Sunday, December 24, 2006

Knitted Felted Ballerina Slippers

I have been making a few more pairs of the knit Felt Ballerina Slippers from Fiber Trends for the women in my family as Christmas gifts. I used Berkshire yarn from Valley Yarns. It is 85% Wool and 15% Alpaca. The Alpaca fiber felts very well.

The Berkshire yarn is a heavy worsted weight, so it was a bit tricky trying to get the sizing right. It was also challenging trying to get them to dry into a nice shape. I ended up using a two way shoe stretcher to dry the ballet slippers on.

I embellished the slippers with yarn in contrasting colors and commercial felt that I cut with pinking shears. I sewed the buttons to the strap, and sewed a loop of clear jewelry elastic on to the body of the slipper that loops over the button and strap. The stretch of the elastic allows you to slip the shoes on an off without having to deal with the button.

You can see the first pair I made here.

Monday, December 18, 2006

My favorite felt artists

Whether it be made from loose fibers, knit, crochet, or commercially made, I adore felt. Creating a fabric by wadding up a bunch of fibers seems like magic. I have created a few knit and hand felted items, like this, and this, in addition to a few scarves, but would like to explore the medium more. Here is a list of a number of felt artists that I find truly inspirational.

Lizzie Houghton
Gail Crossman Moore
Thomas Horst
Natalya Pinchuk
Jeung-Hwa Park
Ann Kyyro Quinn
Latifa Medjdoub
Sonya Mackintosh
Nicole Chazaud Telaar

The International Felt makers Guild has some good resources too. What felt artists do you like? The rose in the photo was created from a Two Old Bags pattern.

Friday, December 15, 2006

An Inconvenient Truth, the move.

A few weeks ago I had a chance to see the movie An Inconvenient Truth. If you have not had a chance to see this move, it is really important that you do. I highly recommend it. It simply explains global warming without making you feel guilty or stupid. As a result of viewing this move, I am going to add a few links to the sidebar that offer green products and articles.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Knit Pattern: Mr. Hankey Christmas Poo

I decided to add a little humor to my Christmas decorations collection this year. This is what I came up with.


Chunky yarn, brown

Worsted yarn, red

The pattern is now available at my etsy store:

You can view more photos here.

This pattern is copyright by Ansley B. Davies and is intended for personal use only.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Holiday Art Boutique this weekend

Buy Handmade for the Holidays!

The San Gabriel Bead Company Holiday Staff Boutique

Featuring mosaics, ceramics, magnets, journals, sterling silver jewelry, handmade beads, beadwork, fused glass and more.

Friday, December 8th, 12 – 9pm
Saturday, December 9th, 10 – 6pm
Sunday, December 10th, 12 – 5pm

Featured Artists
Mariah Bonner
Ansley Davies
Jennifer Morris
Alice Neal
Shu – Shu Perugino
Shirley Whong

The San Gabriel Bead Company

325 East Live Oak
Arcadia, CA 91006

This will be my last boutique for the season. I hope you can make it!

Felted Baby's Yoda hat

I saw a pattern for a knitted baby's Yoda hat today. You can find the pattern at Meandering.
Thanks Sunshyne!

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Carrie Fisher and the knit Leia wig.

An amazing artist, Donald Roller Wilson, and dear friend of Carrie Fisher commissioned me to knit a Leia wig for Carrie's birthday. I knit it out of a gorgeous brown Misti Alpaca Chunky yarn.

Carrie Fisher has a new one-woman show at the Geffen Playhouse called Wishful Drinking. The show has had great reviews. At some point in the show she wears the knit Leia wig I made for her. You can see a full sized photo of Carrie wearing it in Variety Magazine here.

Winter Holiday Tree made of wood

Today I went to a coffee shop by work and saw this amazing winter holiday tree.

I usually am not interested in winter holiday ornaments, but this one struck me. I really like that is not completely Christmas oriented. I am going to try to make one. I found some unfinished wood cutouts at Michaels and Woodworks, Ltd

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Galley of Leia Wigs

I have posted a gallery of Leia Wig photos on my Flickr page. Thanks to all of you who sent me photos. They look great!

If you knit the Leia wig and have not sent me a photo, it is not too late. Send it in and I will post it with all the others.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Bohemian Hoop Earring Workshop

Do you love hoop earrings? Would you like to learn how to make your own?

I am teaching a workshop on how to make Bohemian Hoop Earrings. We go through the basics
on how to make a hoop from sterling silver wire. You then learn how to embellish the hoop by binding them with beads and more wire.

Tuesday, November 28th

7 - 10pm
The San Gabriel Bead Company

325 E Live Oak Ave
Arcadia, CA

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Etsy, a wonderful place to shop

Etsy, a wonderful place to shop.

Many of you already know about this great site that features amazing items hand made by artists. It is a great place to purchase unique gifts.

I have linked to my Etsy store in the left hand column marked SHOP. My store is called Bleu Arts, but you have to search for me under ansleybleu. I will be adding new items as soon as I get a chance to photograph more of my handcrafts.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Pincushion Bracelets

I saw this fantastic tutorial on how to make wrist pincushions over at My Little Mochi. I knew I had to make a few as presents for all my friends who sew.

I went to buy elastic headbands and found that the round elastic ones were only available in boring colors. I chose ‘ouchless girls reversible headwraps’ by Goody, which are flat, brightly colored elastic.

I went to my favorite fabric store in Downtown LA, Michael Levine. I found this colorful floral fabric called Celebración that was designed by Kathy Hall of the Museum of New Mexico, Museum of International Folk Art. Andover Fabrics printed the fabric.

I used a compass to make a circular template out of cardstock. That way I could trace out a perfect circle on my fabric before I cut it.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Sous Le Soleil, an outdoor artist boutique Nov. 18th

You are invited to Sous Le Soleil, an outdoor artist boutique.

Saturday, November 18th
, 12 - 5pm
330 Redwood Dr.
Pasadena, CA 91105

Featuring the handmade jewelry, clothing, plushies, drawings & more of:

Ian Atol
, Kari Atol, Tyn Atol, Michelle Caplan, Ansley Davies, Renee Dominique, Shari Enge, Emilyn Eto, C. J. Metzger, Miss Mindya, Jennifer Morris, Matt & Erin Sloan, and Denise Young .

Live music provided by C.K.T. and guests.


Thursday, November 09, 2006

How to: Create your own lip balm recipe.

A couple of years ago I saw a great lip balm tutorial at Not Martha. I was very inspired by it and decided to create my own recipe. It was a little difficult finding information about what works best. After a lot of research, I compiled a list of what to do.

The Basics:

For a firm lip balm that can be used in a tube or tub, you will need a ratio of about 2:4 solids to liquids. Solids meaning wax & butters, liquids meaning oils. If you find your final product too thick, add more oils. If it is too thin, add more solids.

For solids, I use bee’s wax & mango butter. Other solids are also available.

For liquids, I use sweet almond oil, olive oil, castor oil, and avocado oil. Other types of liquids are available.

Put all of your ingredients in a double boiler and let them melt. Make sure to stir the mixture. Add essential oils just before you are ready to fill your tubes or tubs. This way they will not have a chance to evaporate.

When creating a recipe, be sure to write down the ingredients you have added to each batch including the measurement. I add ingredients a half teaspoon at a time until I get it right. Once you get it right, you will know just how much of each item you used. There will be no need to figure it all out again.

Equipment Needed:

• Stovetop
• Double boiler to melt ingredients in

• Measuring spoons
• Plastic pipettes (droppers) to help you pour melted ingredients into your tubes or tubs without spilling.
• Tubes or tubs to hold lip balm. I prefer to use metal tins instead of plastic because they have less of an environmental impact.
• Labels, if you plan to sell or give as gifts.

Where to shop:

There is a big selection of recipe’s at the Ponte Vedra Soap Shoppe. I shop at Majestic Mountain Sage. They have many exotic oils and good prices. Be sure to check the net because there may be a new company that has popped up that worthy of attention too. If you can’t wait to get started, and good health food store or Whole Foods Market will carry most of the ingredients you need.

About ingredients:
Castor Oil will make your balm glossy

Shea butter can be stinky and needs to be melted at a certain temperature. If you do not pay attention to this it will become grainy. Use mango or another type of butter instead.

Stay away from hydrogenated oils because they are unhealthy.

Vitamin E Acetate is an antioxidant and extends the shelf life of your product. Make sure to use it in every recipe. I use vitamin E oil that comes in gelatin capsules. They are easy to puncture and squeeze into the mixture.

If you prefer a sweet lip balm, add some honey.

If you like tinted lip balm, add some of your favorite lipstick to the mixture. If you want to experiment with making your own colors you can purchase Iron Oxide, Mica Powder, or D&C colors to add to the mixture. Mica Powders will add a shimmer to you final product.

Avoid artificial flavors. There are many natural essential oils that can be used which will increase your lip balm's healing potential.

About Essential Oils:
Use essential oils such as tea tree oil, rosemary, sage, peppermint, spearmint, anise, vanilla, cinnamon oil, camphor oil, lavender or ginger. A combination of any of these can be nice as well.

Tea tree oil is known for its antibacterial, antifungal and antiseptic qualities.

Camphor, and mints are cooling.

Cinnamon and ginger are warming.

Do not use any essential oils that are from the citrus family because they make the skin photosensitive.

About Labels:

If you want to make up your own labels, Dover Publications has a great selection of clip art available. You can sign up for free design samples that they e-mail to you about every other week.

Other uses for ‘lip balm’:
These balms are good for cuticles and hands, if you create one without color or sweetener. Balms are great if you work with PMC too, just as long as you do not use any petroleum products in your recipe.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Public Art at the LA County Zoo

I visited the LA Zoo on Halloween weekend. This may be considered unfortunate because it was a Boo at the Zoo day, so there were hoards of people there. Luckily it was fun to see so many kids wearing Halloween costumes.

I was surprised to find a nice selection of public art throughout the zoo. Many of the structures that house the animals can be considered works of art, but I am referring to actual sculptures located throughout the zoo grounds.
The first think I noticed was an amazing fence made of sculptural animal silhouettes.

I liked the recycled glass that had been pressed into the concrete of the entryway.
Just inside the park there is a great curving rusty wall with animal cutouts.

I also enjoyed the mosaic cow and fantastical sink just outside the petting zoo.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Creative Arts Group Annual Art Festival

Creative Arts Group is hosting their
Annual Art Festival

Friday, Nov.10th, 7 – 10pm
Saturday, Nov.11th, 10 – 6pm
Sunday, Nov.12th, 11 – 5pm

The work of more than 70 professional artists will be available for sale. Some of my fused glass necklaces, fused glass magnets, and mosaic flowerpots will be for sale in the gallery. It is a fun event and great place to pick up interesting, one of a kind gifts. Be sure to pick up a workshop schedule too. They have great workshops for children and adults.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Knit Pattern: The Rolled Brim Boyfriend Hat

This hat is a quick, inexpensive and easy project to make. It is perfect for winter holiday gift giving.

15” US 9 circular needle
US 9 double pointed needles
1 skein Cascade 220 yarn
Tapestry needle

Thanks for stopping by. This pattern is now available at my etsy store.

Monday, October 30, 2006

The American Museum of Ceramic Art opening, Saturday Nov. 11th

The American Museum of Ceramic Art is announcing the opening of their next exhibition,

Raku: Origins, Impact & Contemporary Expression

November 11 – January 6, 2007
Opening Reception, November 11, 6 – 9pm

This is a great opportunity to enjoy raku pottery created by world renown artists, Tim Andrews, Jean Biagini, Stephen Branfman, Chang-Juan Chang, Patrick Crabb, Aline Favre, Fabienne Gioria, Rick Hirsch, David Jones, Paul Soldner, Jim Romberg, and Toshio Ohi. In addition, the museum gift store will expand to contain handmade raku and other pottery created by artists.

Second Saturdays are ‘art walk night’ in downtown Pomona. There are many galleries that will be open, all within walking distance of AMOCA.

The art of food at Paradise Pastry & Cafe

I have discovered a very tempting reason to be fat… Paradise Pastry & Cafe. It is a huge bakery, deli, and café located in Glendale, CA.

The food was amazingly delicious, the pastry was gorgeous and scrumptious, and the price was right. The caf
é featurs Russian Armenian food.

In my opinion, it is very rare to discover a place where everything I taste gets a gold star. Really, who ever heard of a decorative pastry that tastes better than it looks?
I think I may have to monitor my visits to this place, as it could become addictive.

Saturday, October 28, 2006


Tonight there is an art opening for Edgar Arceneaux at SUSANNE VIELMETTER LOS ANGELES PROJECTS from 6 – 9pm. The title of the exhibition is “The Alchemy of Comedy…Stupid” which features a nine channel video installation with comedian David Alan Greir. This piece examines the structure and nuance, the rapture and pathos of jokes. This exhibition will be on display until December 2nd.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Calling all knit Leia Wigs!

I would love to post a group of knit Leia Wig pictures. If you knit the Leia Wig, please send me an image so I can create a gallery and everyone can see them.
Thank you all!
Ansley Bleu

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Art Opening at Bent

On Saturday night I went for a walk after dinner and came across an art opening at Bent, a clothing/art gallery store in South Pasadena on Mission Street. The show was titled Tristan and the Pork Bean Club. There were three illustrators showing, Jeff McMillan, Ronald Llanos, and Thomas Broersma. The gallery had a dj and refreshments to compliment to show.

It was a nice exhibition. I particularly liked the work by Ronald Llanos. His work reminded me of a cross between illustrations of Daniel Clowes and R. Crumb. This exhibit will run through November 21st, 2006.

Container Water Garden

Last year I spent a month in Thailand. Everywhere I went there were these very large ceramic pots filled with water lilies or other water plants and tiny fish. They were so beautiful, and being a big fan of the water lily flower, I know I had to come home and make a container water garden of my own.

I would have liked to get a gorgeous ceramic pot, but they tend to be very expensive. So, a few months ago I was at my local home improvement store and came across a large plastic liner that would perfectly fit the half wine barrel I already had.

A friend of mine who has a pond directed me to Morning Sun Garden in San Gabriel. They had a good selection of pond plants and fish. It turns out that they only had large water lilies that would have been too crowded in my tub. I ended up getting Water Hyacinths, Fairy Moss, Anacharis, Anubius round leaf, Amazon Sword Plant, goldfish, and mosquito fish.

The Water Hyacinth and Fairy Moss float on top of the water. Water Hyacinth has a thick root mass that helps filter the water and the Fairy Moss acts as a sunshade. The fish like to nibble these two plants too. The other plants are submerged and provide habitat and oxygen for the fish. The Anacharis plant provides a lot of oxygen. I also added gravel to the bottom of the pond and a few granite boulders from my front yard to enhance the habitat.

Two other stores in the LA area that have a good selection of pond plants and animals are California Waterscapes and Sunland Water Gardens. It is a great joy to sit outside and watch the fish swim around in the water.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Mosaic Flowerpots

Do you love to have potted plants in your home? If so, here are some beautiful handmade mosaic flowerpots that I have created. The look gorgeous and may be used both inside and outside.

Each mosaic flowerpot is created with colorful pieces of stained glass that I have hand cut and adhered with great care. The flowerpot mosaics are created upon a terracotta base and come in a range of sizes and shapes.

The large sized pot on the left is 10.5" tall and costs $75. Smaller pots cost less. Send me an e-mail if you would like a work of art for your treasured plants.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Travel Coin Bracelet

I have had a small coin collection since I was a child. Many of the coins were from my family’s travels abroad. The coins always sat in a drawer. I wanted to do something with them, but was not sure what.

Recently, my mother came up with this great design to make a bracelet from all those coins. She drilled holes on either side of each coin, domed them, and then linked them with oval jumprings.

She made this one for me that has coins from some of the European counties I have visited. This one has coins from France, Italy, Portugal, Spain, and Greece. It is a fun and inexpensive souvenir.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Autumn Lights 06, art exhibition

Last weekend I went to Little Tokyo in downtown Los Angeles and came across an art opening presented by Lilli Muller in the Eli & Edythe Broad Plaza of the Department of Transportation building. The exhibition was titled Autumn Lights 06.

The plaza was fille
d with videos projected against different portions of the building, sculptures, installation art and a stage for bands to play. A number of fancifully dressed performers were walking around too. It was a bit like walking around is a tiny tamed down version of Burning Man.

My three favorite art pieces were a transparent car constructed from wire and tape or cellophane by Robert Reynolds, a video mounted on the ceiling of an open glass tower in the building by Robert Drummond , and a black light sensiti
ve installation piece.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Pressed Penny & Nickel Bracelet

My friend Boolane, who is a ranger at Black Rock City, has pennies and nickels pressed each year to give out as presents to the citizens of the city. I made up this bracelet after seeing something similar my mom had created.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Pressed Penny Bracelet

I adore pressed pennies. I have been collecting them since I was a child. A few years ago, while working in a bead store, I had an idea of what to do with all of them. I think of it as a modern day charm bracelet where every penny has a memory of a place I visited.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Leia's white 'A New Hope' gown

Well, now that I have the Leia wig, I was thinking I really need the white gown to go with it. There is a great website that has general instructions on how to make the gown. Included are great instructions on making the belt too. Another website shows how the hood is attached to the gown.

It would be fantastic if there were a whole slew of Leia’s across the globe this Halloween. Megan from Not Martha pointed me to an event that happened in San Francisco a few years ago. Too bad I missed out!

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Knit Pattern: The Leia Wig

The inspiration for this pattern came to me one day while shopping in a sporting goods store. I saw this fabulous full length white down coat that reminded me of a Princess Leia outfit. I thought, wow, now that would look great with a knitted ‘wig’ hat. And so, Leia was born.

Misti Alpaca Chunky, 2 skeins
100% baby Alpaca

Thank you viewing this pattern. It is now available at my etsy store:

Friday, August 18, 2006

Gladding, McBean Exhibition

The American Museum of Ceramic Art has a new exhibition on the way: Color Counts, Gladding McBean Commercial Pottery 1930 - 1950. Color Counts is a nostalgic walk through the 20th century's commercial pottery. Gladding McBean, who was located in California, was the largest ceramic manufacturer west of Chicago.

340 S Garey Ave
Pomona, CA 91766

The exhibition runs September 9th - November 4th. The opening event is Saturday September 9th from 12-10pm.

There will be a special event on Sunday, October 15th from 11a - 5pm featuring author James Elliot Bishop.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Raid Projects art opening

I went to an art opening at Raid Projects in Los Angeles this weekend. The main portion of the gallery featured enormous balloon sculptures by artist Jason Hackenwerth. They were colorful and amazing.

The North gallery featured artwork by artist in residence Aili Schmeltz. They were a series of sculptural installations that are reminiscent of architectural scale models.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Wild Wire Earring Workshop

Would you like to learn how to make these Wild Wire Earrings? I am teaching a workshop next Wednesday, August 2nd from 7-10 pm. It takes place at the San Gabriel Bead Company in Arcadia, CA.

Fee: $35 plus materials. A materials list of items you need to bring to class is provided when you sign.

American Museum of Ceramic Art

There is a new museum in Pomona, CA called the American Museum of Ceramic Art (AMOCA). It is a gorgeous little space dedicated to all things clay. Their current exhibition, Musical Mud, exhibits ancient and modern musical instruments made from clay. I have a new job there as the Curitorial Assistant. I am very excited.

Friday, July 21, 2006

My First Sweater, pt. 1

I am going to knit the Ballet Wrap Cardigan sweater which was on the cover of the winter '05 Interweave Knits. It will be my first. I received the Colinette Prism yarn in Kingfisher color as a birthday gift. It is beautiful, but the dyelot was really dark. I was hoping for a more purple/blue/green look, rather than navy blue with tiny amounts of purple/green. After much thinking, I realized the thin yarn binder is cotton and the rest of the yarn is wool. Wool and cotton take different types of dye. I could over dye the cotton to bring in more color without ruining the wool! Here is the result.

Friday, July 07, 2006

*Sous Le Soleil* An Outdoor Artist Sale

Sous Le Soleil (Under the Sun)
An Outdoor Artist Sale

Saturday July 15th
2 - 7 pm
330 Redwood Drive
Pasadena, CA

Featured Artists:
Ian Atol, Kari Atol, Tyn Atol, Ansley Davies, Renee Dominique,
Shari Enge, Emily Eto, Jennifer Morris, Denise Young

Live music by C. K. T.

Items for sale:
Original artwork, handmade jewelry, mosaic flowerpots, clothing and more.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Color on Color scarf pt.3

I have promised myself that I will finish this Color on Color scarf from the book Scarf Style. So, I am on to my second Fair Isle section of the scarf. I am pleased with the colors I have chosen. I will be evan more pleased when it is complete.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Knitted Toys

I went to LACMA for fathers day today to see the paintings by Gustav Klimt. They were lovely, but it was really crowded. I went into the gift shop and they had all these adorable knitted toys. I especially liked this knitted mermaid doll. I would really like to make it so, I hope to come across a pattern for one.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Striped Spiral Bracelet Workshop

Do you enjoy working with seed beads? Be bold with this mega twist bracelet workshop. Play with color and bead texture as you mix the elements that will intertwine together to form this fanciful bracelet.

Prerequisite: Some seed bead experience

Wednesday June 14th, 7-10pm

The San Gabriel Bead Company
Arcadia, California

A list of materials you will need to bring to class will be provided when you register.

Yarn Sales Galore!

Oh my, so many yarn stores are having sales! This Thursday both the Black Sheep Knittery in Hollywood and at A Stitch In Time in San Marino, CA start their sales. Then there is the bag sale this weekend at Yarn Lady . Also there is a pile of buy one get one free yarns at Stitch Café. I can’t wait!

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Mosaic Tabletop workshop

Have you wanted to make a mosaic, but did not know where to start? Here is you answer. Come to the mosaic tabletop workshop at the San Gabriel Bead Company in Arcadia, CA ( ) and make a table of your very own!

Basic mosaic techniques of cutting tile and glass, cementing, and grouting will be covered. A list of materials you will need to bring to class will be provided when you register.

The next workshop is schedule for :

Tuesday, August 8th & 15th 7-10pm

I hope you can make it!