!

Winter Trees!

This one definitely has a winter vibe to it. It's the only one mentioned that has not been listed in our etsy shop. It will make its appearence very soon!

Well hope you've like this little ode to felt pins! Lots new in our shop today, check it out if you have the chance! Have a great weekend!


Thursday, October 16, 2008

Apples, apples, and even more apples....

One of my favorite things about the autumn season is fresh, crisp apples from the local orchards. In the past week alone, we've bought about 42 pounds of apples....which sounds like (and is!) a lot. Possibly the only place with more apples than we currently have is an orchard itself! Here's a shot of our crisper drawer in the refrigerator.

Notice how the spill onto the other shevles as well. (And this is only HALF of them!)

When sour cherries were in season, we tried our hand for the first time at drying fruit. The end result turned out pretty well. We got this old dehydrator from my parents, which had never been used, but also had no instructions. The dehydrator itself is pretty straightforward. There are no buttons or knobs and no way to adjust anything really. Essentially you just plug the cord in and let it go.

With that said, I've been relying on different websites I come across with hints and information about the process. The amount of time it takes is a little tricky because there's really nothing to go by. The cherries took about 8 hours to finish completely. The apples took much longer. Much, much, MUCH longer...... Here's two shots of them in the dehydrator dying away.

In the end, it took 18 for the first batch to be done and over 24 hours for our second batch to be finished. This of course also involved getting up multiple times in the middle of the night to check on their progress. The final result was wonderful, but it just took a little longer than expected. Needless to say I'll be making a lot of crisps/cobblers and desserts in the upcoming days!

I also just updated our Etsy shop with three new items. A few new things will also be added sometime tomorrow. Happy Thursday!


Monday, October 13, 2008

Newest Crafts and my Birthday!

Today is my birthday and lucky for me, it also happened to be a Monday, which meant I was free to craft for most of the day. I look forward to Mondays all week long because it gives me a good chance to work on new craft ideas and get caught up with craft related things. This morning I worked on some new felt pins and finished a few fall inspired clutches. Here's two finished products from my craft birthday morning.

Newest Craft #1:
Lately, I've been really into old, wire birdcages. I've always been a lover of flea markets and antique stores, and have often seen birdcages, but never really gave them a second thought. I epecially have been interested in the simple, but really old, almost dilapidated looking ones. The different shapes and gauge of the wires and the finished form is all really interesting to me. I've been sketching and looking at different vintages birdcages online a lot and got inspiration for this pin:

It's completely handsewn and embroidered and features a birdcage with the door open and a line swooping out, symbolizing that the bird has flew out. I have a lot of ideas for different variations of this design, so hopefully I can get some more done soon. Here's a closer shot of the embroidery:

Newest Craft #2
Now that it's October, fall is really starting to become apparent all around. As I'm writing this, I'm looking out a window to a huge orange and yellow maple tree. Who doesn't love seeing the trees change colors? I've been getting tons of inspiration just by looking outside my living room window lately and seeing the trees changing. I've also been playing around with different fabric combinations and colors that remind me of fall. This is the newest clutch I made with a fall inspired feel. I'm calling it "October Tree on a Hill" clutch.

I'll be posting a few items today and then some more tomorrow. I still have no internet connection at my apartment, so I'm relying heavily on the library to do my listings for Etsy and such. The only days that new listings will occur is on Monday, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays. Obviously, though usually not on all those days every week! Hope you like this little sneak peak of new items! Have a good fall Monday!


Monday, October 6, 2008

Maine, Maine, Maine

Our recent trip to Maine was very inspiring for us, especially in terms of crafting! If you've never been to Maine, I highly reccommend making a trip there. It's a beautiful state and the rocky coastlines are amazing. On our most recent trip, we spent time around Portland, visited various parks along the coast, and of course ate the best lobster roll in the area. Here's some photos from our trip:

This is the house that we're planning to buy. Well, at least the house we would like to buy. It's in Portsmouth, New Hampshire and is part of the Strawbery Banke area, which is the oldest neighborhood in New Hampshire. And it's actually for sale! It's from the 1700s, so I imagine the price to be quite high, but it's a gorgeous house!

Here in the best lobster roll in the Portland area. It was delicious and the size of the pieces of lobster were gigantic! We ate these at a place called Two Lights Lobster Shack, which is located in Cape Elizabeth, Maine. There's a ton of picnic tables outside which is right by the rocky coast. A perfect way to enjoy a local treat and the amazing scenery! Sadly, we only made it here one day for the lobster rolls, but we plan on going back the next time we're in Maine.

This is the Portland Head Light, which is the most photographed lighthouse.

Here's another lighthouse we visited, although I can't remember the name. The walk out to the lighthouse was really pretty because the walkway was made of granite rocks all put together. Here's a close up of the walkway.

This was at a little beach we found next to Southern Maine Community College. I love the red/orange color of the rock.

Of course, being in New England and at the coast, you're never at a loss to see boats. Here was my favorite boat I saw.

Well that's all for now. Check back tomorrow to see some new projects we're working on!