Thursday, July 28, 2011

Challenging "Scrappy" stuff

One of the teams I  belong to on Etsy is doing a challenge this week. We are trying to use up scraps in new and different ways. I have done three items so far.

The first was this reconstructed pillow I made with upcycled fabrics. It is the first pillow I have done for jill2day, but probably will not be the last! It was really a fun project and would go so nicely with my afghans and blankets that I am now listing in my reconstructed BLANKETS section.

I picked up some more pillow forms this week, so I am sure more pillows coming soon. You can see more views of this one by clicking here.

Today I made a lamp! It is made on a lampshade and lamp purchased at a thrift store. It has four different animal skin sweater fabrics for the shade, and tons of decorative buttons from my stash of vintage buttons. I am not putting this in my shop. I want to test it out in my own home, to make sure that the glues are stable and will hold. But I really like the idea, and if you agree let me know... Always looking for new ideas to make with my reconstructed sweaters!

Lastly I tried a clutch bag. This was a fun projects, but again will not be in the shop. I am not a bag maker, and really have no idea if my interfacing and seaming will hold up, so I think this will be my own little treat for myself until I decide to up my expertise! 

This has been a very fun way to get me to "think different" and to break out of the creative rut that can occur occasionally. However, I do think it is time to get back to my sweaters, scarves, skirts and tunics.... with a couple of afghans and pillows thrown in for good measure! But you never know what the spirit may move me into next!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Reconstructed afghans; New product introduction today!!

I have just listed four new blanket afghans in my shop. Two of them are inspired by crazy quilts, and contain small pieces from 20+ sweaters... These are designed to keep yet more sweater knits out of the land fills and on a special place on your sofa.

This item can be found in the new reconstructed BLANKET section of my shop. It measures 58" x 56" and is made of a wide variety of fabrics... but is washable, dry able and very soft and cuddly!

Also listed today are a copy of more specific color designs. One is a "chocolate sundae" design in vanilla, white, tan and chocolate brown. It is 74" x 52" and is a great combination of textures and fabrics. take a closer look by clicking here. There is a lovely blue and gray lap blanket as well. It is very soft and although a bit lighter weight than the others, it is very warm, due to a high wool content. To see all the info on this patchwork sweater quilt, click here.

Like all jill2day items, these are  washable and can be put in the dryer. All the fabrics for these afghans, have been purchased from charity based stores, and the entire blanket has been pre-washed to prove the seams and to soften the fabrics.

And as always, keep your eye out for new reconstructed tunics, made from recycled t-shirts and upcycled sweaters - both cardigan and pullover styles.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Heads Up: going up this weekend!

This is just a quick taste of what is coming up new in the shops this weekend. I will be posting on Facebook when they are actually listed and where you can find them. I will also add the links to this posting. All items should be up by Sunday evening, many before that.

lavender and blue scarf
I was notified that my new was in my first ArtFire collection this morning, Take a look at it if you want to see some beautiful lavender items... you can almost smell that wonderful scent! This scarf is what was featured. click here if you want to find out more about it!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Art Institute of Chicago today!

I had a great day today with my friend. We drove down to Chicago in her spiffy new little Honda Fit (flashy bright red, of course). We spent the day at the Art Institute of Chicago

I have been there a zillion times, and it is always a wonderful adventure of new found friends and inspiration. Before I go, I have to make the big decision. Do I visit all the old friends, Monet, Sargent, Degas, Picasso, Cassatt, or do I run with a new crowd.

Today I started with the African room and the Folk Art, here are three of the new friends I made. The left and right are African sculptures, and the center one is a ship's masthead sculpture. Just loved all three of these pieces.

Then I really took a leap. For years I have heard about the Thorne Miniature Rooms, but I have never set foot in them. Today I did. They are amazing. Tiny little room after room of historically correct and detailed reproductions of European and American design. All are lit beautifully and are complete down to every crystal on the chandeliers! So glad I finally wandered in.

The real reason we went was for the Spider weaving. You must check this out- click here.
This is a weaving done entirely with threads spun by the Golden Orb spider. The color was the most beautiful yellow I have ever seen. It was the natural color of the thread.

I always just love visiting the building. The original building has always been elegant and classic. Now there is the new Modern Wing, too. It is a magnificent piece of architechture, and I can't figure out how the two areas can be so totally different, and blend so well. The way the new wing looks over the sculptures in Millineum park is perfect. It seems like the museum just continues right through the windows.

There was an exhibition of Avant-Garde art in the modern wing. I stumbled upon this exhibit, and all the wonderful players of early graphic design. Piet Zwart - you are genius. El Lissitzky's work is awe inspiring... typography as it is meant to be.

A good friend, some ancient art, perfect weather, some old acquaintances, and a spider's work, who could ask for more!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Spring Green was great!!

Last weekend was the Spring Green (WI) art fair. This is a show that, as a customer, I have loved to go to for many years. I was very excited to participate as a vendor. They have a great set up, a wonderful organizing committee of volunteers, and a wide variety ofartists juried into the show.

We have been having less than  optimal weather this spring, so wasn't sure what to expect, but both days were perfect. There was a great crowd! I think people had been waiting for a good day to get out - and they did!
I had a brand new booth to use. It is HUGE (10x20) and very high and spacious. Plenty of room for my garments, a changing room and for groups to congregate and commiserate while trying things on.

I had practiced setting it up at home, so it set up went well until a bungee cord attacked me... so I had a beautiful purple eye for the weekend!
The show was so fun! I met so many new people - both customers and fellow artists. Carol Broadley an Etsy potter and fellow exhibitor was there with her beautiful pottery. A couple of other Etsy sellers came by the booth - nice to meet you Copperheart! The jewelers next to me will be at the Holiday show I will be doing in Madison, so it will be great to see them again.

There were an amazing number of well behaved dogs at the show also. These two "lions" napped in front of my booth for a while enjoying any coolness that the asphalt provided.
I introduced some new reconstructed skirts at the show, and they went over very well. They are mostly waffle weave cotton knit, and so soft! I have added them to my Artfire shop that I just started to populate. Some cotton knit summer scarves are there also - take a look!

Can't wait to do this show again next year. The only problem came when I went to leave, and couldn't find my keys anywhere!! Turns out I had dropped them on the way from my car Early in the day, and someone had turned them into the police. So all ended well! (Lesson learned!)

Hope to see you all at a show sometime soon.