Sunday, December 30, 2007

More Handmade Holiday Gifts

Every year I make jewelry for one or more of the women on my holiday gift list. It makes me feel like I am giving something really nice and the projects are usually really quick to make. Here are the three pieces that I made this year. All projects were inspired by items I had seen while browsing at etsy.

These pink Sapphire & Sterling earrings were made for one of my cousins.

These pink Swarovski crystal & Sterling earrings were made for another cousin.

This felt and glass bead necklace was made for my step-mom. I really liked how this one turned out, so I think I will make a few more of them.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Felt Ball Tutorial

I just stumbled across another tutorial for making felt balls with the wet felt method over at Coco Knits. She used wool scrap just like the tutorial I posted awhile back, but her balls have a Styrofoam ball center, so less wool is used. Coco Knits also has a few other great knitting tutorials too.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Bed to Lounge, Ikea Hacker

When I moved in with my boyfriend last summer we both had beds, but no couch. Our loft is fairly spacious, so we decided to convert one of the bed frames into a lounge couch for the living room. This way, we have the benefits of a couch and a guest bed too.

We took the headboard off of a full sized Dalselv bed frame from Ikea and re-attached it to the long side of the bed. We marked equidistant spaces for the bars, drilled holes for them, and purchased another piece of lumber to cap the top of the headboard.

I purchased a futon cover for the mattress, and covered some giant pillows for the backrest. I used cotton fabric including a bunch of Amy Butler prints. It is so comfy that I may not ever be able to go back to a regular couch.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Handmade Holiday Dessert

I wanted to make a fun dessert for the holiday dinner. When I saw this cute Icebox Peppermint Yule Log Cake posted at Craftzine, I knew this is what I was going to make.

I could not find Peppermint extract at my grocer, so I decreased the amount of sugar and substituted Peppermint Torani syrup.I did not purchase enough whipping cream either, so my "bark" did not come out as pretty as the original. I used Droste cocoa powder in the whipped cream tasted like an outstanding chocolate ice cream.

Handmade Holiday Gifts

This holiday I made a bunch of gifts for my family members. All the women in my family received a wellness bag from me. This is what the kit included:
-eye pillow that was inspired by this project from Sew, Mama, Sew!
-soy wax jar candle, supplies from General Wax.
-a CD of meditations from the Meditation Oasis podcast.
-a bar of felted soap.

Free Pattern: Felted Knit Mushrooms

I have just come across these adorable knit and felted mushroom patterns by Kathryn Ivy. You can see more photos of her work at her flickr page.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Printable Holiday Gift Tags Round-up

I use a lot of gift tags during the holidays. In the past I have purchased them, but was always unsatisfied with how they looked. I have came across a few free downloads for beautiful, non-cheezy gift tags:
Paper Seed
Kitty Genius
Delicious Days
Angry Chicken
Liquid Paper, via
Matthew Mead
HGTV Canada
Bella Dia has a printable gift tag round-up too.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Decorated: Table top Christmas Tree

I wanted to find some type of garland to decorate my
table top Christmas trees. I looked in several stores and nothing was inspiring me. I finally found what I was looking for at Michaels. It was a beaded wire with large sequins attached to it that was made for decorating gift packages. Now my dinner table is complete. Yeah!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Knitting fingerless gloves

I get cold hands all the time, especially when browsing on the computer. I like wearing fingerless gloves and have started hunting for a new pattern to knit up. I have already made three pairs. Two of them were patters from Interweave Knits which you can see here.

While browsing I came across this great list of free patterns for knit mittens and gloves over at Knitting Pattern Central. Although they would not really help keep my hands warm, I really liked these Mushroom Pulse Warmers over at Hello Yarn. I am still searching for my perfect pattern.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Where to buy handmade for the holidays

Many of you may have taken the Buy Handmade pledge this year, where you pledge to purchase handmade goods for presents and ask that others do the same for you. Here is a little list of places to shop that can help you keep this promise.

a few of my favorite etsy shops:

Felt Club Vendors

Indie Fixx

Around the Los Angeles area
Creative Arts Group, Sierra Madre
Handmade Galleries LA, Sherman Oaks
Hollywood Farmer's Market, Hollywood
Eagle Rock area

Be sure to check the ads in the back of magazines for great indie finds too:
Ready Made

Friday, December 07, 2007

How to: Table top Christmas Tree

I am hosting the family holiday dinner at my house for the first time this year. I do not want to buy a tree, but feel like their needs to be some sort of d├ęcor, other than a pretty table. So, I decided to make a set of three small trees that could be arranged on a tabletop and used year after year. I still have to decorate them. I like the idea that, because they have a Styrofoam base, these trees can be re-decorated each year for a different look.


Styrofoam cones
Felt fabric (I used a wool blend yardage)

Straight pins with a small head

Pinking shears
Cardboard tube

White glue

Craft knife


Ribbon or other decorations


Cut felt fabric into 2” wide strips.

Trim the bottom edge of the strips with the pinking shears.

Cut the strips of felt into smaller rectangular pieces.

Use straight pins to attach pieces of felt onto the Styrofoam cone. Be sure to start from the bottom and work your way up, overlaping your layers as if you are putting shingles on a roof.
On the next row up, st
agger the next row of felt, like you are laying down a wall of
Trim the cardboard tube to the length you would like, and use white glue to cover it with felt fabric. This will be the trunk of the tree.

Trace the circumference of the trunk on the base of the tree.
Use a craft knife to cut a channel to fit the trunk of the tree into.

Glue the tree trunk into place.

Decorate the tree with ribbon, mini pom-poms, or whatever you desire.

You can see the trees all decorated here.

Monday, November 19, 2007

I am knitting a Katamari Ball hat.

I have been working on a knit Katamari Ball hat based on instructions from Easliy Amused. I am using Merino Style yarn from Knit Picks in colors Storm, Asparagus, and Cinnamon.

I entered the gauge from my knitted swatch into the pattern generator for an ear flap hat that was created by The Knitting Fiend as suggested by Easily Amused.

I wrote up a pattern for the bumps which I will post when the hat is complete. I am filling the bumps with 2" Styrofoam balls that have the bottom trimmed off so they have a flat side. I covered the balls with a thin layer of batting and then stuffed them into the feet of stockings before they received their knitted cover.

I can't wait to see the finished product.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

DIY Pore Clearing strips

I enjoy creating handmade bath and body products. I can have control over the quality of the product while making the whole house smell amazing. I like giving handmade body products as gifts because I feel like I am giving a really luxurious present for a fraction of the price.

I just came across this site, Bath and Body Recipes, that has 787 recipes for bath and body products. There are many many sites out there with these types of recipes, but this is the first time I have seen a recipe for making your own pore clearing strips.

You can read an article I wrote a while back about how to create your own lip balm recipe here.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Knitted Bangle Tutorial

I was browsing over in the flickr Crazy for Knitting pool and came across these fabulous knitted bangles by See Mi Knit. She has written up a tutorial for how to create your own. You can see more pictures of her finished knits here.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Vote for Holiday Softies now!

Voting has begun for the 2007 Holiday Softie Awards over at Softies Central. Mr. Hankey did not make it to the finals, but there are tons of others that deserve your vote. Winners will be announced on November 14th.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Color on Color pt. 4, COMPLETE!

I started this Color on Color scarf designed by Kathryn Alexander from the Scarf Style book by Pam Allen back in early 2006 (or was it late 2005?). The wonderful ladies at Unraveled were hosting a kal. You can read earlier posts here.

This was my fist "large project" and I could not have completed it without help. I learned intarsia, fair aisle, i-cord, 3 needle bind off, how to pick-up and knit in another direction, and how to make button holes.

I used Merino Style yarn from Knit Picks. Merino Style is a nice yarn with beautiful colors, but if I were to do it again, I would have not used the red and pink. I would have dyed some yarn a fuchsia color and maybe a few other colors too. Or, I would have used the Paternayan yarn that was called for because it comes in so many many colors.

I would also have knit my i-cord longer and thinner. As it is, I ended up cheating a bit and braiding the pieces on the ends, otherwise this scarf would have still been sitting in a bag incomplete. I adore all the color, but I think this piece is a little too colorful.....and it looks like it belongs in the circus. Oh well.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

DIY Costume Wings Roundup

I was over at the Craftzine blog and saw this amazing video tutorial on making your own wings from Threadbanger. I remembered that I had seen a few other tutorials around the web. So here they are:
Simplicity classroom: How to Make Wings
Instructables: How to Make a Pair of Angel Wings
Squidoo: Make your own Fairy Wings, scroll down a bit
WikiHow: How to Make Fairy Wings
CDHM: How to Make Fantasy Film Fairy Wings, these are small for dolls
Craftgrrl: Fairy Wings
Angry Chicken: Fairy Items
Knitting And: Halloween Fairy Wings
Dicey Home: Fairy Wings
Family Fun: Fancy Fairy Costume
About: How to Make Fairy Wings
Sonic: Make Your Own Fairy Wings

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Wonder Woman Accessories

After I created the Leia Wig, I wanted to make more items that represented strong female role models of my childhood. I was a big fan of the Bionic Woman, but she had no iconic costume paraphernalia. Making a bionic ear was a thought, but a little obtuse, and you would not be able to wear it.

The equally best thing was to create something that was wonderfully Wonder Woman. As a young girl I had always coveted those fabulous evil deflecting gold bracelets and fancy gold crown.

And so, I present these Wonder Woman accessories, which are perfect for days when you need a little help feeling like a hero, or just want to play dress-up. They are available in my etsy store.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Yarn made of old newspaper

De Zeen, Design Magazine has a post up about yarn that has been manufactured from old newspapers. The idea comes from Greetje van Tiem and was exhibited during the Design Academy Eindhoven graduation show. It is a very fine guage yarn and is mainly being used for weaving, although their site shows an image of an automan covered with knit newspaper yarn. Via Dutch Design Week via Mocoloco.

Knitted Scene from an Animated Video

I was over at the Craftzine blog and came across this amazing knitted scene that toki45 posted at Craftster. The inspiring animated video was for "I Lived on the Moon" from Kwoon's album "Tales and Dreams". The designer and director of the animated short was Yannick Puig.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Wool Breast Pads for nursing moms, Pt.2

I have received a review for the Wool Breast Pads I made last February for my friend who was having a baby shower. She liked the larger size, but the colors from the silk or dyed wool ended up bleeding when she released milk. They ended up only being appropriate for dark colored bras.

Costume-a-thon contest at Etsy

Etsy is hosting the ultimate handmade costume contest, and awarding eighteen winners with over $2,000 worth of prizes. These are the categories: Pet, Kid & Baby, T-Shirt Costume, Sci-Fi, Green, and General Awesomeness. The Judges are from,,,,,, and

I have entered my Knit Leia Wig pattern, and fleece edition Leia Wig.
You can see the other entries here.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

2007 Holiday Softie Awards

There are two weeks left to enter the 2007 Holiday Softie Awards going on over at flickr. There are a bunch of fun entries to look at. My Mr. Hankey doll has been entered into the Doll Dress up category. You can learn more about how to enter here. via Craftzine

Friday, October 12, 2007

Craft My Ride contest

Scion is hosting a competition for handmade car accessories called Craft My Ride. There are only 2 weeks left to submit. So start up your sewing machines, warm up your glue gun, and thread your needles! The best submission will receive a 2008 Scion xD. Yeah!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Buccaneer's Booty, knit sock pattern

I just stumbled across a knitting pattern for these super cute Buccaneer's Booty Socks. They are perfect for the fall Halloween days that are just a few weeks away. This pattern was designed by Anne Kuo Lukito of Crafty Diversions. I may have to start making socks now.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

The Art of Documentary Film

I have always been a big fan of documentary film. One of my friends has decided to embark upon a documentary project. The film is called Blood & Honey. It deals with the psychological pain of living with chronic illness and diabetes in particular.

Psychological pain is something that western medicine often does not include in its diagnosis and treatment plan. With the number of diabetes cases on the rise, this is an important film. If you are interested in this subject and would to make a tax deductible contribution, you may contact Dr.Bernstein here.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

DIY Labels

I wanted to add a label to my Fleece Leia Wigs that had my business name and online store listed on them. I decided to make them myself so I did not have to order thousands, also I had waited until almost the last minuet.

I had remembered that there were several posts about other crafters who had made their own labels on the Craftzine blog. This one by I Sew Biz seemed the easiest.

I headed over to my local fabric store and purchased the "Colorfast Sew-In Inkjet Fabric Sheets" by June Tailor. They worked out great.

For the first few wigs, I had sewn in the label so it showed. I decided to change this and now all the tags will be sewn into the inside.

Recycled Cardboard Chandelier

I am a big fan of things made from cardboard. Dutch designer Anneke Jakobs has created an amazing chandelier called the Chiquita Chandelier which is made from old cardboard Banana boxes. You can read more about the chandelier here at Inhabitat.

Be sure to check out some of the other amazing things she has created on her website.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

The Leia Wig, Fleece Edition

I have had many requests from non-knitters for a knit Leia Wig, rather than a pattern from my Etsy store. But because they take a while to make and Alpaca fiber is not cheap, they are a bit expensive. I was thinking of a way to produce them that was not so labor intensive. So, I present the Leia Wig, Fleece Edition.

It took a while to design a pattern that would fit just as nice as the knit version, but I think I finally did it. I will be offering these for sale during The Brewery Artwalk, October 6 & 7, in Unit 642, W-9. I mentioned the Artwalk here.

I will be offering the fleece version of the Leia Wig at my Etsy store in brown and black, just after Artwalk. They cost $49.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

The Brewery Art Walk, Oct. 6 & 7, 2007

The Brewery Fall 2007 ARTWALK is just around the corner.

Saturday and Sunday
October 6 & 7, 11am - 6pm

Come visit me and over 100 other working studios of Brewery artists and purchase art at studio prices.

2100 N Main St
Los Angeles, CA 90031

directions are here
list of participating artists with links here


images of previous ARTWALK's here

Thursday, September 13, 2007

My New Kitchen

I have a new working kitchen! The new loft came to us without closets or a kitchen, which was a trade-off. Although we have had to do a lot of work, we got a 1,200 sq. ft. place within an art colony for a decent price.

We purchased almost everything from Ikea. The cabinets are from the Akrum series with Applad doors, Lansa pulls, and Capita legs. The counter tops are Pragel. We got the steel sink, which is discontinued, from the as-is bin for half price, and chose the Edsvik faucet.
The spice racks, shelf, and paper towel holder are from the Grundtal series. The flooring is Armstrong's Standard Excelon industrial composition tile. You can see images of the progress on our kitchen here.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Knit Wonder Woman Sweater (Jumper)

Practical Polly has created an really fantastic knit Wonder Woman jumper (sweater). Hopefully the pattern will be available to us soon. via Craftzine

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Art Exhibition: Form and Imagination, Women Ceramic Sculptors

September 8th - November 24th, 2007

Opening Reception: Saturday, September 8th, 6-9 pm

Form and Imagination: Women Ceramic Sculptors exhibits the figurative art of fifteen female artists from across the United States whose narrative work has been inspired by their experiences as children, mothers, women, artists, wives, or simply as human beings. The sculptures, intricate and embellished, include figurines, dolls, torsos, and still lifes. Some contain a playful twist or fairytale-like quirkiness, while others specialize in irony or satire.

Featured artists include:

Lisa Clague, Cynthia Consentino, Debra Fritts, Linda Ganstrom, Marie E.v.B. Gibbons, Margaret Keelan, Coeleen Kiebert, Beth Lo, Janis Mars Wunderlich, Kathryn Rush, Kathy Ruttenberg, Esther Shimazu, Nan Smith, Cheryl Tall, and Patti Warashina

Special Events:

Forming the Figure in Clay – October 13th, 12-4pm, Fee: $10 adults, $5 children 12 & under. Learn how to form a simple figure in clay. This workshop is for children and families.

Guest Lecture with William Catling – Saturday, November 10th, 5pm

Pottery Market – Saturday, November 10th, 12-9 pm, free

Southern California potters sell their original ceramic artwork.

American Museum of Ceramic Art

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Bathroom Storage, Ikea hack

I was in desperate need of bathroom storage in our new loft. The sink is mounted to the wall, so there is no counter space. When we were shopping for our kitchen I came across these BYGEL accessories. Now there is space for hand towels, tooth brushes, and other bathroom items.

Shoe Storage, Ikea hack

I have been working hard at organizing my new loft living space. We had to install a kitchen, bathroom stuff, and build closets. I purchased a PAX closet from Ikea, but still did not have room for my shoes. I had purchased an AKRUM wall cabinet for the kitchen with the APPLAD doors and LANSA handles. We ended up changing the floor plan of the kitchen at the last minuet, and the cabinet would not fit. I realized that it was the perfect size for all my shoes. I purchased an extra set of the CAPITA legs, and now my shoes have a safe home where nobody has to look at them.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Vintage Ads, Modern Products

Worth 1000 has a few contests going on for advanced Photoshoppers. Boing Boing points to this contest using vintage ads to promote modern products. There are a ton of great ads there, but I really like this one for the Nintendo Wii which was created by gugacardo.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Free Pattern: Sabinette

Berroco has come up with a free pattern for scarf just like this one created by Queen Mud that I posted about a few weeks ago. Berroco's pattern is called Sabinette. I like how the architectural structure of the "rungs of the ladder" pop out like fringe when wrapped around the models neck. You can also see an un-felted version of this scarf here on the Berroco site.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Art or Not on TV

Ovation TV has a new program called Art or Not. I do not have this channel, but was pleased to see that they have many video clips available on their website. I wish there was more programming like this available on a regular basis.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Sewn Felt Slippers

Martha Stewart has a template to make your own sewn felt slippers from commercial felt. I would like to make a pair of these with a rubber sole so they can be worn around town.

The Draft Vader Helmet

The talented Ladylinoleum of Monster Crochet has just pointed me to her fantastic Draft Vader helmet creation. She suggested that her Draft Vader should date my Leia Wig. I could not agree more.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Ceramist, Laura Zindel

A few weeks ago I was browsing through Ceramics Monthly magazine and came across an article about ceramist, Laura Zindel. As an admirer of bug and beetle designs, I became an instant fan and placed an order immediately for her tumblers. They arrived in the mail and are gorgeous.

If you like these too, you may want to check out the ceramics of Catherine Reece of Village Clay Works.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

The Amazing Moxie Does it Again

One of my favorite needle felting artists, the amazing Moxie, whom I wrote about earlier, has once again wowed me. Her finger puppets make me giggle with glee, and this new fuzzeh one has put me over the top. You can see more of her fantastic needle felted creations on her flickr page. She also has an etsy store.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Felted Scarf in rainbow colors

I really like this knitted & felted Rainbow Scarf created by Queen Mudd from Sweden over at flickr. She has a ton of fantastic photos of knit items. Many of them are of lace. You can see a before felting photo of her Rainbow Scarf picture here. She also has a blog called Queen Mudd.

Friday, July 13, 2007

DIY Glowing Hoop

A while back Psi-hoops came out with these amazing hoops that have LED lights in them. They are really beautiful. I wanted to purchase one, but was scared away by the $200 price tag. You can see a few videos of them in action here.

Recently, jeffkobi posted a how-to on making your own LED Hula Hoop over at instructables. He said he spent about $15 in materials. Yeah!

To learn more about the hooping phenomenon, go to

Two Crafty Events this Weekend

The American Museum of Ceramic Art is hosting its semi-annual pottery market featuring handmade ceramics from Southern California Artists.
Saturday, July 14th, 12-9pm
340 S. Garey Ave
Pomona, CA 91766

Felt Club, Los Angeles's fantastic indie craft show.
Sunday, July 15, 11-7pm

4315 Melrose Ave
Los Angeles, CA

I adore the fake diamond rings by Danielle Maveal. I think they would make a great engagement ring.